My older brother spent the majority of his adolescence teasing my younger brother mercilessly. Whether by gender or by my cloak of invisibility, I somehow escaped this rite of passage. In later years, I helped pile on the abuse, so I do feel a little guilty.
Honestly, he made it pretty easy. John didn't have one imaginary friend, he had an army. He sucked his finger for a long time. But probably his biggest disadvantage was how quickly he cracked - to tears as a toddler or to absolute rage as he got older - think Red Ross from Friends. (He should have stuck to tears, because rage just made Charlie laugh harder.)
Having daughters a similar age has brought me closer with the little pest, and I have come to appreciate what a great dad and uncle he is. But, as we've made our way into adulthood, I'm ashamed to admit that Charlie and I still gang up on him.
Shortly before the holidays, I started noticing how positive his facebook status updates were. I'm not down with that. I took to sarcastically commenting on his posts with mature responses like, "Isn't that just glitterific!" and "Zippadee Do Da!" This has not deterred him, which means I've had to take drastic measures.
Charlie is not on facebook, so I took a moment this weekend to bring him up to date on some of the rainbows and kittens that John's been pooping out lately. Subsequent to this, and unbeknownst (is that a word?) to John, I have been forwarding the more repugnant status updates to Charlie via e-mail.
Please note that the below status update is not his worst offense, but Charlie's response is why I am proud to call him my brother.
Re: facebook status update
John - 2 hours ago (punctuation his)
What a day finished barbi's bed. Fixed my truck. Now e-check new tags for both trucks and need a new drivers license
Re: Re: facebook status update
Why on earth would he need plates and a new driver’s license…is there a birthday coming up????
I hope all those who were not aware of the birthday can catch that subtle hint without getting lost in the intrigue of the story. It’s like the words were painted on the computer screen with careful brush strokes.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JOHN! Thanks for reminding us!
For those of you keeping up with our strange family gatherings. This Sunday the extended Kirschner family is getting together for one of our group birthday celebrations. This one is to celebrate anyone born between the months of January and June. Which means...happy birthday to me, too.