Saturday, December 5, 2009


My brother is coming to New England in a couple of weeks to have some Christmas time with his girlfriend's family. If schedules work out, I will be able to hang out with them while they're here.

Jim and I are close and even though we fought a lot when we were kids - we always have been. There's a favorite picture of mine that my mom has when we were little. I was maybe 7 or 8 and Jim was maybe 4 or 5. I was reading to him in his bed after our jammies were on (we were peanuts so we both fit in the bed) and we fell asleep. My mom caught this and took a picture.

In high school, when Jim was a freshman and I was a senior he ended up melding well with my friends. He even came and hung out with us when I was in college, and helped me move countless times. When he went into the Navy, I went and visited him with my roommate during spring break. As we've gone through the ups and downs of becoming adults, we've been there for each other and even though we've not always seen eye-to-eye on our overall world views - I still know Jim's there.

Jim & Me - Tennessee, October 2008

That said... sometimes when I shower I think of the funniest prank that was ever pulled on me, courtesy of Jim.

When I was a sophomore in high school and not quite old enough to work a part-time job, my parents made a deal with me. They paid me "X" dollars a week to stay home with my siblings 5-6 hours a day or so and make sure they stayed out of trouble. I got up when my parents went to work, showered while they ate breakfast or watched TV, made them lunch, and just hung out all day spending time with them. I was allowed to have a friend over, so sometimes a friend or two would come over and we'd all play games. It was the best summer job I've ever had.

One day after I finished showering, had my hair in a towel and a bathrobe on, I went to exit the bathroom... and couldn't.

I tried again... the door only opened about 2 inches.

I heard giggling.

I tried a third time... 3 inches.

More giggling from my sisters, and full out laughing from Jim.

I slowly tried again and was able to get the door open far enough to see what the "problem" was.

Our house was a typical New England 1940's-1950's 3-bedroom ranch. This meant that the three bedrooms and the bathroom were on the same hallway, and my bedroom was right across from our bathroom. My brother - in all of his 12 year old ingenuity and comic genius - had shut my bedroom door, taken a jump rope, and tied one end each to the bathroom door and my bedroom door. Thus, when I tried to open the door - I could not.

Then he and my sisters sat outside the bathroom and waited for me to try to get out. And laughed at me.

The problem was that he left too much slack and I was able to open the door slightly. So... needless to say the same trick was tried again a week later, with less slack allowed so I could NOT open the door at all. This, of course, caused them to laugh harder.

At the time, I didn't think it was that funny. But now, looking back, it is one of the funniest moments in our family's history. I kind of wish my parents had been home to see it (they're the same people who hid my Easter Basket in the most obscure place because I got up last, and it provided family entertainment).

Thanks, Jim, for that hilarious memory.

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