This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on December 25, 2005 10:40 PM. The previous post in this blog was Merry Christmas. The next post in this blog is On the Feast of Stephen. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Sunday, December 25, 2005

Two of everything

My brother is 15 months younger than I. Like many siblings close in age and of the same gender, we bickered constantly about belongings. This went on for the better part of 20 years, as we shared a bedroom the whole time.

By the time we reached the ages of 4 and 5, my parents figured out that a good way to keep the peace was to have two of everything. Two cowboy holsters with matching cap pistols. Two sets of shoulder pads for football. Two baseball uniforms. Two cash register banks to save up for the annual trip down the shore.

It might have been the year we were 6 and 7. We had been physically duking it out a fair amount -- so much so that we each got two lumps of coal at the bottom of our Christmas stocking instead of the usual one each. Since the four-plex we lived in was heated by coal -- four separate coal furnaces, one for each apartment -- it was easy for Santa to find a few pieces to stick in the stockings, just under the tangerines.

Given our propensity for fisticuffs, our parents decided one year to buy us a punching bag and boxing gloves for Christmas. They figured we could take out our frustrations on the bag, instead of on each other. And to prevent squabbling over the gloves, of course, they bought two pairs.

The punching bag was fun. We each hit it a couple of times. We were taking turns.

Until one of us decided to take an extra turn without the other's permission.

Whereupon many blows were struck, but none of them on the punching bag. I will never forget that on the morning of December 26, the bag and the gloves were stored away deep in the cellar, next to the coal bins. We never saw them again.

Comments (2)

This is starting to get eerie. I was also born in 1954 (in April), and I was also raised Catholic. And yes, I was an altar boy, too. So knowing that my brother is actually several years younger, instead of 15 months, was somewhat of a relief.

I was also born in 1954. My brother is 13 months older. We too were Catholics and alter boys.
Bickered too.
A younger brother and older and younger sisters spread it out though.
And we never liked anyone else picking on any of us.
The battery was family only.

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