Today on Dr. Phil: Sibling Rivalry after 30..

Ten days, well, a year and ten days if you want to be specific. That’s what separates my brother and I, at least in terms of age. We technically missed the term of “Irish twins” by two hands worth of fingers, which is ok, because we aren’t really twins in any other category either.

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William, my brother, is the older, wiser sibling. Not that it was a competition or anything, (I think both parties need to be aware of the race for it to count) but he was always 1 step ahead of me in every category. If you are not already singing, “anything you can do, I can do better” in your head than you should be.

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William is taller than me, skinnier than me, had an honors diploma in high school, went to a “Big 10 College” (mine was more like a Big 10 sometimes college) and for the love of everything Holy, he always knew how to hook up my TV, DVD player and VCR up in a way that allowed them all to work properly. I still don’t know how to do that one.

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What are my “I can do anything better than you” moments you ask? Well, I learned our home phone number and address before him and made sure his preschool teacher Miss Anita knew about it. I can recite on command (although it’s a talent that is almost never requested) any theme song or useless commercial jingle from memory, and I did not hijack and wreck our Mom’s rider lawn mower in a “drive your tractor to school day” stunt in high school.

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We were not bad kids by any means. In fact, if you measure and rate the overall behavior of siblings by the number of times the police or fire departments were called, we were perfect angels. We did, however, have our fair share of fights and arguments that either ended with one person (William) locked in a bedroom, or a 3 way scream match via the phone to my mom’s office.

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These post school phone calls were conducted like a trial by jury. William and I would race off the bus, pick up a phone and dial our mom who would be expecting us. We did this so many times that even now, 20 years later, I still know her office number by heart. (765-569-3156 if you are wondering) We would each plead our case over her speaker phone as to why the other was in the wrong and my mom’s co-workers, all standing around her desk, would chuckle and tell us to leave each other alone and go to our room until the referee (mom) got home.

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Sometimes this would work but since I was built more like a lineman for the Chicago Bears and he was built more like the president of the chess club, I could pick a fight and usually secure a victory. Thanks again not only to my football physique but also to an incorrectly installed door knob that allowed me to lock his door from the outside. Although, William might have been on to something there. Why stay out in the living room and fight an annoying little sister when you can just “let” her win, and let her lock you in the room and finally gain the peace and quiet you longed for to begin with. Dang it.

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Anyways, I digress. William also flew the coop way before me as well. Now, I understand that this was bound to happen because he is in fact older than me, but it was like he flipped a switch over night and was suddenly an adult.  He got a “real” cell phone (none of that prepaid stuff) in 11th grade, which was rare back in the day, he bought his own car and car insurance years and I do mean years, before me and he even joined the Army National Guard so he could pay for college without any help from our mom. While I did pay for my college degree, my mom did buy me my first car my sophomore year of college and kept me on her car insurance until I got married. (Thank you mommy).

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So, what is this all about? While I admit that this does sound like an application to be on a dysfunctional episode of Dr. Phil, it is in reality, a poorly written letter of gratitude to my brother who is celebrating is 32nd birthday today. Even though it seems that I have painted a jealousy tinted portrait of sibling rivalry, I have more or less outlined all the ways William has pushed me to be a better version of myself and while sometimes I have fallen short of his bench mark, it is the race, imaginary or not, that keeps me going!

The phone calls we share today are no longer mini episodes of “The People’s Court” but more like two friends catching up at the end, or at the beginning, of a busy week. We tell jokes that makes the other laugh, give tv show recommendations, brag or complain about our pets and vent about the current stresses in our life.

I’m not sure when the switch was flipped, and we went from being siblings to friends, I’m just glad that it happened because I honestly don’t have the energy to lock you in your room any more. Enjoy your birthday and the next 10 days of being “2ish” years older than me!

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Getting Old {ish} With Jennifer

A few weeks ago we explored the possibilities of whether I, Jennifer, of 30 year old sound{ish} body and mind, am in fact an adult, or instead an adult in training (read that post here). I decided that half of the issue may be that I’ve never really “applied and interviewed” for the position of adulthood. Being married and having a mortgage just isnt enough.

So to whom it may concern, might I present to you my Resume to Be an Adult for your review and acceptance.

Getting Old {ish} With Jennifer

You’ve heard of having a mid-life crisis, right? Well, I like to have a midnight crisis. My thought process at night when I should be sleeping but can’t is reminiscent of a hyper active squirrel struggling to bury all his nuts just days before hibernation. (googles to see if squirrels actually hibernate…they don’t). I am anxious, disorganized, and frantic.

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it appears squirrels and I have more in common than I thought

Lately we have been binge watching Comedians in Cars Drinking Coffee with Jerry Seinfeld as well as NBC’s Seinfeld. 3am rolled around rather quickly and I decided that I needed to go to sleep, so I turned the tv off in an effort to fall asleep. That didn’t work, so instead I took a stroll through IMDB for interesting facts on Jerry himself and the show (I live for IMDB trivia, it is my most used app after Facebook).

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That was when I saw it. At the time of the pilot of NBC’s Seinfeld, the character of Elaine is written to be the age of 27. 27 years old. This led me down the Wikipedia rabbit hole. Next thing I know I was the head of my own make believe census and was researching the ages of all my favorite characters during their debut on their respective shows. For instance, the cast of Friends are written to be in their mid 20’s when the show begins. Will & Grace, 30 years old. I’m 30, that can’t be right.

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Now I know what you’re thinking, “Who cares how old a fictional character is on a show that’s been off the air for 20 years?” Well, I do. You see, I grew up watching these shows and in my mind, those characters will always be “older” than me. They are real adults and I’m still a young adult, an imposter if you will, waiting to have my training wheels taken off.  They are a moving goal. No matter how old I get, I will never catch up to them. In reality, I kinda have. At season 1 episode 1 of any of these shows, I am supposed to be in the same stage of life as them. Yikes.

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Teach your adult to be an adultier adult in 5 days!

 

It seems so surreal to me. I don’t seem nearly as responsible as these people. (George Costanza, Joey Tribbiani are not included in this equation for obvious reason) I mean, if I was in a room with a bunch of people and something were to happen that an adult is needed, I don’t think I would raise my hand to volunteer right away. Not that I wouldn’t want to help, but because my first instinct would be to find a more adultier adult. It’s like when you fly and the flight attendants show you how to find the exits and remind you that sometimes the closest exit is behind you. Well, I would look around for an adultier adult forgetting that in some instances, the adultiest adult could be me. Lord help us all!

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