The first thing you should know about my brother is that his name isn’t Porter. And the only place I will refer to him by that name is here.
The second thing is that he is incredibly messy. I think we both got the gene of where, if we can’t do something perfectly, we would just rather not do it – it just manifests itself in different ways. He’s messy and I’d rather not blow-dry my hair every morning because, really, what’s the point?
The third thing is that we’re pretty close. I think it makes some people crazy (mom and dad, I’m looking at you. Oh, and Wes, too) but we have a blast. We talk a lot and I if I hear a funny joke or see something funny he’s usally the first person I call because I know he’ll understand it without me having to explain why Hot Topic with a fancy Hollister-like facade is funny.
And that’s the background you need on my brother for just about any story I tell about him. Oh, he’s also incredibly smart.
While Wes and I were in Boise for Thanksgiving Porter and his friend were hosting a Progressive party (where the party progresses to different locations throughout the night) with a Mad Men theme. Stoked as I was about attending this party, I didn’t have a thing to wear. Sure there were dresses, but my god, it’s cold in Boise. Not if you live there – or in any other cold weather state – the weather was closer to early October than late November, but for someone living in Southern California, there was no way a dress would work for the party. Instead we opted for a more beatnik approach, which was pretty pathetic attempt to fit the theme and had me stressing out wondering if I should spend $80 on a wrap I would probably never wear again.
And I would have, too, if I hadn’t spotted some fantastic sixties style aprons. And for less than $15 I went from trying-to-be-beatnik-and-failing to sixties housewife. For a last minute wardrobe change, it was pretty good.
I joined the party late after having dinner with a couple of friends and met up with everyone at the house of Porter’s friend’s parents (follow that?). And, oh what a house that was. I kept looking around and saying to myself, I cannot believe someone actually decorated it like this on purpose. I was sure that Porter and his friends had come over and set up all the Christmas decorations, but I was assured that no, this is how it looks every year for Christmas. I wish I had taken more pictures to show exactly what it looked like.
The thing that stands out the most – because it always looks like this – is the purple bathroom. Not lavender or lilac; bright purple. And not just highlights of it, or a strip or polka dots. Every wall in the bathroom was painted purple. Like being surrounded by Barney while you pee. I mean, I guess that might be someone’s fetish but it certainly isn’t mine.
The common areas in the house that we occupied were covered in Christmas decorations. And not just any Christmas decorations but churchy Christmas decorations (I mean, I guess it is a religious holiday). It’s a smaller home that hasn’t been updated since the 80s but with all the decorations it felt more like the 50s and was the perfect place to start such a party.
The hors d’ouvers were Ritz crackers and cheese. The drinks were champagne and martinis and I fit in perfectly with my apron.
From there we all caravaned to a dive bar, and what you need to remember is this: in Idaho, it’s legal to smoke in bars. Legal. To. Smoke. In. Bars. (Tangent: Porter once worked in a restaurant in Pocatello where parents, while eating with their children, would opt for the bar area so they could smoke while they ate.) The highlight of this venue was the woman who had a tattoo of NIN (if that first N were backwards) on her lower back. That’s right, her tramp stamp wast he Nine Inch Nails logo.
Our last stop was Porter’s house, where a team of four (or three, I can’t remember) was cleaning all day to get the place presentable for the masses and where there was also a roast waiting for us. And some of the most delicious coffee cake I have ever had. More champagne, more beer more people getting drunk loudly while we played Trivial Pursuit Go.
After drinking way too much the night before during the BSU game, I took it easy on the alcohol and actually got to enjoy the evening.
And that was Progressive Party, which made me a little jealous because I could never do that sort of thing here what with all the space between houses. And a little homesick for, well, home. Living far from family has its advantages, but it also means that you live far from your family and don’t get to partake in the little things that happen. There’s no going to my brother’s house for a fun game of Trivial Pursuit or to watch a game. No meeting for lunch just because. We can’t just pop in to see Wes’ new niece.
No, we have to take what we can get when we can get it. So I’ll say yes to whatever thing Porter has planned when I’m home and I’ll have lunch with my parents and just hang out with them becuase it doesn’t happen that often.