Wednesday, June 29, 2011

brother gets mad at me for talking during commercials.

My father is in the television advertising business. This means I have grown up understanding things like Nielsen ratings and target audiences. I saw Michael's role with Hanes to be just as relevant as his place on the Bulls. It means I've gotten to reap benefits of free tickets and promotional stuffed animal Pillsbury doughboys and bobble head Lucky the Leprechauns. It even means I've gotten to be in a handful of local commercials myself. Unfortunately though, because of this, I can no longer enjoy television.

Since age 4, watching TV with my family means analyzing the balls off of every piece of sponsorship, product placement, and 30-second-spot on this Green earth. Since preschool, I could vomit out slogans and jingles on cue, and car trips involved games like making up cheesy jingles for local billboards we'd pass on the interstate. Someone tell me this is all normal.
Every morning I'd decide if I wanted Reese's for breakfast or one of Champions and my parents would drink their coffee that was good til the last drop. I remember At school, conversations were often initiated with something about "did you see the commercial where...?" and they'd go nowhere because (unless it was the morning after the Super Bowl) nobody else cared to the least about what was advertised. While some kids were busy answering questions that didn't matter like when Columbus sailed the ocean blue, I was pondering over how many licks it took to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop and What I would do for a Klondike Bar. Hell, I could keep going and going and going...

In my family of four, I am in the 3rd place spot for best remote user (though subject to change as my mother, 4th place, slowly but surely begins to understand the DVR), and I'm in first place for most talkative during a program. This latter ranking was not my fault, but my brother's.

In addition to the above two bullshit rankings, my brother has given me the superlative of "worst question answerer in the world."
I might have to plead guilty on that one. Look, I'm not the kind of person to beat around the bush in conversation. So to save time, I'll sometimes imply the true question one was intending to ask me and answer that, leaving the question-asker 1. confused and 2. not even receiving the information that they initially wanted. Here's an example: Last weekend, my parents went camping (sidenote: when you're going in an RV, and you have running water and electricity and mirrors and beds and a refrigerator, it really isn't camping anymore.) My brother was going to meet them at the campground later that night and texted me while I was at work when I'd be coming home. What I assumed is that he was wondering if I was also interested in meeting our parents at the campsite, so I replied that I was not going camping. In reality he just wanted to know when I was getting home.

My brother has an entire catalogue of examples similar to this one, and he seems to believe I should be getting 25 to life for them too.

So I've got this going against me. Tack on the fact that I'm too talkative to watch TV, I'm nearly blind and deaf and can't read any of the guide information, and that my remote control skills are wishy-washy if existent at all, and you've got yourself one hell of a person to watch TV with.

So after a long day at the office (aka my summer nannying job), I come home exhausted and hungry, and I begin to ask my brother a question. Actually, the question I was attempting to ask was inquiring what it was that he was watching. Apparently though, he was on his third attempt at rewinding a commercial to show my mom, and as if that's not weird in itself -the whole Mom!Get dooooowwn here!you've gotta see this commercial!thing- the next five minutes get even more irrational, from both parties. I get yelled at for talking while he's watching something, and out come the torches and pitchforks.

Tell me I'm not in the wrong for getting upset after a long day of work and wanting to ask my brother a question only to be punched in the stomach for it. Of course, I may have had a few too many words for him.

The funny thing is that arguing in my family is rare, and when it does happen it becomes a big joke (just like everything else). So after our thirty seconds of shouting at each other we realized how ridiculous we were being and just started laughing and making fun of ourselves.

I guess either I need to work on my question-answering skills and just learn to answer a question as it's asked, or I need to work on my future-telling skills because most of the time I'm wrong with my attempts at being helpful. I guess I just have a gift at talking and answering questions at the most inconvenient times. Maybe I'm born with it, maybe it's Maybelline.

*meanness of brother subject to overdramatization.