The things you do for love

This weekend I had an opportunity to have a nice little chat with my baby brother’s new “girlfriend” as she sat huddled in a corner booth at a local restaurant.

I would have never even known she was there if my brother hadn’t sought me out to tell me.  So, technically, anything that happened after that point is his fault.  Really.  I cannot be held responsible (or, for the record, legally liable).

Anyways, I position myself across from this little would-be tart.

Me: “Do you know who I am?”

Her: “Um…. no…”

*school girl giggling

Me: “Seriously?  You’ve never heard of me?  You’ve never heard of his overbearing, protective big sister?”

She shakes her head again, at which point the sidekick beside her pipes up to inform us all that she has most definitely “heard” of me.  That would explain all the sidekick’s nervous fidgeting.

I proceeded to “introduce” myself.  I laid out the ground rules.  I calmly explained to her that she was not, under any circumstances, to hurt my brother’s feelings.  I elaborated for her by detailing what fates past girlfriends had met with, and hinting at what it might be like to wake up one morning and find every pair of jeans you own now crotchless, leaving you with an uneasy feeling as you tried to figure out who had been in your room while you slept.

Me: “You will not make my brother cry.  Period.  Nor will you fuck up his senior year of wrestling with childish mind games that you girls like to play.  If you have a problem with him, you better bite your little tongue until the season is over.  No pouting, no flirting, no asking him why he doesn’t talk to you right before he wrestles.  And once the season is over, should you decide that you are no longer good enough for him, you better be upfront and honest with him.  And do not – for any reason – make him cry.”

She responded with lots of nodding and more giggling.  I could tell she was working very hard at acting like this was no big deal and she could totally handle the bullying of an older sibling.  She’s got moxy, this one.

Me: “I’m not laughing.  Nor am I joking – not even a little.  Oh – and that thing about me running girls over with my car?  That’s not exactly true.  I haven’t run anyone over with my car. Yet.”

Her eyes bulged, almost imperceptibly, as her giggles briefly turned to nervous twitters before she quickly regained her composure.

My brother finally lifted his head out of his hands and looked at me pleadingly, “Britt – are you done yet?”

I leveled my gaze at her.  Strong, steady, very Godfather-esque.  “I don’t know – are we done here?”

And she nodded, deliberately, and we both knew that a contract had just been sealed.

I smiled, the sticky sweet smile of someone who is homicidally polite, and offered her my hand to shake.

“It was lovely to meet you,” I gushed.

I turned and flounced back to my party.  After about a two minute marinade time, I sent my husband over to the table to play “good cop” – or, “not crazy relative” as it may be.  Just as instructed, he was polite and charming and completely non-threatening.  I’m completely OK with some young chickadee thinking I might be crazy.  But my brother does have a reputation to uphold.

It hasn’t been that long since I was in high school.

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