Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Unwritten Rule

Just the other day I was invited to attend a lunch with my friend and her mother. Walking into the Applebee’s the only thing on my mind was the dish I had been craving. A basket of chicken tenders and fry’s. To my dissatisfaction I found that someone at the table had already ordered this meal which, by the unwritten rules, meant that I may not order it.
No one knows when this rule was initiated, or even who was the first to decide it. None of that mattered to me as I scrambled to find the next item I wanted, it was just the rule. I will admit, at that time I had been unprepared with my next four choices like I used to be in family gatherings. Being the fifth child, the fifth best menu item became the dish I would be ordering. The last couple years had been wonderful; going out to eat with only brother number 6 meant that I got the best item. Now, with the family back at home, and a wedding rehearsal dinner this week, I must begin to prepare my top five choices.
I will not post this list in fear of a brother intentionally stealing my top choice. I may only keep my fingers crossed; my eyes closed, and listen carefully for my favorite dish. I hope you wish me the best of luck.

The Unwritten Rule
You may not order the same dish as a member of you party unless your party is more than 10 people. Drinks and desserts do not apply. You may not call dishes; the direction in which the waiter takes orders decides who may choose their dish first.

Any changes on this rule? Leave a comment!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

In the Shadows

I woke up this morning at the crack of dawn. Like a good fifth brother would, I decided that I would volunteer my time to help son number 4. My mission was to help him set up for a certain event that he would be hosting. It started at a time I believed to be ungodly on a summer Saturday morning. So with a cheery face I rolled out of my four time hand me down bed and headed to grab a pair of two time hand me down shorts. Then, I happily plopped down onto the triple handed down couch to put on the socks i bought last week. The 16 pack was already down to two pairs. The others had been lost to brothers.
I quickly grabbed a handed down shirt and jog up the steps, being careful to avoid eye contact with the shadow I now live in. Lining the steps, one will find the unspoken expectation of rows of medals, ribbons, trophies, and plaques. All of which have a war story that I watched with my own eyes. Whether it be the race brother number 2 lost a runner up medal because the anchor had a temper. Or the race which #4 first ran at state, even when brother 1 ran without a shoe; whatever the story, I know it. My only hope is to make the shadow that much bigger for son number 6. I only wish my strides brought me a step ahead of the thick shadow my very successful brothers built up for me to work to climb over. An expectation may hurt some, but I must thank the makers of mine, because it helped me to work hard, only to be seen.

Friday, June 10, 2011

I am Number 5

With the days of summer, graduations, and weddings upon us people will find their families complete. For some that may be one or two wonderfully perfect children, for my family it is six very different men. Of course I will give in and admit that the first week was a blast. Filled with catching up, laughing, and many pictures, but I soon remembered my place in the pecking order. I am the fifth to get food. I am the 5th to pick their spot on movie night. I am number five in line on sleeping arrangements, and the fifth one to be listened to. Now this can be argued that I actually hold the sixth spot in some of these orders considering the special attention the baby of the family receives (number 6). But with it all said and done, I am number 5.
I have seen four siblings try their cards in life. I have seen four different paths, four different views, and four different opinions on what I should do with my own. Of course, my loving parents support every step I take, but knowing in the back of their minds what will probably happen. They know this only because of my four preceding brothers. Am I at an advantage knowing the paths of the four older ones? Well, that question will be answered by where I am in ten years.
I am the 5th one to graduate from high school. I may be the fifth one married. I have the fifth most important opinion, and the 5th best stories. I am an all around fifth best. I am the number 5.