Friday Five: The Best of Bryan

Every Friday I’ll indulge my order-crazed brain in a list of randomness. Welcome to my Friday Fives.

Tomorrow’s the big day! By the time you’re reading this I’ll be at my brother’s rehearsal dinner, giving a toast of sorts, drinking mojitos and laughing. There will be lots of laughing.

I remember the exact moment when I realized my brother was hilarious. He had just returned home from his first summer as a camp counselor and was regaling us with hilarious stories of lifeguard training, poop in swim trunks and kids who lie about their parents (“ya’didn’t?”). We were captivated by his enthusiasm, his storytelling, his infectious grin. My sides were sore from laughing. My god, I thought, I have a ridiculously awesome brother.

When I was in college, I took a movement and posture class (yeah, music degrees!) and one day we had to lie down and laugh so we could feel the release in our bodies. Not a forced laugh, but a genuine i-can’t-stop laugh. Our teacher prompted us to think of one of the funniest moments in our lives to generate the laugh. What did I think of? A look my brother gave me in the car once when everyone around us was arguing. Even now, I crack up when I think of the moment. He’s kinda perfect like that.

So I figured I’d share the love and offer up some of my favorite, i-can’t-stop-laughing moments with Bryan.

5. Hotrod & Catfish

When we were in middle school we had a wonderfully eccentric neighbor named William. He was retired from the military, his wife worked and his kids had grown. The man was bored out of his mind and said the craziest stuff, but he loved me and Bryan. He drove me to lessons, played golf in the yard with Bryan and gave us the nicknames we still use today: Hotrod and Catfish. William’s been gone for years, but his nicknames live on…which was confirmed when I received a LinkedIn request (pulled from Bryan’s contacts) for Catfish to join its network. There’s only one person Catfish will ever be linked to, and that’s Hotrod.

4. Orlando

When Bryan and Joe were both celebrating big graduations, we came up with the idea for a siblings-only trip. A Sibling Sabbatical of sorts, which quickly was shortened to SibSab. There was only one place for us all to go: Harry Potter World. This trip was amazing and there were so many great moments with Bryan, but one of them has to be when he put on this dinosaur hat in a gift shop to soak up all the water on his head from the ride we just finished. Only to rub it around and then take it off and put it back on the shelf when he was finished. It was so funny. So wrong, but so funny.

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3. Owasso

Bryan and I have the distinct honor of surviving Owasso together. Talk about a few fish out of water in the beginning. But, Bryan’s charm and wit easily won both of us into the cool (band) crowd. There are so many great moments from our time there, but some of my favorites have to be his hip-grinding dance he tried to get into our marching band show by demonstrating to our band director; the time he had to move a huge (dead) rattlesnake from the parking lot, wrapped in a towel, and screamed like a little girl when it hit his arm on the way into the dumpster; when he became drum major my senior year and he was more badass than I could’ve ever imagined. I seriously need to scan some old pics, but here’s a goldie oldie:

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2. Emergency Room

One summer, Bryan and I were both home and for some reason I was sleeping in the extra bed in his room. He spent the night tossing and turning, getting up repeatedly, and finally woke me up early to say he didn’t feel good. As any concerned sister, I grumbled something and rolled over. That is, until he said, “you know the ringwraiths from Lord of the Rings?” <mmhmm> “They’re kicking me in my side.” <okay, I’m up.>

Turns out, his appendix was rupturing, so I rushed him to the hospital and stayed by his side until they took him into surgery. When a nurse came in and asked if I was his sister or his girlfriend, he said “is there a difference?” Always joking, even before major surgery.

1. Paris

Ah, Paris. The City of Love, The City of Lights. They City where Bryan danced the “Chicken Dance” at every opportunity. The City where Bryan got the entire family kicked out of Sacre Coeur mere minutes after getting there. The City where Bryan and I shared a hotel room that was supposed to have double beds. The City where we slept closer than any 20+-year-old siblings should ever have to sleep. I can still see Bryan’s face when we opened the door and saw the one, teeny-tiny bed. I can hear his pleas to our sister and brother-in-law to somehow make it different. I remember his wide, unbelieving eyes when I spent every night shaking the bed with my horrible coughs. It was a trip to remember.

The Chicken Dance:

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The Bed:

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Couldn’t have been that bad…

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Expect lots of photos and stories next week when I return home.

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