Friday, September 29, 2006

BBQ Rib Eating Contest And Other Cultural Events

I have decided that today I will be throwing my brother under the bus.

Why? Because he BUGS me.

Any discussion of my relationship with my brother should start with the fact that I'm an insufferable Northeast Snob. BIG TIME. I can be a SERIOUS pain in the ass about it. I went to good boarding schools, a good college, have an MBA, lived in 2 major cities, I attend the theater, I have dated many women, all of whom were different and fascinating, blah blah blah, my wife is equally well educated and incredibly lovely. My daughter craps rose petals. I'm very fancy.

My brother went on a different track. Married the first girl he boinked at an ungodly young age, moved to the Midwest (NOT that there's anything wrong with that), and bought a house in a new subdivision in Ohio with no landscaping. I get very angry when I realize his house is literally twice the size of mine, and yet for the price I paid for my house, I could buy 3 of his houses. He has three great kids who I'm absolutely crazy about, and a basically loveless marriage with a woman I am not crazy about. He leaves the door open when he's in the bathroom. One time, I saw him mowing his lawn dressed in shitkicker boots, white tube socks pulled all the way up, jean shorts, and a white wife beater shirt. The image singed my retina. I literally went blind for like 20 minutes.

One time, when I was visiting him, he picked me up and the airport and as we were driving out in the middle of nowhere, I asked him what the hell there was to do there. His response: "Lots of things. For example, this weekend there is a BBQ Rib Eating contest, as well as other culture events".

Ok. Problem #1) There is such a thing as a BBQ Rib Eating contest
Problem #2) People are genuinely excited about it
Problem #3) It is considered a "cultural event".

That visit did not go well.

What I find the MOST frustrating about him is the the fact that he is such a nice guy. Seriously, he wishes harm on no one, with the possible exception of Osama bin Laden. He always just wants to help. There is not a mean, conniving bone in this kids body. For those of you familiar with the Garfield comic strip, my brother is Odie. EXACTLY. Just sits there, tongue out, waiting for me, the smart mean guy, to come kick him from behind. Why do I do it? Because he's just sitting there, grinning. Why not?

But that's all just mean-spirited background information. What pisses me off about him REALLY, I mean what REALLY PISSES ME OFF, is that he calls me, and calls me, to ask if M is FUCKING PREGNANT. Brother, if you are reading this, so help me God, if you call me again with that f'ing question, I'm going to stick a full rack of BBQ ribs up your ASS.

You called me the day after her transfer, and asked if she was pregnant. I patiently explained to you how the process works. I'm not entirely sure you listened to me. I think you may have been daydreaming about your tractor.

You called 2 days later and asked if she was pregnant. Again, I explained that it was a 2 week wait, not a 2 day wait. How the fuck did this guy get his wife pregnant 3 times?

You called this morning to ask if she was pregnant, even though I already told you her cycle was cancelled. Seriously dude, you should get yourself checked out. There is a wire in there that is just not connected. You made me get short with you as I explained the situation again. Then, you seemed HURT, and now I'm sitting here angry with MYSELF for being MEAN to you.

I tell you what: I PROMISE to tell you when and if my wife is every pregnant again. I PROMISE. I won't hide her pregnancy from ANYONE. It would be hard to hide at family gatherings. And eventually people would wonder who the extra kid was who was running around. I assure you, I will not FORGET to tell you.

Until then, let's talk about the key requirements needed to judge a world class BBQ rib eating contest.


Katie said...

Nothing like a little unsolicited assvice:

1. Vow now to practice extending unconditional acceptance of your brother---sounds like he does that for you. Or at least that what Odie does.

2. Tell your brother in a respectful manner how you feel about his repeated requests for information re: M's status of pregnancy.

3. Realize that culture is relative. One man's theatre is another man's BBQ contest.

aah0424 said...

He does sound like he could get under my skin, but I think Katie summed it up pretty darn good, smarshy!

Are you ready for one more piece of assvice because I know your dying to hear it:
If he really annoys you with his constant badgering, don't tell him when you do the next cycle. You'll be able to surprise him if you guys are pregnant and you'll spare yourself from the constant phone calls.

~r said...

I have to agree with the above assvice. 90% of my friends know where I am in my cycle and what we're doing. The 10% who can't restrain themselves from constantly asking about pregnancy just don't get updated. I'll tell them before I give birth. Maybe.

... and reading about BBQ ribs while I'm in the throes of 2WW hormonal cravings is not a good idea... mmmm... ribs. I have no culture.

Flmgodog said...

Being from the Midwest I found this absolutely hilarious.
Not that I don't feel your pain about your brother but the post was hilarious to me. Siblings can be the worst about information.
I have traveled all over the world and I find that Midwesterner's ( are the kind of people that are genuinely nice and well meaning but are all up in your business about everything.
My only assvice is you need to try some GREAT BBQ before you decide whether or not it is a cultural event.

Mary said...

Your posts always make me smile - and for free. You should write full time for one of those female magazines (Vanity Fair should be the right target for your genre).

Coming to the content of this post, your brother may have plenty of faults but he sounds sexier than you.

GLouise said...

Loved this post!

The BBZRib contest reminds me of something in my state (that we have never attended) called "The Big Pig Jig."

So how did you and Odie turn out so differently? Did he not like boarding school? :-)

OHN said...


Watson said...

At least you still have your sense of sounds very frustrating (and probably the last thing you need right now is more frustration)-- but your story was HI-larious!

I'm laughing WITH you, not AT you, right?!?!


Anonymous said...

Siblings are supposed to drive us crazy and be frustratingly at odds ... but I do hope your sweet brother doesn't read your blog, that would kinda hurt I think.

Mrs. Smarshy said...

I think my hubby left out some important information about his brother. SmarshyBrother is incredibly child-like. Like a child, he is innocent but self-centered. He lives in his own little bubble. Hubby says he think he wishes harm on no one but Osama bin Laden, but I'm not sure SmarshyBrother even knows who that is. So his calling often is evidence that he cares enough to call, but not enough to listen and learn.

FWIW, we never share the details of our cycles with family. That's why incessant "are you pregnant yet" are so annoying.

Mrs. Smarshy said...

Oh, and one more thing Mary - He is DEFINITELY not sexier than hubby. Not even close!

Ali said...

You are feeling frustrated with your brother, quite understandably. However he obviously is just excited for you guys to be pregnant and happy again.
Too bad some people just don't GET it hey?
You had me laughing out loud, it sounds like how I sometimes have to speak to my husband! Great post!

Krista said...

It is interesting that everyone thinks that you can "take it like a man". Not that I disagree with some of these comments but I think if this was your wife's blog and she wrote this post about her sister all she would get would be sympathy.

But then, I am glad you write this blog and I enjoy your perspective and I guess we assume that males are less "sensitve" about constructive assvice.

If you were a woman, you would simply write your "sister" and tell her how much these well intentioned phone calls cause you stress, you would both cry and she would tell you that she loves you and is just worried for you and wants you happy and then you would all be ok for another few months. Guess it doesn't work like that for dudes huh?

theoneliner said...

mean to your everyman brother
+ hating on bbq contests
=you're a real ahole.

i love it.

weird that he cares enough to call but not enough to listen to what you say.

Katie said...

One more piece of assvice:


You make my day. Thank you thank you thank you.

One Mother's Journey said...

Yeah, the "fertile" don't get it Smarsh... even when you beat it into them, they don't get it.

It's like they are wired differently than we are.

I have a SIL that is nicer than nice - flowers bloom in her presence. I see her on a weekly basis and she asks me EVERY week if I'm pregnant yet. Despite the fact that we've asked her not to do it, we've explained the process... we've even told her we're NOT trying anymore. She still asks. I'm expecting her to continue asking me for the rest of my life - I'll be 86 and she'll still ask. (And unfortunetly the answer will always remain the same.)

The only way I've come to be able to deal with it and not kick her ass sideways is I figure that all the time she's asking means she's thinking about me and hoping. That makes it a little easier.

PS. I LOVE the fact you admit you're fancy...

theoneliner said...

hey, smarshy...i was so just kidding. i hope you aren't mad. i meant that as a compliment. i really appreciate your honesty.
i think we all think thoughts that aren't very nice and some of us--here, you-- just have the guts to say it.

pook, by the way, loves the 'calm down christi' deal. i think its funny too.

anyway, sorry if my comment is seemed harsh.

GZ said...

Yeah Smarsh, I think you're justified in throwing him under a bus.

I have repeatedly asked a friend of mine not to send pictures of her baby, and she JUST DOESN'T STOP. When i'm in a really bad mood, I suspect she is doing it just to spite me.

But your brother doesn't sound like the sort...

Sorry about that. Little things like that make it so tough to deal.

Rumour Miller said...

Way to put a little funny in a not so funny situation... tough love man, you gotta get tough.