Being the Oldest

I’m the oldest out of three boys. Now, if you’re the oldest too, or even the youngest, you know what I mean when I say, “brothers are really annoying, sometimes,” but just imagine my mom dealing with four men in the house all the time… so stop your whining, dammit.

As the oldest, you always have to set an example for the curious younglings. Sometimes it drives me nuts. “Can’t I just do what I want to do and not care about setting a freaking example all the time?” Well, no, Jan, not really. See, here’s the thing: if I do something stupid, my youngest brother is guaranteed to do it as well, no matter what my parents say. He’ll say something like, “Well, Jan did it, so why can’t I?” And then they answer, “When you’re older, then you can do that too.” But then he smirks and says, “I’m old enough.” And sure enough, he went streaking too.

I’m just kidding, he didn’t. At least not literally. (Dude, what does that even mean, huh? Why don’t you just stick to writing about normal things like every other normal person in the world.)

… I guess that was kind of a bad example. Here’s a better one for you: When I heard of the Lord of the Rings, the movie, I asked my parents if I can watch it. Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on how you look at it, we always watch movies together as a family. I was 12 when I asked them that question. My youngest brother is five years newer than me. My parents told me, “Jan, you can watch it when you’re 14, because first of all, your brother can’t watch it yet, and second of all, it’s a scary movie. There are some scary monsters there.” My parents didn’t know that I’ve already seen all kinds of scary movies before, but I wasn’t going to tell them that back then. So I said, “Fine. I’ll wait two more years.” But then, in school, all of my friends started talking about the Lord of the Rings, and I was like, “Frodo? What the heck is a Frodo? Why are all of you talking about rings? You’re not getting married anytime soon, right?” And then, at last, I turned 14. I thought it was just going to be my parents and I watching the movie, but no. The nine-year-old came along, sat on the couch next to me and gave me that damn grin that made me want to jump out of the window, but land on fluffy pillows, because I wasn’t in the mood to get hurt.

So I waited two freaking years to finally watch that uh-may-zing movie because “It’s a scary movie and I was too young to watch it back then,” and then my single-digit-age brother watches it with me. Oh, the pain. I’m going to get extra-cool rewards in heaven… or maybe not. I’m gonna have to wait and see, I guess.

But yeah. You’re going to be setting examples throughout your entire life, no matter how old you are. It’s a matter of responsibility and self-discipline, really. We like to copy people who seem to be cooler than us. “Well, Michael Jackson grabbed his crotch when he dances, so that’s a cool move! I wanna do that too!” By being the oldest, I learned, from very early on, that setting a good example is extremely important. I still try to do that, even though my brothers are a little older now, but my little bro still looks up to me, because I’m so awesome. It’s a good thing that he looks up to me, because then I keep my life in line and try not to do extremely stupid things, since I don’t want him to make the same mistakes that I made.

So, keep your life in check, set a good example for your friends, your family, even older people, and, of course, the younger generation. That’s it.


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