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The Truth About the Fact: An International Journal of Literary Nonfiction

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The Truth About the Fact: A Journal of Literary Nonfiction is an international journal committed to the idea that excellence in the art of letters can play a vital role in transforming the planet we share.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Little Bouey

Middle school and high school were very awkward times for me. I experienced huge changes in academics, friendships and romance. While I knew I was not alone in this regard, it did not make it any less of a long, uncomfortable transition into the adult life. I certainly look back on this time and cringe at embarrassing and immature behavior. My 16-year-old brother, Adam, on the other hand, embraces the strange parts about him, managing to make him even more confident.

For example, when he was in the 8th grade he came with my mom, my sister and me to see Mamma Mia! in theatres. It may strike you the rarity of a teenage boy even going to see the film with his female relatives, but I was even more shocked to find him a couple hours later, getting ready for football practice as he sang, “Mamma Mia, here I go again. My, my, how can I resist you” I shouldn’t have been surprised: he felt happy and was not afraid to show it.

A benefit of such self-assurance was that the ladies did not hesitate to flock to my brother. I heard about several of his girlfriends in middle school before he declared, “I’m done with middle school girls.” He explained that he was having difficulty finding girls cute when they never stopped giggling. Unfortunately, he found that many girls continue this behavior well through high school.

About a year ago, he was feeling pretty good about a potential love interest. She proposed the concept of being “friends with benefits” to him because she didn’t want to be in a relationship. 15 years old, I remind you. While this is a dream come true for many men, in high school as well as college, Adam rejected the offer because he wanted the relationship. 15 years old!

Over the summer, my family went on a cruise in the Mediterranean. While my older siblings and I timidly kept to ourselves for the most part, Adam walked around the ship for two full days trying to connect with kids his age. When he finally did, we saw him walking around with a mix of boys and girls. Being older siblings, we naturally harassed him every night when he returned to the room, “So, you get any boob?” His response was always an apathetic “No.” Yet back in Verona he grabbed the breast of the bronze statue of Juliet for a photo opportunity. He laughs at himself.

When I was visiting home for Spring break, there was one night that we had a family dinner. Adam was absent, however, for a birthday party. When he returned, we asked him how it was and he said, “It was fun. No boob,” before he began to brag about his skills on the dance floor. And he had every right to brag. He managed to pull off some of the goofiest dance moves you can imagine with no shame. He also played up some seduction by performing the rope and lasso move on a girl who was sitting in a chair a few feet away. When he threw the imaginary lasso around her, he swept his foot around and hooked it under the chair so he pulled her closer as he was pretending to pull the lasso. His unsuspecting prey was speechless for a few seconds before she noticed and laughed with the surrounding audience.

I wonder on a regular basis how my little brother is so much more natural in the field of romance than any of his siblings. I like to think he has observed and learned from our victories and defeats, but it’s essentially who he is. I would love to be a strong role model for Adam, but it is difficult to set an example for the people you often find yourself looking up to.

-Colleen Bouey


Anonymous Sean McEvoy said...

What a great story. Little siblings are so strange, I always think of my little brother as being so like me and yet so unlike me. I like how you are able to appreciate your brother's maturity and openness, it seems like he learned a lot from you.

March 16, 2011 at 6:24 PM  

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