Sunday, November 09, 2008

Wherein I give proof that I am a terrible brat

There are some moments in my life that are more vivid as photos or video than in my memory, and there are some that I wish I'd had the opportunity to capture with a camera, I remember them so well. By some stroke of luck, here is one incident from my childhood that for some reason is not only one of my most vivid memories, but is also preserved on film. I'm really, really glad about this because when I look back on this this moment in my life, it seems to be quite symbolic.

The summer I turned seven, my family moved into a house that needed, among other things, a remodeled kitchen. One day I found my dad painting the floor, and it looked like fun. He explained that it was sealant or something, and that I could help him, but I'd need to start against the wall and work my way to the edge. Basically, above all, I needed to avoid painting myself into a corner.

I got started, working my way carefully across the kitchen, and after a while my brother showed up. He wanted to help too, so my dad said sure, explained to him the exact same rules (namely, don't paint yourself into a corner) and left us to it. I suppose he went and got the camera, because here we are:

Take a good look at that photo, and you will see several things:
1. My brother, painting all the way around himself.
2. The area I haven't painted, complete with a spot for me to step out of the kitchen.
3. My big mouth, open and presumably telling my brother what he is doing wrong.

So anyway, we kept painting, and here is about what it came down to:

I finished my space by safely crouching outside the kitchen, and my brother finished his space by painting himself into the little spot you can see to his right (your left).

I tried to warn him not to, internet, I really did, but of course he didn't listen to me. My dad had to lift him out of the kitchen and I was infinitely annoyed that he managed to get away with it. My logic was something along the lines of, if he wasn't going to listen to my advice and my dad's directions, he should at least have to suffer for it. I imagined him marooned in the middle of the kitchen, standing in the little space he'd left for himself until the next day when the floor was dry enough for him to walk across. THAT would really show him, you know?

Much to my disappointment, my dad was able to lift my brother out of his dry spot. My mom showed up with the video camera at this point, and we have this great video from right after this moment, where my brother is bragging to me that he didn't get any of the sealant on himself, and I sort of roll my eyes and touch his shirt with my apparently sealant-covered hands. This sends him into a little hissy fit, and I walk over to the video camera and pronounce, "He bugs me. HE BUGS ME!" As if the masses would understand my frustration with this kid. Look at him! Didn't even follow the directions! Comiserate with me!

I watched this video about a year ago and realized that I still use the phrase "it bugs me." I also still boss people around and get annoyed when they get away with something I don't think they should have. And my brother? I guess he's still the same, approaching problems from a point of view that is completely different from my own. He also still bugs me. Just not as much.

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