Perhaps I should have warned Donovan.

When little girls dream about the future princes they’ll marry some day, they spend a lot of time dreaming about the wedding, the dress and the location. Sometimes they even dream about what it will be like to care for their husbands-to-be, with selfless joy and unending patience. And I was no exception.

What I did NOT spend much time dreaming about was the moment that I would get to introduce my future prince, the one, to my family. And not only did I not prepare myself for it, I did not prepare my family for it. And when I say my family, I mean I didn’t prepare my brother Donovan for it.

Oh, Donovan.

Dear, sweet Donovan is 14 years younger than me, but we have some peculiar similarities:

1) Our big, wondering eyes (according to Brian).

2) Our verbal mannerisms. When engaged in group conversation, we both have a hard time letting go of a topic that everyone else has long since forgotten. Just when you think we’re capable of normal social behavior, we prove you wrong by having to interject our very important points that probably should have been made 20 minutes ago.

3) …which is particularly amusing being that we speak with the same sort of hemming, hawing and stammering.

But the similarity that’s always been pointed out the most is:

4) Our sensitive nature. Specifically, we’re visually sensitive.

So finally the evening came that this princess could introduce her future prince to the family. Imagine for one second what it would feel like to be Brian on that night. You really hope the parents like you. You really hope that this moment won’t be painful. You really hope that everyone is friendly and welcoming. Because, of course, if we’re being honest, you really hope to marry me one day.

And the night probably would have gone without a hitch. Except there was one problem.

Have you ever seen children react from a haunted house being just a little too haunted for them? Do you know that frightened tone they get in their voices when they cling to Momma’s leg and cry, “I want to go home!”?

Remember that tone.

We walked in the front door, past the kitchen and into the living room where everyone was entertaining themselves. Donovan took one look at Brian.

His eyes widened.
His lip quivered.
Alarmed he cried, “WhooooOOOoooo’s thaaAaaAaat?!”
And then he burst into tears.
And then he ran away.

Can you imagine what it must feel like for a child to burst into tears at the sight of you? And if that wasn’t enough, Brian was then left to introduce himself to my parents as I abandoned him to run after Donovan. Poor Prince Brian.

I’m not saying this was a proud moment. But I sincerely didn’t see that coming. To this day when I remember Donovan’s tone and Brian’s misfortune, I still giggle to myself and think, “Could it have gone any worse than that?” Actually, yes, the night did get worse. Brian beat me at Monopoly.

Today Brian and Donovan adore each other.

Here’s a recent picture of my brother after donating his hair to Locks of Love. (I think it’s adorable when men do this!)

Did I mention that Locks of Love is one more experience we have in common?

Check out my favorite pic of Donovan here.

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