Sometimes, my brother and I are sooo different. What we think, how we act, what we like, what we do. Of course, most of our differences can easily be explained by the simple fact of gender-- you know, the old "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus" thing.
For example, while I would be just smitten to receive a brand new kit of makeup brushes, my brother would be overjoyed to get a shiny new set of ... tools.
Well, that last part is exactly what happened today.
Today was-- and still is for another half hour or so-- my little brother's birthday. (Though, as you can tell by the photo, he's not so little.) Every December, Patrick catches up to me. See, we are a year and nine months apart. Most of the time, our ages appear to be separated by two years. But on December 14 he narrows the gap. I'm 25 and today, Patrick turned the big 2-4.
(He, like me, has started to realize that anything after the "big 2-1" is really not all that exciting anymore.)
My brother is impossibly hard to buy for-- he either won't tell you what he wants or he will list a bunch of gun-related paraphernalia that is way out of my price range or comprehension-- and that frustrating fact is only compounded because of his birthday's proximity to Christmas. Not only do I have to come up with one fabulous birthday gift, a mere 10 days later I have to deliver another smile-eliciting, thrill-inducing present.
Well, I am proud to say that this year, I have done good-- so far.
Taking my father's advice, I bought for my brother a 24-piece 3/8 in. drive ratchet and socket set by Kobalt that comes in a handy blue storage case. Turns out my brother is always borrowing my dad's set to work on his car, so he was in need of his own.
(Let me just mention here that when I went to Lowe's to purchase said case, I was looking ultra-girly and wearing heels. I thought for sure some store employee would catch one glimpse of the wide-eyed blonde scouring the tool aisle, take pity on me and rush to my aid. No such luck. I know we live in the 21st century but really, I'm not afraid to admit it: I know nothing of tools. So next time Lowe's, help a girl out!)
I wasn't sure how the gift would go over since my brother is awfully hard to please but he ended up loving it! After peeling off the wrapping he immediately opened the case and started fiddling with the ratchet and trying out the sockets. He said it was "cool" and thanked me several times. I even got a hug! (And we're not a very huggy family. Yeah, I just made that word up.)
I was tickled pink that he truly liked the gift and I know that the socket set will get far more use than the beer brewing kit I got him last year (for Christmas I believe). That "out of the box" gift-giving idea is still sitting, well, in the box.
So I guess there's just one thing left to say: Thank you, 24-piece 3/8 in. drive socket set. You brought a sister and a brother, who are often worlds apart, together, if only for a few moments. You even got us to hug.
Patrick and I, circa 2008. I obviously need to force him to take more photos.