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I have an obnoxious younger brother, the baby of the family. He was always the ‘good kid’ (compared to me), so my mother indulged him all of his life, which resulted in a spoiled little boy who thinks the world exists to serve him. He has deep daddy issues, even now into his 40s. Like his older brother, I am a bit of a stand-in for our father. I look just like dad and the family often jokes I am a ‘(Dad’s Name) Part 2’. Despite my checkered past, I straightened out and grew into a hipper version of dad, with many of the same interests. This drives little brother (Nicky) up the fucking wall and he has transferred all of his daddy issues onto me.

Even into his 30s, he was always trying to berate me and criticize everything I did. Case in point (and here is where the story starts), 10 years ago, I offered to drive my mother to the family Thanksgiving, about 90 minutes away. I picked up my daughter and stopped by Mom’s to get her. Of course, my little brother (Nicky) was there. I’d already banned him from my car due to his obnoxiousness and endless complaining, so he decided (his ‘revenge’) instead he was going to ‘follow us to Aunt Patty’s house for Thanksgiving. Never mind he’d been there countless times and knew the way.

I am a ‘journey, not the destination’ kind of dude, I like to enjoy the experience…even if it’s a drive I’ve done 100 times. The drive was nice- daughter in the back seat, mom in front. We took it easy, checking out the sights along the way, going the speed limit. We even stopped a few times to talk about this lake or that scenic view and even swung through Old Historic Neighborhood to see the houses. Nicky stayed right on my bumper, flashing his lights when I ‘stopped too long. At Thanksgiving, he loudly insulted me to everyone for ‘driving like an old lady”. when I told him I’d be going home the same way and speed, he snapped he didn’t have time to follow my ‘slow-ass’ and left.

The Petty Revenge……

The following year I told him (after last year) I didn’t want him following me, period. We’d meet him there. Telling him NO is like waving a red flag to a bull- it sets him off, and he was at my mother’s 30 minutes early, just to make sure I knew he’d be following me, like it or not. He had a new BMW coupe he intended to show off, as well. All I have is my 6-year-old 4Runner. When I showed up, he immediately snapped “he was following me, deal with it”. As we all took off, I headed West instead of East. I played around a bit, trying to ‘lose’ him, but he was on my ass, showing off in the new BMW. I then headed for a new road being built in town. We used to bike the ‘trail’ as kids, and we knew it connected close to a State highway. Hell, mom used it as a shortcut to football practice. It was still dirt, with mounds of sand and gravel throughout. He tried to follow, but I hit all of the potholes, did some ‘off-roading’, and made a cloudy mess. He tried to call, but I sent him straight to Voicemail. He decided to ‘outsmart me’ and turned around. He raced to the destination where New Road ended, expecting to cut me off and begin following me again.

Of course, once he was gone, we turned around, got back on the main road, and took a (third) circuitous route to Aunt Patty’s. Had another nice, slow scenic drive, with Mom telling her daughter all about the ‘used-to-be’s’. Aunt Patty called us (prompted by a ‘concerned’ Nicky, of course), and we told her we were fine and would be there around 1, just in time for Turkey. Nicky sulked the entire meal. When it came time to leave, I said we’d be staying another couple of hours (mom didn’t complain), even suggesting spending the night. Nicky complained about the ‘traffic’, the ‘driving at night and the ‘getting Mom home so late’. I told him he was welcome to leave any time, we’d be just fine. By now, the family had caught on to his manufactured drama and condescendingly asked him if he needed a guide to ‘get back to the place you’ve lived all your life. He left in a huff.

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