Brooke asked me to provide the contents of a blog post for her birthday. The assignment was to write 32 things about her since she is turning 32. I asked her if it had to be touchy-feely? She said no. Could it be sarcastic? Sure. Could I have a little fun and talk about how she has clogged toilets in six different States and the District of Columbia? No. Even though I recognized the assignment as the proverbial bear trap that it is, I agreed to her request—as I always do. So here it goes.
32. She firmly believes that Adam fell that Eve might shop; and Eve shops, that she might have joy.
31. She hates being tickled, so I tickle her often and when she least expects it.
30. She loves trashy television. Real Housewives, Millionaire Matchmaker, The Bachelor, etc. I have never seen her watch a documentary of any kind.
29. She loves her kids more than anything. I wish I could say I was in second place. I am probably in the top ten behind Oreos, Diet Coke on ice, Mrs. Cavanaugh’s eggs, blogging, Thin Mints, the minivan and shopping.
28. In a moment of quiet honesty, she will admit to being the source of Sammie’s “sweet” personality.
27. She is closest to her little sister, Ashley, and in the right frame of mind could beat up her brothers, Rex and Cam. At the same time or separately. She has unusually sharp nails and a strong kick.
26. She is passive aggressive. Once in Granite furniture in Orem, Utah, a salesperson told her that she could not have food in the store. Brooke was eating frozen yogurt from a paper cup. She kindly thanked the salesperson for the information, turned the corner, made sure she was out of sight, and discarded the cup and spoon onto some of Granite’s finest furniture.
25. She would voluntarily cut off a hand before eating regular full fat/calorie butter, sour cream or ice cream. But she would eat a sleeve of Oreos without any guilt or hesitation.
24. At restaurants, she always take a bite (or two) of my meal. She will often try to justify her conduct by offering a bite of her entrée. I never accept the invitation with the hope that it will have a chilling effect on her future conduct. It has not.
23. Despite my complaints, she is very generous toward neighbors, friends, and ward members, cooking meals, doing errands, baby-sitting kids, etc.
22. She believes that she is the creative genius behind our Christmas card. This is the source of much contention.
21. I do not think she will ever get over the idea that we have a subpar wedding video. About four years ago, I thought she had made her peace with it, but the issue resurfaces like Lochness from the deep every time a sibling weds.
20. She is the world’s biggest anti-morning person. Regardless of when she goes to bed, she is exhausted every morning and can never get up. She also “gets hit” with fatigue while driving and flying. When we drove cross-country in 2002, she would sleep all day in the passenger seat.
19. Associated with #20 (above), she often naps on the weekend and will always under-sell the time of her nap with statements like “I tossed and turned…” and “I never got comfortable…” She should outlive me by twenty years based upon our sleep differential.
18. She takes great pleasure in purchasing, assembling and accessorizing our children’s clothing. We have dozens of large containers in our basement packed with children’s clothes.
17. She routinely milks her birthday for at least a week of special treatment and favors. Similarly, she purchases presents for herself in advance, usually about six months out.
16. She and I can no longer engage in certain activities at the temple due to a laughing incident in 2003 that almost got us kicked out. (I cannot disclose the specifics…not because they are a secret, but because they are sacred).
15. She will never forgive me for not dropping her off at the hospital entrance when she was in labor with Samantha. For some inexplicable reason, I just pulled into the parking garage at LDS Hospital, and we walked in together. She never complained at the time, and it seemed logical.
14. She could be a great con artist, having mastered deception and misdirection at a young age.
13. She has expensive taste. Not a complaint, just an observation. I had to get creative to pay for her wedding ring. I would explain but I don’t know if the statute of limitations has run. (Corbet, from Fortier at Fashion Place Mall, if you are reading, thanks!)
12. She is the person whom Billy Joel was thinking about when he penned the following lyrics:
And she'll promise you more
Than the Garden of Eden
Then she'll carelessly cut you
And laugh while you're bleedin'
But she'll bring out the best
And the worst you can be
Blame it all on yourself
Cause she's always a woman to me
11. She always gets emotional about her maternal grandmother, Kathleen Poole, whom she was named after. She is close to all of her grandparents and feels guilty for not seeing them more often.
10. She struggles to pronounce the following words differently: “pool,” “pole,” “pull,” and “pulled.” Ask her sometime.
9. She graduated from law school the year ahead of me, worked as a prosecutor, retired when Luke was born and has never looked back. I am confident that she will never again practice law. I wish I could say that.
8. She is sometimes confrontational with strangers and family—never afraid to mix things up—but she usually plays nice.
7. She is a great mom and puts the kids needs before her own. They will have fond memories of their childhoods and will be better people as the result of her influence.
6. She is easily offended in situations involving customer service. If wronged, she will devote countless hours until she is made whole and enjoys speaking to management. Hell hath no fury like Brooke scorned.
5. She is an advocate for sunless tanning. Instead of obtaining a tan from the sun, she applies a tan from a bottle/can. Although this protects against skin cancer, it has been known to stain sheets and have orange undertones.
4. She never drinks calories with a few exceptions: (a) homemade smoothie; (b) milk with cookies/dessert; and, (3) low calorie punch.
3. Regardless of when she puts a new post on her blog, she always makes me check my phone before going to bed to see if there are any new comments. She lives and dies with each post.
2. She has always been a magnet for older men. Whenever we visit her home ward, the old men line up after the meeting to give her a hug.
1. She is the cheese to my macaroni.