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Studio City Then and Now-Why Do Brothers Make Our Lives So Hard?

If you grew up with brothers, sometimes they were such a pain!

I’ve got three brothers. That made for a great game of touch football on Pacoima Court, but growing up in a puny 1200 square foot home with 1.5 bathrooms? Now that was tough.

Don’t get me wrong. I’ve always loved my brothers. They were around when there was no father in the house, taking out the trash, and watching over the family like an Italian mob.  When they were home, sometimes my dates were scrutinized, and my brothers would often give me a few choice words of wisdom when I needed advice.

One of my brother’s friends even confessed that my mom asked him and my brother Jack to follow us to the Queen Mary on Ventura Blvd. so we wouldn’t get in trouble with the transvestites.  Now that’s protection!

But sometimes, brothers were simply a pain. As any female can attest, brothers could make things simply miserable because, well, they were BOYS.

I know this because our male cat does the same thing to his two feline sisters. He loves to pin them down and bite their necks. He’s truly a bully.

My brothers didn’t bite my neck, but I do remember them pinning me on the floor and dangling a loogie over my head, and laughing as it dripped down onto my face.  I guess it was some warped expression of love, but honestly, is that any way to treat a lady?

Often, when Teresa and I were taking a shower, one of my brothers would always come into the bathroom, and either flush the toilet so the shower water would get cold, or they’d dump a cold glass of water over the shower curtain and delight in our blood-curdling screams.

When I was about 12, my brother Jim made fun of my budding breasts, wondering why I wasn’t wearing a training bra.  All his buddies started laughing at me. What a way to start my life as a teenager. As I got older, he used to snap my bra. Now that was fun…

The refrigerator was always fair game to any of my brothers.  Growing boys are always famished, and I remember them hogging all the food, and inhaling the contents of the refrigerator like a herd of locusts.

They were always trying to steal stuff off my dinner plate when I wasn’t looking. If I didn’t chow down quickly, my food would mysteriously vanish, except for the peas, which no one seemed to want.

My oldest brother Hal gave us our first driving lesson.  Now that was cool! He was driving a Porsche at the time, and upon occasion, he’d place Teresa and I on his lap, and let us steer. Hal was also great about picking us up at the bus stop when we’d come home from college.  He truly had heart.

My brother Jim was always the most patient team captain when we’d play touch football on Pacoima Court. Calmly, he instruct us to go long, cut left, drop back for a lateral, or plow through the front line and head for the manhole at the end of the street to try and score a touchdown.  I never remember him getting angry that we dropped the ball.

Jack was the charmer, always trying to get us to do his dirty work. When he’d kick a ball into a neighbor’s yard, suddenly he had someplace to go, and we’d have to retrieve the balls ourselves.  Thanks Jack!

But despite their shortcomings, I loved my brothers anyway, and I still cherish those times when they were around, and we could all share in these memories.

What were your brothers like, and what did they do to you?

teresa mcgrath October 03, 2012 at 01:48 PM
nice article mary....the torture from the brothers is a rite of passage for any family growing up in the '50's...the loogies, the pinching, the cold water shower....i threw a knife at jack's head in the living room to retaliate for something....in jack's defense, he did a lot of chores around the house too, dishes, yardwork, and fixing the family car...jim lent me his triumph to go to the beach, and hal picked me up in oakland when a living situation with a lover then work out...the most poignant moment was when jack paid for a plane ride on a little beechcraft bonanza with him and his buddy, when i gained some weight after being ill in the hospital off and on for 2 years...that was so generous jack, and the ride was amazing...thx.....the brothers will always protect, as mary pointed out....didn't know about the queen mary tail...love you brothers, and hal, r.i.p.
Mary McGrath October 03, 2012 at 03:54 PM
Oh, I wasn't aware of these stories Teresa...What a nice thing for Jack to do after you were so ill...Again, thanks for filling in the cracks...So fun growing up in a large family, even though money was very tight...We still had lots of fun...
teresa mcgrath October 03, 2012 at 03:56 PM
what friend of the boys protected us at the queen mary? do you recall?

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