Today is my baby brother, E’s, birthday. I remember my parents bringing him home from the hospital 23 years ago and my life changing forever. It wasn’t that it was a new thing for me, having a sibling (we had already gone through the “Stacey is no longer a princess” when Nicole was born a few years earlier). Nope, my life changed because (with the exception of the dogs and an occasional hamster or fish), my family was complete. We had our very first Thanksgiving as the D-Quintet in 1988 (Lee the D made meatloaf & mashed potatoes. I probably cried and said I wanted grilled cheese. I was an awesome kid.)
Erik was born on November 18th: the same day as Oscar from the Office, that kid from iCarly, disgraced Sen. Ted Stevens, Owen Wilson, Megyn Kelly (my personal hero) and, of course, the girl who played Angie in Life with Mikey. November 18th is also a special day of remembrance of Jim Jones & the People’s Temple mass suicide at Jonestown (sorry, buddy. I know that’s kind of a bummer to think about on your day. But, hey, I don’t write the history). But, on a happier note, November 18th is also the birthday of Mickey Mouse! So at least you got that goin’ for ya (which is nice).
But all of that pales in comparison to November 18, 1988. Erik Matthew Disterhof made his starring debut in the misadventures of Stacey.
I don’t often write about my brother, not because I don’t love him to bits (I do) and not because he’s not hilarious (he is), but because he’s been insanely busy with school (he’s studying to be an architect or something else smarty-pants-like). He studies allll the time and doesn’t have time for my shenanigans right now (which is too bad. shenanigans are always a good time).
Erik is awesome. Seriously. Growing up, he was my little snotty-nosed brother, always pestering me, breaking my barbie dolls (he and his bff created a game known as “Bar-Ball” in which they used barbies as bats), and generally being the biggest pain in the ass EVER. But over the course of his lifetime, I’ve had the pleasure of watching Erik turn into one of the kindest, smartest, finest men that I know. He’s, quite simply, the best (and if you are imagining Jack Donaghy singing Tina Turner’s “simply the best” right now, I owe you a high five).
I don’t tell him enough how much I’ve grown to respect him and admire him. He’s the type of kid that will go out of his way to do something nice for someone—opening a door or helping to carry something or just calling my grandmothers up to say hi. He’s thoughtful and has a sort of quiet intensity to him. Even though school didn’t come as easily to him when he was younger, he didn’t let that defeat him and instead worked his ass off and has become a textbook-aweome college student (I should probably take notes). And he still manages to be one of the funniest people I know.
He and I have a shared love of all things comedy: books,movies, television. Even if no one else thinks its funny (see the example below of the fine fine Tom Arnold classic, Carpool ) He’s my favorite person to go to the movies with (especially since he’s sometimes the only person who will go see weird indie documentaries with me) and definitely my partner-in-twilight-hate-crimes. Even though he drives me nuts sometimes (but don’t all siblings), he’s still one of my very best friends and I’m so lucky to have him in my life.
So, without further ado, my 10 favorite pictures (and memories) of E-Dizzle (that I have in iPhoto).
10. Christmas Eve 2009. We were at church, leaving after mass. This guy had been sitting in the pew ahead of us and my mother became obsessed with him (because, duh, he looked like Santa Claus). As we were leaving, she mentions to him that he better get moving if he wanted to make it to all those houses in a single night. He smiled, gave her his card which was (no joke) a Santa Claus card. Turns out, he was a Department store Santa. My mother had been wanting an updating D-Trio Santa picture for years…so she got her wish.
9. SNOWpening Day, 2007. Erik, Nicole and I LOVE baseball. Like, LOVE it. And we love Cleveland Indians Opening Day. And, because we live in Cleveland, we don’t always know what the weather is going to be like. Sometimes we wear shorts. 2007, however, it was a blizzard. We, however, pressed on and braved the cold (and, for real, it was cold. we weren’t acting). E’s face cracks me up—you can tell the poor kid is frozen solid. The game ended up being cancelled because the snow was so awful that they outfielders couldn’t see the ball. This was also the year that all of the home games for the first couple weeks were played in Wisconsin because of weather. Yes, the CLEVELAND Indians had to go play in MILWAUKEE because of weather. I’ll let you ponder on the hilarity of that statement.
7. Erik and Tara, Fourth of July, 2010 E’s been dating his girlfriend, Tara, for a million years (ok, it’s really more like 5, but whatever). I love Tara (I couldn’t love her any more than if she were my blood-related sister) and I’m so glad that she and Erik found each other. So rarely do you see high school sweethearts actually work in the real adult world, but they do. Last year, we went to go watch fireworks (which I think are dumb. I am in the minority of my family), and stopped for sparklers. As you can see, E & T are like Barbie and Ken. This picture has been dubbed in Casa D “Barbie and Ken play with fireworks.” I think it should probably be on the wall of some fancy pants gallery.
6. Erik and yours truly on vacation, circa 1992 Just to prove that I am, in fact, a very very good sport, I put up a horrible picture of me, but a darling one of E. I was a nerdy nerdy nerdface (completely with huuuuuge glasses and a perm) but look how stinking cute Erik was? We were in Florida, visiting some family, and either my mom of grandmother took this picture. I have long hated it (because who really want to remember looking like THAT!!), but I’m all about full disclosure. And besides, this is all about Erik and that face he’s making is so funny (and so very Erik at age 4—he was such a little tough guy!) that I had to include it.
5. Erik and Dad, 2009 E’s 21st birthday (in which we went to see Wicked. Not his idea, but we got GREAT seats!) but stopped and had drinks in honor of Erik being the last Disterhof (seriously, he’s the LAST Disterhof) to reach the legal drinking age. So we celebrated with beers. I come from a really tight-knit fam, but it’s a well-known fact that E and my dad are legit BFFs. It is also a proven fact that no matter what, it is IMPOSSIBLE for these two men to take a bad photo. Believe me, I’ve tried.
4. Erik and a twi-hard, Halloween 2010 It is no secret that Erik and I share a particularly special hatred for all things Twilight. So, E, being the wannabe comedian he is, decided to dress up as Edward Cullen last year for Halloween. He did the hair, the v-neck and the Ray Bans (and, yes, his nametag does read “Bella’s Bitch”). I have no idea who the girl in the picture is, but she’s CLEARLY a fan of Eddie Cullen (which makes the picture all the better).
3. Me, E, and Nic, Switzerland, 2008 Probably my all-time numero uno favorito picture of the three of us. From the all-time numero uno favorito vacation that we’ve taken. We are LITERALLY standing on a Swiss Alp (as you can see in the background). We went on a craaazzzy awesome EuroTrip (but not like the Scotty Doesn’t Know movie. We did not have Harriet the Spy with us.) where we were in London, Paris, Switzerland, Florence and then Rome (I’m tired just remembering it). I’ll post more pictures and tell more stories sometime (because it is probably the best time I’ve ever had), but this serves as a reminder of our time over there. And, we just look happy. Like GENUINELY happy to be together, it didn’t matter that we were standing in the middle of a mountain in Europe (although that was pretty cool). After the picture was taken, Nicole and I sung a few bars of “Edelweiss” (duh, we were in Switzerland where it’s basically the national flower. Or something) which Erik caught on tape (I’m sure) with his ever-present video camera. If I can somehow get him to upload some footage of our trip, I’ll link it.
2. Nic an E, circa 1989 If you know me (and my family) in real life, you’d know that when we were little, Nicole just LOVED our little brother. She called him “bebe” (pronounced beebee) and doted on him for the first few years of his life. They were (are) best buddies and Nicole spent the first few years of his life babying him. This is one of the sweetest pictures we have (and, uh, the only one scanned into a computer) that encompasses their relationship for the first few years of Erik’s life 🙂 Also, can we even talk about how blonde Nicole is??? How adorable is she? And what a sweet little chub HE was. I have really cute siblings.
1. E as Borat, Rome 2008 Borat came out sort of around the time we went to Europe and my ENTIRE (including my parents) were obsessed with it. We quoted it alllll the time (still do, even though it’s clearly not cool anymore), but E takes the prize for the best Borat impression. The three of us were wandering around in Rome (after Erik knocked over a small Asian lady pickpocket. True story, btw.) and we saw the Roman equivalent to the subway. We made Erik stand in front of it and out came the Borat impression…and thus the Erik-as-Borat-in-Rome picture was born. I laugh whenever I see this picture. This, also, encapsulates Erik in a nutshell: funny and brave (as in he didn’t care that he was blocking exiting traffic on a busy subway platform just to make his sisters laugh. He’s a champ).
So there it is. Erik’s life in pictures (well, 10 of them, anyway).
Happy birthday, buddy! Love you soooo much! Hope your day is awesome and fantastic and full of laughter (it will be, duh, because you’re spending it with me, Nic, T, mom & dad…oh, and I guess Maggie too) Oh, here’s a bonus picture