Sunday, April 3, 2016

So many hitchhikers in my driveway. So.Many. Also, I like argyle socks

My younger brother Ted is engaged.

This happened once before, in 2009. He was engaged to a delightful young woman named Holly who spent way too many hours with me and Junior watching Junior puff. Sadly, things didn't quite work out for them (if your relationship is on the rocks, don't miss the post I dedicated to her: "The one book that can save your marriage"). When they broke up—at Christmas!—I was devastated.

Luckily for him, he is a serial dater. Soon he was inviting other women—foreign women who liked to eat donuts, for example—into my home to watch Junior puff some more.

Over the years it's become a bit of a routine. Ted meets someone, dates her for a bit then brings her round the house to meet the family. Then while we're all still in the getting to know you phase, he decides to drop her off with me so he can play golf. Or see the dermatologist.
He's conveniently gone for hours; sometimes he takes Chuck.

While he's out—and while I'm awkwardly entertaining some perky 20-something while simultaneously trying to care for my children—I get a text message from him that goes something like this: "Not really into her" or "Never coming back HAH!"

This has happened more than I'd like to admit. In fact, I started documenting it for shits and giggles. I actually have a photo of one of his "girlfriends" sitting in my driveway on a lawn chair, getting some sun; my laundry hanging on the clothesline behind her makes for a compelling juxtaposition between our lives.

She looks lost and I don't blame her.

(That was the one and only photo I ever took because um, if you caught your boyfriend's older sister hiding in a bush and snapping your photo when you weren't looking you'd call the cops too, right?)

Anyway, this little game of leaving dud girlfriends in my care has been going on for years.

A few weeks ago, I finally told Ted that I was on to him. My timing may have been poor. He and his new fiancee, Emma, who was in Connecticut for the weekend, were visiting on a Friday night when I jokingly mentioned his penchant for disappearing for hours and leaving strange women in my care.

"And it always means you're going to dump them!" I said. "The gig is up!"

The next night Ted had a work emergency that was going to keep him tied up for hours. Emma didn't know anyone in town. He felt badly leaving her alone at his apartment all night. He called me.

"Bring her over," I sighed. "We can watch a movie until you're done."

"She won't go to your house alone," he said.

"Why not?" I asked, insulted. What was wrong with my house?

"Because, asshole, she said she knows what happens when girlfriends get dropped off at my sister's."

I burst out laughing. "She really won't come?"

"She said she'd rather sit here alone and talk to the wall, thank you very much."

Ordinarily a comment like that would piss me off. Choose a wall over me, will you? But under the circumstances it made me like her more.

"It's about time!" I told Ted. "You finally got a girl with some moxie."

Congrats, you crazy kids!

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