sibling rivalry

On Monday, I saw an interview with the Baltimore Raven’s head coach, John Harbough. For those of you who only watch the Super Bowl for an excuse to eat hot wings and queso dip, John’s brother, Jim Harbough, is the head coach for the San Fransisco 49ers. So, the Super Bowl pitted the two siblings against each other.

John was asked if the triumph over his brother would make for much razzing at family dinners.  John insisted that he would never do that, claiming it was best to just move on.  He complimented his brother’s coaching talent and went on and on about his respect for San Fransisco’s program.

I beat my brother at Monopoly in 1982, and I am happy to remind him of this victory every Thanksgiving.  If I beat my brother in the fricken’ SUPER BOWL, I would have t-shirts made.  The shirts would have a photo of me on the front holding the Vince Lombardi trophy and a photo of my brother on the back, crying like a baby.  The caption would read my sister kicked my ass.

My brother is two years older than me, and I spent my school years being compared to him.  My brother was smart, athletic, and popular.  In turn, I was awkward and uncoordinated.  “Are you Neil’s little sister?”  was a question I received with alarming frequency.

When my brother turned 18, I had a t-shirt made for him.  The shirt said Katie’s brother.  Despite the years we spent antagonizing each other, I will love my brother forever for his one simple gesture; he wore the shirt to school.

Neil's birthday, 1984

Neil’s birthday, 1984. Notice the watermelon on the sofa next to him. For his 18th birthday he received a t-shirt and a watermelon. If my son got a watermelon as a birthday gift, he would pack up his xbox and move in with our neighbors.