It has been super interesting (in a really good way) to have my brother living with us for the past couple of months. Not only have Robert & I not lived together since we were teenagers...but for the majority of that time, we've lived in different states and had infrequent (as in, YEARS between) visits. As my mother can attest to, my siblings (we have an older sister) and I are all quite different. It's been fun to experience...and more importantly, talk openly about...the ways that my brother and I are alike & different. How did two kids who were raised in the same home, by the same parents, become such different adults? Examples...
California will always be home for me. Whether or not I ever return, I am forever a west coast girl. I get teary-eyed every single time I land in San Francisco, and teary-eyed every single time I leave. Robert doesn't identify with **California as home at all. We were both born there, and spent roughly the same amount of time there (he moved to OK a few years before I moved to VT). I wonder why it had such a lasting impact on me, and not on him? **important note - neither of us pine for Fresno.
I've been challenging Robert's eating habits. He only enjoys a few vegetables, and I'm a vegetarian (pescetarian, if you want to get technical). He loves bacon, and I love kale. Robert stopped drinking soda when he got here (yay!), and we remind each other to drink water. We drink about the same amount of coffee, although I'm a little pickier than he is.
Many of our conversations follow these patterns: Robert says "hey, you oughta...." and I respond with 27 reasons why that's a bad idea, or with an example of someone who has already done it. Or, I say "hey, you oughta...." and he responds with "Yes, but I'm lazy." We both procrastinate, and are better about following assignments than generating ideas.
I am mostly/always/often concerned with what other people think - sometimes in a compassionate/positive way, sometimes in a self-conscious/destructive way, sometimes in a validation/self-improvement way. Robert? He really doesn't give a sh*t if you disagree/dislike him. That's not to say that he's a jerk - he's just really & truly a "you do your thing, I'll do mine" guy.
Another common conversation - Robert says "Have you seen?...", I interrupt and answer "No." He is well-versed in movies, and watches more TV shows that I ever have. He's surviving my lack of cable by supplementing with Netflix, and only teases me occasionally about watching Grey's & Scandal again and again (and again).
We share a lot of traits, but incorporate them into our lives differently. We're both fast learners. We're both writers, although Robert needs to get out of his own way and BLOG (written in my bossy older sister voice). Interestingly, we both like design & paper - I scrapbook, he obsesses about Field Notes. We share a certain level of cynicism & skepticism about religion, and he is open-minded about my interest in Buddhism and more new age-y thinking (for lack of a better term).
The only truly divisive issue that we've encountered during his stay? He rejects the fact that Cherry Garcia is the best Ben & Jerry's flavor EVER. Who raised that boy???