Recommended wine for today’s entry: Bonterra Zinfandel. The Bonterra Web site (a very cool site, check it out at bonterra.com) recommends the zinfandel with “Grilled meat with blackberry sage sauce, BBQ Ribs, Spaghetti and meat balls in spicy marinara, …” These pairings remind me of the red-meat meals that I left on the table when I ran sobbing to my room in the early ‘70s. If only I’d had a calming glass of Bonterra (or not been in the throes of puberty), I’d probably still be eating meat. Oh, and it’s organically grown.
Tomorrow we will be traveling to South Carolina so that my daughter can take a look at Clemson University, one of the schools on her short list. While there, we will get to visit with my brother, sister-in-law and two nephews, who will be over from Atlanta for a baseball tourney.
I don’t see my brother Scott, who is two years older than I am, all that often, but when we do get together I like to immediately immerse him in guilt. Don’t feel badly for him – he enjoys reliving the years of big brother torture that resultied in both physical and mental scarring. Any of you who are little sisters know what I mean. Sorry if I induce flashbacks…
Mental scar: I haven’t eaten meat since I was 12. This is Scott’s fault. To get the guilt flowing, I’ll remind him about my battles with anemia, particularly when I was pregnant, because I didn’t eat meat. You see, our family used to eat steak and hamburgers quite frequently, and my brother, nicknamed Moose because he was like 6’1” and 180 pounds when he was about 14, figured out that if he went, “M-o-o-o-o, M-o-o-o-o,” just as I was about to bite into my food, I’d throw a little fit and run up to my room. Then he would eat my steak.
Physical scar number one is a long scar across my hairline, where, as I was learning to ride a two-wheeler, my brother dared me to ride under the Albright’s mailbox without ducking. Peeled ‘er right back. Obviously, I wasn’t too smart to begin with and the blow to the head couldn’t have helped.
Physical scar number two involved an ugly episode with a sledge hammer. I don’t remember it, but I’m sure that’s because there were bound to be some brain cells included in the spillage that occurs when a four-year-old’s head meets a sledge hammer. Accident? Probably. But why did it always have to be my head?
Scar number three was innocent enough. Big brother wanted to teach me to wrestle, which to him meant tossing the scrawny little bespectacled sister through the air, only to land, face first, on the corner of a coffee table, breaking my granny glasses and gashing my forehead. I know you’re wondering why I didn’t put my hands out to avoid my head meeting the table first. All I know is, I was a 70-pound Mr. Magoo of a kid with muscles like overcooked noodles and my brother was like Lou Ferrigno. And he was hopped up on protein.
Physical scar number four is one of the very best guilt inducers. It is a giant, surgical scar on the back of my bicep. Alright, I’m deluding myself. Now it’s on the back of my arm flap. It looks like Frankenstein’s face. When I was about 25 a large fatty tumor (this is probably turning a lot of guys on, I know) started to grow there and by the time I was 32 it was the size of a racquetball and needed to be carved out. I convinced my brother that the doctor said it was likely caused by years of impact, specifically from Scott’s fist with his middle knuckle protruding. He actually felt badly about this for about four years before I remembered to tell him that I made up what the doctor said. I feel bad about lying to him, but not too bad.
Here’s another mental scar: Scott used to sing “Nights in White Satin” while wearing those giant headphones that looked like he should have been flying a heliocopter. He sang this so loudly, so repeatedly and so unbelievably badly that to this day, I not only have a phobia of the Moody Blues, but I hate night, the color white and the feel of satin. His howling was so repulsive that it threw me into the gentle arms of England Dan & John Ford Coley and I went through the ‘70s in denial of rock music’s existence.
I’m done now. I won’t delve into the baseballs thrown at 90 m.p.h. that ended up embedded in my jaw, the crawdads dropped down my shirt, the BB gun blast that took a chunk out of my butt (OK, I’ll admit I was running up the hill to tell on him for something else, but I still don’t think being a tattle tail justifies a shooting) or the dunkings in the pool that lasted until my life flashed before my eyes – yep, including a reprisal of “Nights in White Satin.”
So it’ll be fun to see big brother again. And I have the whole seven hour drive and two teenage girls to help me plot my revenge.