, , , , , ,

Today I actually need your opinions (read: unmitigated agreement) on a terribly important topic.

I have some friends whose 6- and 2-year-old sons have recently begun to fight with each other. As the boys yell and cry, their parents are going mad with the noise and bickering and wondering when will this phase end. Being a helpful friend, I kindly point out that this will continue for the rest of their lives. That’s what brothers do. I cite my own brothers as an example. Then, because for some unfathomable reason it seems to be generally accepted that my family is an unusually rowdy lot, I cite Brad and his brother as a second example.

That is ONE HUNDRED PERCENT of the brothers surveyed.

Statistics do not lie.

I was talking about this with some workmates. One guy said he and his brother fought all the time as kids. Their insult of choice was “you’re gay”. Highly imaginative. Incidentally, he confessed, they grew up and turned out they both were. (I’d like this to be a warning to my own brothers, whose insults are getting old. Didn’t your mother ever warn you the wind might change and you’ll be stuck that way? Unfortunately they’ve been refusing to heed my warning, probably because it is baseless, absurd and more than a little offensive in itself boys never listen.) But I digress. You can tell because I did so in brackets for once. I asked my friend whether he and his brother now mock each other with accusations of sleeping with women. He said now they try never to speak at all. So there you are. Still fighting.

So I asked another workmate what he and his brother fought about growing up … And he claimed that they never fought at all. In fairness, we’ve pretty conclusively established that this guy is a robot and/or serial killer, but even so I cannot believe he never fought with his brother. It’s just unheard of.

Then, while I was still voicing my scepticism, another workmate said she never really fought with her brother either, and even though she’s actually a sister not a brother, she is a respectable person who definitely is not a robot or a serial killer, so now I’m totally confused. They’ve completely blown everything I thought I knew about siblings. It seems unnatural. Are they the odd ones or are the rest of my not inconsiderable study group just dysfunctional?

Or – !!!

– are they LYING?!

I can’t be wrong. I have six brothers. I’m practically an expert. Boys fight. Forever. It’s got to be these two weird spanners trying to mess up my statistics. Right?

So tell me – what did you fight about with your brothers?

Updated to add: You should totally check out the comments on this one. People have some great stories about their siblings.