About My Brother ...
Forgive the personal tone of this entry, but indulge me a brief moment to address something that has been bothering me for some time now.
My brother can be pretty friggin' weird.
Now, mind you, this is a very, very smart guy. Decorum prohibits my revealing his profession, but suffice it to say he has a big brain and is paid to use it.
It was a few months ago that, during a family get-together), my brother turned up his nose at an apple pie and pecan pie that someone had been kind enough to bring. Why? I asked.
He went on to explain that he hates pecan pie and apple pie. He hates them so much, in fact -- and this part he added with a baffling trace of pride in his voice -- that he had never tried them in his entire life.
Now, this is a guy already notorious in my family for a number of, well, quirks.
He has an obsessive dislike of beans, at least in their pre-mashed form (something about the texture, he says). At restaurants, he cannot order soup without getting repeated assurance from the suddenly-on-the-defensive waitperson that no wayward bean will find its way into the pristine broth. He has even refused to shop at L.L. Bean because the name is so ... so ... gross.
He is an enthusiastic devotee of "Law & Order" in all its various forms and incarnations, so much so that he (and this is according to his wife) jumps up from the sofa and does an original Law & Order Dance once the theme music kicks in. At one family function, in fact, my sister-in-law coerced my brother to perform his jig, which bore a striking resemblance to the gyrations of someone needing to go to the bathroom really, really badly.
When we were growing up, we had separate rooms but shared a bathroom. He is seven years older than me, and so I was 10 when he was in high school. It was during those years I had to hear him singing in the shower each morning, and always, always one of two songs: Mouth & MacNeal's "How Do You Do?" or Helen Reddy's "Delta Dawn." The first one, belted out at 7 a.m. each morning, was particularly traumatizing: "How do you do? / Say huh? / And nah, nah nah, nah nah nah nah ..." The latter song was just depressing, and likely shaped my views of human mortality.
But a month ago, his eccentricity reached a new limit, or nadir, with this business about despising pie he had never tried.
That is beyond eccentric. It's just plain wrong.
Ethan, I implore you -- I beg you -- to heed the words of Eleanor Roosevelt.
"You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face," she said, presumably before her death. "You must do the thing which you think you cannot do."
Try the friggin' pie.