I was pondering, a few weeks ago, how great my relationship with Blake is, how he respects me and treats me as equal in every way, and I wondered when and how I developed an intolerance for men who behave any differently. I cannot and do not abide any kind of sexist comments or behaviour, and I think that's partially why I have such a good relationship with Blake; because I would not give him the time of day if he weren't the kind of man who treats women as equal.
But where does my insistance on respect come from, I wondered? Definitely not from my parents' relationship, which is really just kind of weird. Then I realized it was from my relationship with my brother. When we were growing up Dave and I were best friends; in each others' pockets, confidantes and pals, and Dave never ever suggested I was less capable, less intelligent, less anything because I was a girl. I don't think it even occurred to him; he always had female friends and he's one of those men who simply treats women as human beings. That set the bar pretty high for every other man on the planet, and so while I don't have many male friends, the ones I do have are golden, because they have to pass the "Dave Brown Don't Treat Me Like A Idiot" test.
I was listening to my iPod Shuffle and it gave me "So Far Away From Me" by Dire Straits and it took me back to one of the happiest memories of my adolescence. I used to spend countless hours and countless evenings in my brother's room just hanging out; I played games on his computer, and I guess we must have talked, although I don't remember about what. I remember it as dark in his room, and warm, and full of that teenage boy funky smell which to this day I still rather like. We used to listen to Dire Straits and Elton John and The Eagles and Don Henley and Travelling Wilburys and all that old man music that Dave favoured at the time and has probably grown out of by now. (I haven't! Love me some old man music.) I don't remember how often I was in Dave's room or for how long, but looking back it seems like I was there all the time, just enjoying his company. How many teenage brothers and sisters can say they had a relationship like that?
So there are two things about my brother (known about these parts as Uncle Dave). It was his thirty-fourth birthday yesterday. Happy Birthday Dave!