My Brother, The Show-Off

Probably my biggest pet peeve about my younger brother, Pete, is the fact that he is an over-achiever. Don’t get me wrong, my brother is great, but when it comes to a lot of things, he can be a real show off. You know the type of person that corrects your grammar, reads for “fun” and suggests that he come pick you up at your house because he “owns a car.” Yeah, well that annoying guy is my brother.


Of course, it was the worst when we were kids and lived together. Everything was a competition to him. For example, when I was 14 and he was 10, I drew a picture of our family and gave it to my parents. So, he went right off and drew an even better picture of the family – one that actually looked like people, and not a bunch of random crayon scribbles. Also, he wrote “family” under the picture, instead of “famlee.”

And it wasn’t just art or speling that he had to show off with. When eating, he really went out of his way to make sure that each bite of food made it into his mouth on the very first try. And once the food was in there, it would almost never fall back out and onto his lap, no matter how many times he chewed before swallowing.

I guess some people think that type of thing is impressive. But to me – and most people, I think – that sort of thing just smacks of desperation. I mean, sure, I could take the lid off of my sippy cup and just drink straight from the edge of the cup if I WANTED to, but really, I don’t feel the need to show off like that.

Doesn’t he realize that it’s normal for people to misspell the occasional word? Or have trouble eating with a fork? Or wear Velcro shoes because it’s easier than learning how to tie shoe laces?

And believe me, I’ve told him numerous times, “you’d probably have more fun if you stopped putting so much pressure on yourself.” But, of course, he just feels the need to point out that the word “probably” isn’t pronounced “prob-ob-ally.”

I suppose things are better now that we’re all growed up and don’t live under the same roof anymore. But still, whenever we get together it’s the same old thing. Sometimes, I’ll try to call him out on it, but it never works.

Like last week, I went over to Pete’s, and he’s talking to everyone like I don’t know what he’s doing. And everyone’s looking at me all weird, like they want me to say something about it. So, finally I pipe up and say, “Oh wow, look everyone, Pete buttoned all of the buttons on his dress shirt today! And, look, he didn’t forget to wear his pants, either. Wow – he is SO cool! And also, he’s prob-ob-ably not even wearing a diaper underneath.”

I mean, if it were me, and I were throwing my daughter a high school graduation party, I don’t think I would try to STEAL the spotlight from her by doing all of that.

But apparently, that’s just me because Pete and all of his perfect, over-achieving friends asked me to leave. Which was fine, because I really didn’t want to hear them talk about how they “have jobs” and know “how to read a non-digital clock” all night long.

Anyway, as you can see my brother has some flaws, but like I said earlier, overall he’s pretty great. I mean, sure he’s kind of a show off, but I know he loves me. How do I know? Because when I forget how to breathe, he always tells me to open my mouth in inhale before I choke to death.


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