The Rules

Growing up, me and my brother, Nathan, just did not get along.  (Like, at all.) It was your typical brother/sister rivalry.  He was a ruthless jerk and had a knack for teasing me incessantly.  In high school, things seemed to calm down a bit, but then once his friends started noticing me, he made it clear that nobody was allowed to date me, which completely ruined my dating life in high school.

Years later, when I was living in Nashville, Nathan and his girlfriend decided to move down to Nashville with me. After a year, we were fortunate enough to be living in the same apartment duplex on the West End of Nashville.  Nathan and Nicole had the first floor, and I has the second floor.  Life was good!

Downtown Nashville, TN

Or, at least I thought it was.  Unfortunately thought, Nathan and Nicole’s relationship fell apart, as Nicole started playing head games with Nathan.  This did not fly with me or my brother.  For about a month we put up with her little charades, until she crossed the line one night.

Without getting into detail, after they had an argument one night, Nicole came upstairs to my apartment looking for my support.  I stood there listening to her her story and watching her best acting skills, I knew instantly that she was trying to drive a wedge between me and my brother.

She went on and on and tried to make my brother look bad.  Yes, me and Nicole had become close friends since they had moved to Nashville, but because this was my very own brother she was talking badly about, everything she had to say fell on deaf ears. I knew where my loyalty stood – and it wasn’t with her.

I decided I had heard enough and walked downstairs to talk to Nathan.  Nothing Nicole had to say was ever going to change my loyalty when it came to my brother.  Nathan ended up kicking her out that night and when she left, I was the one to slam the door behind her.


And that was the end of her.

Ah, buh-bye crazy girlfriend!

Clearly, she wasn’t aware of Rule #1….

“The Rules”

Rule #1: Blood is thicker than water.

Rule #2: Don’t date each others friends or acquaintances. (That way we don’t ever have to resort back to Rule #1.)

Rule #3: Don’t talk about our sex lives. (Details should never go beyond, “I had a sleep over last night.”)

Rule #4: Never throw the other person under the bus. (No. Matter. What.)

Rule #5: Don’t be judgmental. (Sooner or later we’ll probably be doing the same thing.)

I have to say that night in Nashville was a turning point for me and maybe for Nathan, too. I don’t know.  But, it was definitely a pivotal moment in our relationship, because Rule #1 was put to the test.   I realized that night how important it was to Nathan not to question his character – that staying loyal to your family, no matter what and without question was based on trust.  

To this day, Nathan and I still are very close.  We are both old school.  Everything boils down to one thing:  Loyalty.


4 thoughts on “The Rules

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