Tuesday, January 5, 2010

the bearer of unconditional things

I know this is really strange, but every once in a while I go to my brother's flicker site and go through his pictures--a virtual stalker, if you will. I have two brothers who don't speak to me, who I have not seen in over 20 years. My one brother doesn't speak to me just because (really!). My other brother who doesn't speak to me, basically cut the whole family off and I was just collateral damage thrown into the mix because he severed ties with them. Even though I did nothing to him except love him, I got cut off, too. I've spent a lifetime trying to process this. I cannot tell you how it feels to be erased like that from someone's life because there are no words. I never talk about it to anyone because I don't know what to say. I know that a lot of my childhood years have been forgotten because of this.

I cannot remember so many things. My sister will ask me if I remember this or that and I have to tell her no. I try to remember, but I can't. I was literally erased from their lives, then I think my mind erased most things connected to them. I do remember my older brother being a know-it-all and I remember him playing the Elvis Costello song "Alison" over and over and over again. I remember this about my little brother: When he first started school, he cried and cried, and could not be consoled, so I would stand in line with him to take him to his class in the morning so that he would feel safe and stop all that crying. I have never been able to stand seeing little kids cry.

Anyway, this wasn't meant to be a trip down memory lane where I get all weepy over lost relationships because I'm at peace with my life at this point. What I wanted to write was that as I was going through my brother's Christmas flicker pictures, I noticed something weird. There were pictures of the inside of his house decorated for the holidays and what I noticed is that both my sister and my brother have almost 100% copied the way my parents furnish and decorate their home. They all have open beams on their ceilings. They have the same type of rug in the family room. Their kitchens are set up in identical ways. Their wooden tables all have a sheet of glass on top and a white doily runner between the wood and the glass. There are built in bookshelves in the family room of all their homes. Their fireplace mantles are adorned in similar fashions. When my parents started to collect a certain kind of expensive pottery, my sister went out and bought a ton of it herself. My mother has an extensive collection of Hummels and I noticed that my sister started collecting them as well. They all have the same type of curtains in the windows, too. Let me be clear, their homes are beautiful. But it's like this weird copycatville where they all seem compelled to be carbon copies of each other. I wonder what they think about when they visit each other. I'm guessing they think what good taste they all have since they all have the exact same taste.

I'm trying to figure out what this means because I think there has to be some reason why they both felt the need to replicate our parents home inside their own homes. I think it might have something to do with needing my parents approval and knowing that they would have it if they copied them. What else could it be? There's no hint of originality in either home that screams, THIS IS ME, I AM DIFFERENT FROM YOU.

I guess I just find it fascinating to know that there isn't anything in my home that resembles their homes. If I never moved away, I wonder if my home would mimic theirs. I wonder if I would reside in copycatville as well due to the pressure of living in the same area, or if I would have the courage to be the me that is different from them that I feel free to be because I am so far away.