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The Misadventures of Mrs. B: J is for Jason

Cook. Writer. Wife. Daughter. Sister. Friend. Klutz.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

J is for Jason

Jenny Matlock

I admit it: I started this post a week ago, because as soon as "I" was out of the way, I could hardly wait to get to "J".  J stands for, well, Jen of course.  But it also stands for Jason.

Jason is my brother.  He's two years younger than me.  For 9 years, he was my only sibling.  And it seems so strange that it was just us growing up together before the kids were born (I always refer to Steph and Stephen as 'the kids'.  They'll be 40 and 36 and I'll still be referring to them as 'the kids').

When we were little we shared a bedroom.  We definitely kept ourselves entertained up there.  We drove my mom crazy because he always wanted out of his crib and I was always helping him.  I remember watching him jump up and down on the bed - I always laughed at the way his curly hair bounced up and down.  We would "camp" under his crib - or was it a cave? I don't remember.  We would push the mattress away from the wall and sit behind it on the box spring and pretend we were news reporters and the mattress was our desk.

Of course this was always Jason's idea.  He's the one with all the imagination.

One time I got a little jewelry set - you know, plastic necklaces, fake earrings, the whole nine yards.  I can tell you that Dad was pretty upset when he saw that I dressed Jason up in it!

Of course as we grew up we started fighting, as all brothers and sisters do.  Except we made it a point to physically hurt each other as much as we possibly could.  Lord the fights we would have.  Scratching, clawing, pin-you-to-the-floor fights.  This went on for a couple of years.  Okay, several years.  But we grew out of it.

I think one of the biggest and probably one of the last physical fights we had was the one where he shoved me so hard I made a dent in the wall.  Granted, this was not a strong wall, obviously.  But I cannot tell you the terror in my heart when I saw what we did, hours later.  I called my best friend and had her bring over all the white paint she owned (she was and is an artist) and we patched it up as best we could while my dad was going for a run.  Seriously, it was terrifying! And like I said, I don't remember many such fights after that.  Maybe we learned our lesson, or maybe we just got tired.

Then we ended up going to the same college.  I started at one school and was very unhappy there so I dropped out and worked for a while.  He started at college and we went to visit him, and I decided that I wanted to go there too.  So that winter I enrolled.  We were even in the theatre department together.  It was nice to have someone I knew there with me.  Eventually we shared a house with several friends.  Again, I'm so glad we had that time together because it's something we'll always have to look back upon.

Now, years after the fights and the clawing and screaming and insulting each other, I can say without the slightest hesitation that Jason is one of my best friends in the world.  He makes me laugh like no one else can.

He is one of the very most talented people I've ever known.  A fantastic singer and self-taught pianist who blows everyone away when he performs, which is far too infrequently nowadays.  He has his own radio show in the town where we went to college (but it's not a college station or anything like that), and hopes to make a career out of radio or performing.  He's got the best personality!

 Singing Ave Maria at my wedding...not a dry eye in the house!

I love this picture, and will never forget that moment.  We were waiting in the lobby of the reception hall and getting pictures taken.  Suddenly, out of nowhere...let's just say that a rather scary-looking server dropped off a tray of hors d'ouvres.  I saw her and my jaw dropped.  Let's just say...and I'm really trying to be nice...that she forgot to take her makeup off prior to putting more makeup on.  For the last month or so.  It was shocking and perhaps a little scary.  Anyway, I thought I was the only person who saw her.  I looked around frantically, but everyone was milling around, chatting and stuffing their faces (we were starved of course).  But then here comes Jason, darting through the crowd with this excited look on his face, saying, "DID YOU SEE THAT???".  I was so happy that if anyone noticed it besides me, it was him.  And that moment has been forever captured.

Oh, and he used to eat cigarette butts and matches out of Mom's ashtray when he was very little.

True story.

I don't think he reads this, so it was okay to tell you that.  Unless my sister tells him about it.

In which case there's a few things I can tell you about HER.

But that'll be my "S" post.

PS...Who made that beautiful bouquet? Oh, that's right - I did.  Wait, who was this post about again?



Blogger mbkatc230 said...

What a sweet tribute to your brother! It's so funny that someone you fought with like cats and dogs can end up being one of your favorite people. My brother and I are the same way. Loved the picture of you two cracking up at the reception - priceless! Kathy

March 24, 2010 at 10:35 PM

Blogger Viki said...

Lucky you that you have so many fond (even the fighting LOL) memories of you and your brother. Great J word.

March 24, 2010 at 10:43 PM

Blogger Red Couch Recipes said...

I loved reading about you and your brother. It is funny, isn't it, that when you are young you can fight like cats and dogs and even LIKE each other when you grow older. That was a good reminder for me while raising my kids! Joni

March 24, 2010 at 10:45 PM

Blogger Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

What a sweet post! I loved the part about you guys playing under the crib...I used to help my sis break out too. ;) Thanks for the visit today!

March 24, 2010 at 10:48 PM

Blogger Alexis AKA MOM said...

What an amazing post, I just love the wedding story and that picture is priceless! Just a beautiful bride and I agree beautiful flowers!!

March 24, 2010 at 11:37 PM

Blogger Prairiemaid said...

I love your post! Because it is so true to life and made me remember some of the things my sister and I, along with our cousins did growing up.

I am following you, so I can come back and visit often. Besides, I think I need a tutor for alphabe-thrus, as I didn't do a very good job. LOL

Thanks for the memories!

March 25, 2010 at 12:08 AM

Blogger Linda said...

I love great family memories. You are so lucky to have your brother be your friend.

March 25, 2010 at 12:20 AM

Blogger Riet said...

What a lovely J post. It was so nuce to read about jason. A lovely tribute.

March 25, 2010 at 2:25 AM

Blogger Steph said...

What a great post. Rich in the details of childhood and fights and joys shared. Your love and affection for brother really comes through as does the humor in every day family stuff. :)

March 25, 2010 at 2:55 AM

Blogger My name is PJ. said...

The cherry on top was the fact you told us he used to eat cigarette butts. Is it wrong that I think that?

March 25, 2010 at 5:26 AM

Blogger JDaniel4's Mom said...

I nephews that sound a lot like you and your brother.

March 25, 2010 at 6:05 AM

Blogger Betty (picture circa 1951) said...

I enjoyed reading about your brother. You have a lot of great memories. I hope your sister does tell him to read this blog post.

March 25, 2010 at 8:12 AM

Blogger Catherine said...

What a fun J post! I enjoyed reading about Jason :) .

March 25, 2010 at 11:32 AM

Blogger Nora Johnson said...

What a lovely post and blog! Yes, I used to fight with an older brother (5 yrs older!) when we were kids but now we're the GREATEST of friends!

Thanks for yr lovely comment - yes, agree Barbie clothes!!

PS am yr newest follower!

March 25, 2010 at 11:52 AM

Blogger Sarah said...

Jen, your blog is definitely a journal. You should print these out and put them into those pretty vessels sitting on your bookshelf. LOL
Always enjoy my visits here. Thanks for sharing. You are a beautiful bride!

March 25, 2010 at 12:25 PM

Blogger Debbie said...

It is so nice to hear a story of someone being close to their sibling...especially the opposite gender! Very cool J post, and thanks for sharing!

March 25, 2010 at 12:39 PM

Blogger Christy said...

this is a wonderful post and tribute to your little bro...i love the photo of you two laughing about the spilled is priceless! you made a beautiful bride.

March 25, 2010 at 1:05 PM

Blogger Jenny said...

Jen. This is a beautiful post and a lovely tribute. You need to print this and save it and give it your amazing brother on his 50th Birthday or some special date.

I love that you shared his talents with us.

And I love that you are so close to your sibling.

Your bridal pictures made my heart smile. The joy on your face is so lovely. And your beautiful bouquet and dress.

Your post really touched my heart.

And I can't think of a single J word to say about it except...

Just a super special A+

March 25, 2010 at 1:22 PM

Blogger GardenofDaisies said...

Aw, I can tell how much you love your brother. Aren't you just so glad every day that you were not an only child? I have 3 sisters and I don't know where I would be today without them. We sure did our fair share of bickering and fighting when we were young, and even a few times as adults, but in the end what matters is that we are sisters and whatever the difference is, we get over it and love each other.

March 25, 2010 at 1:25 PM

Blogger Amy said...

How wonderful! Thank you for sharing this wonderful story about your brother. The love you have for him is conveyed in each word.

March 25, 2010 at 4:09 PM

Blogger Sherry said...

What a great post! You and your brother are lucky to have each other... Great pictures too!

March 25, 2010 at 4:54 PM

Blogger Jo said...

What a beautiful and loving tribute to your best friend ... how lucky you are to have each other! thanks for stopping by my blog ... happy j day!

March 25, 2010 at 6:47 PM

Blogger Anna said...

Nice post about your brother!
Best wishes,

March 25, 2010 at 7:35 PM

Blogger Short and Sweet said...

Nice "J" post about your brother. I'm an only child so I miss out on sibling memories.
Thanks for the entertaining stories.

March 25, 2010 at 11:33 PM

Blogger Amanda said...

Your brother sounds amazing!

March 26, 2010 at 1:06 AM

Blogger Maggie B said...

Lovely story I always enjoy getting to know everyone a little bit better through these blogs.
BTW What a beautiful bride you were.

March 26, 2010 at 6:15 AM

Blogger jeff campbell said...

Funny and cute post...speaking about others is speaking about covered two "Js" in one post. Thank you for your visit to my Jiffy Jeff post...Peace

March 26, 2010 at 12:19 PM

Blogger laterg8r said...

we dressed up our brother too LOL :D

March 26, 2010 at 12:34 PM

Blogger Terri and Bob said...

That was a great piece about your brother. Thanks for coming over to my blog. Can't wait to hear about your S.

March 26, 2010 at 2:27 PM

Anonymous marina said...

Great post on your brother! :-)

March 26, 2010 at 10:39 PM

Blogger Melinda Cornish said...

I love the picture of the two of you laughing....he sounds like a great brother.....

March 26, 2010 at 11:27 PM

Blogger Vicki said...

We all need a brother like Jason...what fun you two had. Thanks for stopping by (o:

March 27, 2010 at 9:55 AM

Blogger Brian + Cheryl B. said...

Hi Jen :-}
I have two brothers, and of course have numerous stories I could share about both of them. Espically seeings how I was the oldest child .... I also have a sister.

The younger of the two brothers started kindergarden the year I started college. And yes, he WAS a 'planned' baby, even though my mom's doctors had advised against it. He weighed ten pounds, twelve ounces, and wiped my mom out, therefore making me the 'primary care giver'. Come home from school and take over taking care of Craig.

But that had it's rewards! I loved dressing him up for Halloween, and would do so every year till he was about ten - stopping by to do so even after I was married.
And I gave him birthday parties. And took him to the zoo. Etc.

But then when he was in high school was when I had four young sons and a husband working two almost full time jobs, so I wasn't able to be involved in his life much.

I knew that the bonds remained when as a Sr. we were the second ones he told that his girl friend was pregnant. He was afraid she was going to give it up, and asked for our help in raising it. I immediatly took her all of my maternity clothes, and we are friends to this day. And no, she did not give the baby up.

My brothers first marriage was a disaster (he never married his sons mom). So when it looked like he was headed that direction again, I had him stop over, and he spent four hours sitting on my kitchen floor while my boys were in the living room watching TGIF, and I opened up and laid everything I had been seeing out on the line. I told him, "I fully realize that you might walk out of here tonight never wanting to see or talk to me again. But I also know that if you truly check your mind and your heart, you will KNOW that I really do love you. So I'm taking a chance."

It was rocky for a bit. But then one night, totally unannounced, he showed up thanking me. This and that had been happening and my words had again played in his mind and he said he could no longer just shrug things off. He asked if he could live with us while he looked for a place of his own, if necessary. Of course.

He never has ended up living with us, but we did live with him. All six of us. For six months while our house was being worked on after our house fire. And we came out of it even better friends.

He finally did get remarried. But before he did, he showed up wanting my in put on her. What a blessing. And she is perfect for him!!! Her and I are now friends and occasionally go out on our own.

My sons often call that brother for advice or input when working on their cars, etc. Over the years, in MANY ways, the years between him and I have faded away.

Hope you don't mind my rambling on. You did bring it all to mind ya know o;-p

March 27, 2010 at 11:17 AM

Blogger Nadeen said...

I love it when siblings still love each other. So many of them go through the fighting stage and never come out of it.

Your post was fun to read - I could hear you giggling your way through it. Well, maybe with a voice I'm imagining.

March 27, 2010 at 11:24 PM

Blogger Jacque said...

Good Morning Jen,

That was a great tribute to your brother! That pic of him singing at your wedding was a special treat! I can see on both of your faces that each of you have a bond that is unbreakable. Thanks for sharing it with us!

Thanks for stopping by the farmhouse for a visit. We love having company!

Have a great week!

March 28, 2010 at 7:49 AM

Blogger Tina said...

Hi Jen. I'm new this alphabe-Thursday thing and trying to catch up. Your relationship with your brother really touched me. Thanks for sharing that with us. I'm looking forward to getting to know more about you!

March 30, 2010 at 1:25 AM


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