When my brother and I were younger we somewhere along the line started playing the "Who's Mom's Favorite" game which to this day, drives our mom nuts. Travis is two years younger than me and since he was about 7, always taller than me. We look alike and we both have a wicked sense of humor. Travis cracks me up daily and the memories with my brother are insane. But that's all for a post another day.
Anyways. When we were younger we used to fight a LOT. And I'm not talking a little hitting and sometimes biting. I'm talking more like, "I can't believe neither of us broke bones or needed stitches" kind of fighting. And we always fought over really stupid stuff.
I'm convinced that had my parents been home 24/7 or hired baby sitters none of the more infamous fights would have occurred. But our parents both worked full time jobs, didn't think we needed sitters because we were good, responsible kids. And every day when my mom went to work she'd always say, "Don't call me unless your bleeding". And we didn't. Our mom worked at a gas station not far from our house (and by "not far" I mean the other end of town but riding our bikes got us there in 10 minutes, tops) and it was right next to where my best friend Jessica lived. So I saw my mom a lot. Travis on the other hand, played in a tree house they built dubbed "TJ's", the gully, and the swamp. Pretty normal boy stuff.
Occasionally we'd get our friends together which seemed to start a lot of fights. One time we had a "crab apple war" in Little People's Park which was at the end of our block. It ended horribly with Travis throwing the biggest crab apple ever at my friend Jess, and it hit her in the chest. She had a massive bruise there. AND she just had heart surgery this year and don't think I don't see a connection. So when we got home I did what any loyal friend would do.
I beat my brother up. But certainly not before he did some significant damage to me. We called it even when we were both crying.
One time, Travis had to be 6 or 7, we got into a MAJOR fight over the Crayola Art Set. Clearly, this was important. It belonged to me, he stole a marker or something, and I lost it. I went completely bananas. And pulled his hair. I pulled so hard that he had a bald spot. And to this day? Still a bit thin back there.
I was pretty much grounded forever. Which was fine because at the time in my full third grader angst I hated life and I especially hated to be outside. Because we lived in the woods and it was scary, full of bugs, and boring. And I was convinced that the woods, along with the house was haunted. I best just stay in my room playing school and singing Prince's "Diamonds and Pearls", thank you.
But as we got older, Travis and I got along better. We still fought but instead of always being violent, it became a contest of "who can kiss the most ass". Travis could always win this because being the baby of the family automatically puts you ahead. At that time (I was middle school/early high school) I was cooking dinner for my dad who had to be at work an hour before my mom got off. Which was fine, I did it. I mastered Hamburger Helper like nobody else could. So I would cook and then the rule is- whoever cooks doesn't clean. Except if you are me and your brother is Travis. Mom would walk into the door and he'd be all, "Hi, MOM! Here- let me help you. Do you want anything? I can rub your feet" and I'd be all fucking fuming because my mom would always be like, "Dammit, Sara- you have to clean the kitchen" and Travis would all be smiling. (Except I will say that Travis ALWAYS had to clean up after spaghetti night...LOL)
Travis would get jealous if Mom took me to Walmart when he went outside. Which I always thought was funny. Except for the time Mom took him to the zoo without me. I came downstairs and I realize I'm alone. It's like fucking "Home Alone" except I'm 16 and it's not Christmas. It was hours later and they come back all happy as damn clams and were telling me how awesome the zoo was.
Really? Because I couldn't really say. BECAUSE I WASN'T THERE. And Travis would say, "Oh- we didn't think you'd want to go".
Every time Travis would fuck up, like the summer he was a firebug, or when he'd break sometime of mom's, or just generally be an irritating asshole, I'd say, "ooh..sucks for you. I'm mom's favorite today."
And when I got in trouble for stealing the Easter candy off the coffee table and got my ass BEAT, or when I went through my "I hate you, the world, and everyone" phase wearing my anarchy attire, declaring my love for Marilyn Manson, and everything black phase---Travis was the favorite.
Even to this day, even though I'm 28 and Travis will be 26 in July, we continue our game. I'm pretty sure mom doesn't take us both places at the same time because we still act as if we're 15 and 13. Except now Travis can pick me up higher and body slam me harder. Except I still know that his neck and shoulders will get him to his knees if you squeeze hard enough. I'm sure Mom is embarrassed by us when we do this in stores.
After our Florida trip Mom said she would never vacation with us again. I can't imagine why not.