I still remember standing in my kitchen with a look of awe when my mom told me my brother was dating you. It was the same look I wore less than two years later when she told me he was going to propose.
I was a freshman in high school when you were a senior. You were cool, and I wasn’t. You were talkative, and I was quiet. But there was no question that you and my brother shared a unique bond that never quite went anywhere. Maybe you always loved each other, and it never had an opportunity to manifest. Maybe timing really is everything. Either way, I approved.
I knew it was serious when he went to Barnes & Noble with you and actually brought a book home. I’m not sure if he ever read that book, but he gave you permission to force it upon him nonetheless. I also knew it was serious when he laughed at all your jokes and looked at you like you were a football game and his team was winning. And the day he married you (well, publicly) was one of the best days of my life. I’ve always been inspired by the prospect of people actually getting married in a culture where it seems like no one really wants to anymore. So watching my own brother get married after years was truly inspiring.
1. Thank you for staying in touch with me on a regular basis, even though I kind of suck at doing the same. I can count the people who frequently reach out to see how I’m doing on one hand, and you’re one of them.
2. Thank you for taking an obnoxious amount of pictures. I know I complain sometimes, but I’ll deeply appreciate them later.
3. Thank you for being a writer. I got such an earful when I first began my journey as a self-employed writer, and my brother was no exception. I don’t think he thought it was a real job. I don’t think he understood what I was trying to accomplish. Then he started dating you, and I literally never heard another word about it. Not a peep.
4. Thank you for helping me realize that I don’t have to move to a major city to be successful. You’ve published three books and counting, and you still get to live in a town that a bunch of people have never heard of – your family and friends within easy reach. Existential crisis #784 solved.
5. Thank you for introducing me to Harper’s Island and Lost (okay…and Tremors).
6. Thank you for asking me to dance at your wedding, before my brother’s charmingly drunk friend did.
7. Thank you for having so many cats. I’ve always had dogs, so cats are weirdly entertaining to me.
8. Thank you for letting me bitch about heartbreak. And about anxiety, and the general growing pains of being a young adult who isn’t very good at adulting.
9. Thank you for confiding in me about things you don’t normally tell people. It makes it morally and emotionally okay for me to confide in you about things I don’t normally tell people.
10. Thank you for being excited about things. And for telling stories the way you tell stories with all the hand motions and facial expressions and stuff.
11. Thank you for writing books. I read books, so it works out nicely.
12. Thank you for listening. And for all the long and nerdy conversations we’ve had.
13. Thank you for fulfilling my lifelong dream of having a sister. We look nothing alike, but beggars can’t be choosers.