Sunday, August 05, 2007

Oh Brother, there thou art

Growing up without any brothers, I probably missed out on many things, most of them bruises. Luckily, my older sister Amy was there to pick up the slack, and as a bonus she spent the majority of her teenage years wearing down my parents’ resolve, thereby ensuring my birthright as the youngest child: relaxed disciplinary standards. This was the greatest gift she could have ever given me, and it made up entirely for her weakness in the hand-me-down department. While I appreciated the Violent Femmes and Hooters tapes she passed along, her blouses never did quite fit me right.

Last weekend, though, when my sister-in-law Jill got married, I came within a technicality’s breadth of picking up my first brother. Actually, I was pretty sure that Kris and I were officially brothers-in-law until I consulted stupid Wikipedia, which informed me that the term brother-in-law “is often misapplied to the husband of a person's sister-in-law.” Whatever, Wikipedia, you home wrecker. Who says, “brother-in-law by marriage,” anyway? That’s just lame.

So I’m still going to count it. Now that I have a little brother, I should probably do something big brotherly, like kick him out of my room or give him some nudie magazines from 1983.

Before their wedding, Kris asked some of his musically inclined friends to write a song to be performed during the reception. After he began to worry about what his friends were going to sing about him in front of his new mother-in-law, who, from what I’m told, can knock a raccoon off a trash can with her Evil Eye, he had them run the lyrics by me, which just goes to show you how hard up Kris is for a voice of reason. Kris’ friends actually showed remarkable forbearance, writing an original tune that was not nearly as innuendo-laden as Kris had feared. If you’re so inclined, you can watch the world premier of “Daddy Met Mommy on Spring Break” by searching for it on YouTube.

Kris and Jill really did meet over spring break, proving that true love can be found on or about the beer pong table. Their mutual friend’s car broke down on the way to North Carolina, stranding Kris and their buddy at Jill’s sorority house in Virginia, turning a one-night stopover into a bride-snagging extravaganza. What kind of luck is that? I’ve never had a car that had the good sense to break down at a sorority house. Mine usually wait to putter and die until I’m driving after midnight in Dueling Banjos territory.

Fortunately, being the good brother that he is, Kris asked me to be a groomsman, so I didn’t even have to dress myself for the wedding. Bridesmaids have to worry about coordinating shoes and hair and whether or not they can reach a chest size consensus to properly resolve the strap vs. no strap issue. All a groomsman has to do is call the tux rental place and tell them how tall and fat he is, and boom, he’s all set. Just add socks.

An important lesson that the other groomsman taught me is that it never gets old to call the groom “Groomzilla” in the hours before he gets married. Seriously, try it if you get the chance. A standard conversation would go something like this: “Hey Kris, can I take this beer out to the ceremony? I don’t want to leave a floater in the hotel room. No? Whatever you say, Groomzilla.”

Regardless, the world is now a better place that Jill and Kris are married, as they goad each other into becoming bigger hippies every day that they are together. Not only have they kept up the vegetarian thing for years now, but they buy organic cotton T-shirts and use vinegar in spray bottles instead of household cleanser because it’s not as abrasive to the environment. Also, vinegar tastes better on potato chips than Tilex.

You can measure Mike Todd’s inseam online at


  1. Congrats to Kris and Jill!

    Stupid Wikipedia..... lol! I've never heard it called that. I'm still in shock that the brother in law that I thought was mine is not.

  2. whoooooooooohooooooooooo I have less inlaws than I thought. That in my world is a very good thing. lmaoooooooo

  3. Sheri -- Thanks, dude! And he still counts. Screw Wikipedia.

    Burf -- Congratulations on the loss in your family.

  4. Here in India, I've heard the term 'co-brother' - for men who are married to two sisters (not their own sisters, one hopes)
    Which is a losuy term. It sounds like jail slang.

    But my co-brother is one of my best buddies and I'd never have learnt about Really Good Beer without him.


  5. Dude,

    This column sucked - it relied too much on being there to get some of the humor.

  6. J.A.P. -- Co-brother, huh? Dude, I feel more culturally literate already. I still haven't read the Kite Runner like everybody else, though.

    Anonymous -- Maybe if you were a nicer person, you would have gotten invited. Oh, SNAP!

  7. Love it. I laughed so hard I was crying. Oh and my groomzilla liked it too.

  8. Jill -- You rock! Hope you and Groomzilla are enjoying kickin' it married style.