When I was 15, my mom got remarried to a Hawaiian shirt-wearing, retired “Coasty” named Tom. His kids, Caleb and Heather, lived up near Boston with their mom, and we lived in Florida. So, I only ever saw my new step-brother and step-sister on big holidays every other year. They were more friends than siblings. They were a little older than me — she was 19 and he was 17 — and I thought they were so cool. Mostly because they had shirts with Chinese dragons on them, which, if you don’t remember, were actually super fly back in the day.
My mom and Tom saw similarities between me and Caleb instantly. I mean, we do have a lot in common. We’re both hilarious, charming, exceptionally loud, good-looking people. We are also incredibly sarcastic and little reckless. We’re both musical and creative, which is why my parents started (right away) making uncomfortable, suggestive jokes about us getting together. The older we got, the more awkward they got about it. Caleb and I always laughed it off until one weekend, when I was 21, he came to visit.
Caleb and I had partied our brains out the first night. I had picked him up from the airport, and since I was finally of legal drinking age, I couldn’t wait to take him out and show him a rowdy good time. It was a Saturday night. We had pitchers of cheap-ass Bud Light. I scored free shots, which I charmed from popped-collar douches at the bar while Caleb dirty danced with an older woman. I ended up dancing on the bar a la “Coyote Ugly.” Both of us played a drunken game of Rock, Paper, Scissors to see who would pay for the cab home. Oddly flirty jokes were happening in the cab. Then it all went fuzzy. I came to in the morning with a splitting headache and my step brother asleep … in my bed.
What the f**k happened last night? Did I bone my step-brother!?
After a rough and embarrassing morning-after, we had a talk and decided that nothing happened between us. We had just passed out on the same bed after watching some Adult Swim together, right? However; if something had happened, we certainly couldn’t remember it. So we agreed to believe that it hadn’t and never would.
That evening we all went out for Thai food, a family favorite. I was halfway through a delicious Panang Curry when my mom turned to Caleb and I.
“You two should just date each other,” she suggested.
“Excuse me?” I said, choking on my curry.
“We always thought you two would just be so cute together.”
Whaa?? Oh no! Caleb and I turned red.
After dinner, I pulled my mother aside.
“Are you really serious about me and Caleb? You really think I should date him? You do remember he’s my step-brother right?” I asked.
“No, I’m not serious. I was being cute. No, that couldn’t happen. For one, if you ever had children, Caleb would be their uncle-daddy, and you their aunt-mommy.”
I died. My mother said “uncle-daddy” and “aunt-mommy.”
I was super relieved. I didn’t have to worry anymore about my mother’s sanity. Not that Caleb isn’t a good, swell guy. I just don’t have any desire to date or marry any of my brothers, blood or otherwise. Thank God he feels the same way.