Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Turn on your heartlight.

I was going to write about a maybe big-ish argument / confrontation / disagreement that my brother and my parents are having right now, the week of his wedding, and how it makes me want to hide in my closet.

But when I tried to log in to Blogger? I got a "503 - Service Unavailable" screen. I guess that's a sign.

So, instead? I'll tell you the magical story of Poochie and Our Jewish Dad.


My very first non-Sesame Street LP was Neil Diamond's Greatest Hits. I looooooved this album, even though it features a barefoot Neil on the cover and I have always been iffy about men's feet. The album was all mine - I got it for my fifth birthday from family friends who knew how much I loved their Neil eight track.

Neil's always been a part of our family. And when I was in college, Poochie and I convinced our mom to buy us Hot August Night on cassette, promising that we would share it.

Keep in mind that at the time, we lived four hours apart and neither one of us had a car. But we did share that tape - it was so, so good! I'd bring it home on school breaks, or Poochie would offer it up over summer vacation.

But that fabulous recording of Neil in concert? It proved to be just a gateway drug.

It's not politically correct, but Poochie and I refer to Neil as Our Jewish Dad. I've seen him in concert four times; Poochie's seen him five. Over the years, there have been many Neil recordings that we've given each other, and we've seen him together twice - two shows that felt like a combination of church and family reunion. Good times.

Now, longtime readers may remember Poochie's track record for remembering birthdays. As in, he doesn't. One of my favorite voicemails ever was last year on my birthday, when Poochie serenaded my machine with an impromptu song about my birthday - a song during which he began to doubt that it truly was my birthday. So, about two-thirds of the way through the song, "happy birthday" morphed into "I'm pretty sure your birthday is sometime this month - hope it is / was / will be good." That was also the year he gave me a Snuggie for my birthday, but didn't actually give it to me - he used it in lieu of a sleeping bag on a bike trip.

This background is important so that you understand the gravity, the weight of what I'm about to tell you.

This summer? Poochie gave me a belated birthday gift. Two, actually.

He gave me the used Snuggie. But the blanket with arms was wrapping! Wrapping for The Single Most Amazing Gift Ever In The History of Gifts.

Poochie gave me a framed, autographed photo of Neil Diamond. Neil in all of his hairy, spangly, late-70s best.

I'm not often speechless, but I truly was when I uncovered this prize.

Again: autographed photo of Our Jewish Dad. I know!

Now, My Guy and I have agreed that whatever our future home looks like, it will need a lighted niche - complete with security lasers - to properly display and protect Neil. We have my brother to thank.


Cyndi B. said...

Cha know how to start my day with a giggle! Love Neil Diamond!

Hope the wedding goes well this weekend!

Wenderina said...

What a sweet story. I love a brother who can miss a birthday, get a birthday, and give the most awesome memorable gift wrapped in a used present. That is such a sibling tale.

8 said...

You can NOT go wrong with Neil........ way to go Poochie!

sherilee said...

Did you know you're gifted at blog post titles? Your post headlines never fail to make me smile. Of course, the posts live up to that title ALWAYS draws me in--this one was no exception!

Hope the wedding is fabulous and the disagreement fades away in the joy of the event. Or, at the very least, everyone behaves themselves.

Magic27 said...

You cannot imagine how jealous I, possibly the only Neil Diamond fan under the age of 60 in the whole of France, am about your photo - I'm listening to the Great Man right now and can only fantasize about his spangly 70s wonderfulness!
Hope all the pre-wedding tension fades and that you all have a great time this weekend...

Anonymous said...

YOu have the best Jewish Dad in the whole world. We're BIG fans here--Team Testosterone can sing along to ALL his greatest hits because he's on the rotation in the Momvan. Seriously.
And I need to send that kind of birthday card--I get the month right but never know the day.

Patti said...

Hope the wedding was magical and fantastic and enjoyed by all! Can't wait to hear about it!