BEFORE: ME AND MY BROTHER ON OUR BRAND-NEW TRICYCLES
You'd think we would be grateful. But one of us is clearly not ...
|AFTER: ME AND MY BROTHER ON OUR BRAND-NEW TRICYCLES|
And I'm happy now because I'm on HIS tricycle instead of mine.
Which might seem like a cop-out but in fact is a rare and precious glimpse into the making of a malevolent blogger. Such a creature does not just happen by accident, you guys. One is born into it. Blessed, as it were, with a vibrant ego, a firstborn's sense of entitlement and an innate bitchiness, all coddled to terrifying fruition by loving parents who think their kid is being cute when in fact she needs a good, swift, perfectly aimed kick in the arse. Which her younger brother will finally mete unto her on her sixteenth birthday in a way that will shock her senseless while at the same time teaching her to choose her victims carefully. ("Mother, where is Hollywood?" "Oh, it's far, far away, dear." "Perfect!")
I love that you can see all of this coming from these two photos, taken almost exactly 46 years ago to the day. Taken in the '60s, they show my younger brother and I on tricycles our parents had bought for us. There's so much going on here I scarcely know where to begin (although I could begin with the impossibility of my raven-haired Irish mother and bronzed Brazilian father somehow producing a blue-eyed blond child, or the fact that apparently it was perfectly acceptable to clothe one's offspring in a cardigan and leotards and call that "dressed"), but I think I'll begin with what everything begins with. Me.
Because get a load of my face in Picture One. I'm on my shiny new tricycle and my adorable little brother is on his. But he looks dimpled and equable, whereas as I look ... what would we call that look on my face? Truculent? Baleful? Bitchy? I vividly remember wanting to get my mitts on his tricycle for two reasons: white handlebars and just because. And so I whined, I wheedled, I crabbed ...
And then here we are in Picture Two, with me on my brother's tricycle and he on mine. He still looks dimpled and equable, whereas as I am positively glowing with the heady satisfaction of having bitched everyone around me into submission. They might as well have put the keyboard in my hands right there and then and said, "We'll call it Whorrified. Go on now, just be you ..."