July 28, 2010


Growing up, my sister always had an innate proclivity for low to moderate levels of rebellion. The occasional cigarette, a fake i.d., a tattoo here or there, etc. This nature played itself out in her dating life. The southern, truck driving, farmer guy was a deliberate contradiction to her high society upbringing in Palm Beach.

The ultra religious youth group leader was her way saying "Screw you. You can't predict me" to all who thought they had her pegged.

Then came the fun-loving, fraternity, homecoming king who...well, he was actually a pretty predictable selection.

(Drawing hats clearly posed a challenge for me.)

When it came time for her to choose a husband, she outdid herself once again by bringing my brother-in-law (or B.I.L. as I like to call him) into our lives.

My first encounter with this strange and wondrous enigma appropriately set the scene for how he would rock our little family's world. I had flown to South Florida for Easter to meet up with my parents, sister, and her new fiance. We all met at her apartment before driving to dinner. B.I.L. said hello as if he didn't care.

This, coupled with his visible tattoos and his mouthful of dip made me know that the events that were about to transpire were going to be good. I was not disappointed. What happened next would define B.I.L's role in our lives forever.

My mom and I were assigned to ride with him to the restaurant while my father and sister would ride in another car. Soon into the drive, a car cut us off. Well, B.I.L. would have none of that. He forced that car right off the road and did this:

I looked over at my mom and saw this:

It was like watching a firework, soaring up into the night sky only to explode forever in a blaze of glory and self destruction. Right then and there I prayed this relationship would last.

I don't mean to give the impression that it was all smooth sailing between me and B.I.L. I was a little concerned when I saw this:

Then there was the time B.I.L wasn't so happy with me. He was teaching me how to play the most awesome video game, "Left 4 Dead." I am terrible at video games, so he kept looking back and forth between split screens to maneuver his own character while also giving me advice for what to do with mine. You know, for maximum zombie fragging. This resulted in two days worth of vertigo and this:

I tried to make it up to B.I.L. by helping him with some yard work at the house. B.I.L. got a little distracted when he found some extra gasoline for the hedge trimmer. He poured it out on the drive, yelled to me, "watch this!," lit a match, and then danced around the gas fire. It didn't really end well for B.I.L.
Though it's fun to point out all the bad-to-the-bone characteristics of B.I.L., I must concede that he is an awesome guy. He's a great husband, father, friend, and of course, B.I.L. And he's hilarious, into sci fi, and rents jet skis.

All in all, B.I.L. has been an excellent addition to our family. What I admire most is his life philosophy:

There's just so much to learn from B.I.L.


Camille said...

I love your B.I.L. I especially loved the fact that he ran someone off the road! impressive.

ansmith said...

Really love the hat AND the painting of your mom!

Rachel Andoga said...

You might not be good at hats, but you did produce a pretty passable tea kettle!

Glynnis said...

"Hello or whatever." Haha!