Geoffrey Long
Tip of the Quill: Archives
On siblings.

Last night, I headed up to Baltimore to hang out with SarahScott, her friends David and Paul, my housemate Nick F., and SarahScott's little sister Megan. SarahScott, Paul, Megan and I headed over to Arundel Mills, this big, huge superfashion outlet mall, where we met Nick F. and had dinner at Johnny Rockets (imagine a table with four of us singing and bopping along to the music and Paul sitting there looking like he sort of wished he were anywhere else) and then met up with David to see Lara Croft: Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life. One word-review of said movie: enh.

I had a ton of fun, in no small part because hanging out with the Brett sisters is like watching a genetics/anthropology experiment gone haywire. The two sisters are a couple years apart, pretty much the same height, and are about as sisterly as you can possibly imagine, wound as tightly as a double helix. The funniest part was watching Megan say or do things that I've seen SarahScott do for years, such as dropping her chin just a little, looking sideways at you, and saying sternly, "You do not want to do that." I think Megan was mildly miffed when I burst out laughing.

Sometimes I wish I had a sibling. I mean, I wonder how my relationships would be different if I did – my relationship with Mom, for example, has always been a little odd; since we were both only kids, we tended to harass each other more like siblings than parent and child, while Dad kind of watched wearily from behind his newspaper. If I'd had a sibling to harass, one only wonders how (if?) Mom and I would get along. Also, I imagine I might not do quite so many singular things, like writing and music and computers and all the other stuff that only kids growing up in the country tend to learn to keep themselves amused. And my relationships with my friends might be different... I've always said that my friends were my brothers and sisters, but seeing my friends who share great relationships with their siblings has shown that's not really the case. There's an intimacy there that really can't be replicated between two people who didn't grow up in the same house, or have to deal with the same familial stresses and situations.

Over the course of the last six months, I've had the opportunity to reforge some of my oldest friendships, and having done so has made me feel a lot better about a number of things, including being able to compare notes on what it's like to move away from home, come to grips with the weird world after college, and trying to find your place in the universe as a twentysomething. And, over the course of the last couple of years, I've met a small handful of people with whom I've shared the kinds of conversations I'd like to think I might have had with an older brother or sister. And there's at least one person out there whom I've always thought of as a younger sibling of sorts. I haven't always been able to be there for them as much as I would have liked to, which I suppose is the kind of guilt all older sibs must feel at some point, but that doesn't stop me from watching their progress from the wings and feeling all the pain and pride I also imagine are an inextricable part of the package.

All of these relationships are invaluable to me, and I'm grateful for them, but I hope when I have children that I wind up with two. More than that can get a little weird, but two would be nice. Maybe I can even have the kind of relationship with them that I had with my mom, and their mother can watch us wearily from behind her newspaper.

Anyway. This evening I get to attend a Blues Traveler concert with one of my aforementioned oldest friends, something I'm immensely looking forward to. The weather reports aren't calling for rain, but we'll see. I'm always skeptical whenever I have lawn tickets. I'm looking forward to spreading out a blanket, lying back and catching up a little, comparing notes, that kind of thing. You know. Almost as if we were siblings.

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