Sunday, July 24, 2011

NOI: A Guest Post

Written on June 27; edited and published on July 24, with pictures added gratuitously now that Brooke is not around to censor me:

We interrupt our regularly scheduled NOI programming for a special feature post.

Brooke is my band camp friend.
Brooke is my personality doppelganger.
Brooke is here with me to co-write a guest blog post.

First, a little introduction. I met Brooke on my first day here at NOI (which we affectionately call "band camp"), and the thing that made the biggest immediate impression on me was the fact that her husband is the bass trombonist in the President's Own Marine Band. I thought that was cool. Also, I thought that maybe I could use her in some way to promote my own career and try to attain my dream job of playing in a military string ensemble. No luck on that front so far, but I'm working on it.

Brooke says she knew she liked me when she heard me call the music festival "band camp;" most violinists take themselves way too seriously, and I, on the other hand, don't take myself seriously at all. Over the ensuing days and weeks, we began to notice all kinds of things we had in common. Most obvious was the fact that we spend 99% of our time and conversations joking, being sarcastic, or exaggerating in the extreme. In fact, we quickly had to develop a code word to denote the times that we're not exaggerating.

Our word? "Foliage."

Yes, we borrowed Michael Scott's "safety word" from the television show The Office. We use it in a different context, obvi.

In fact, sarcasm, humor, and exaggeration is such a normal part of our daily lives that we wonder how people who don't laugh constantly and exaggerate everything have any meaning in their lives at all. Why do they get out of bed in the morning? Why would someone use the word "literally" when what they actually mean is, well, "literally"? It boggles our minds. To us, "literally" clearly means, "I am about to say something so extreme that the only thing that could make it more extreme is claiming that it's literal."

Needless to say, we love to laugh. Here's Brooke laughing:

As the days went by, we discovered other similarities. For one thing, neither of us can whisper particularly effectively. Brooke only learned to whisper at all last year, and is still trying to perfect her newfound ability. I always thought I could whisper, but Nathan tells me my attempts are quite unsuccessful. As you can imagine, things with the two of us can get a little noisy. We periodically try to bring the decibel level down, but it never lasts for long.

For another thing, neither of us can walk in a straight line. Whenever I walk places with Nathan he has to remind me, "Hey baby, you're running me off the sidewalk." Brooke has a veering tendency as well, with the result that we're very understanding about the fact that we're constantly bumping into each other as we walk.

A few other similarities: neither of us are affected by caffeine, we're both married to extraordinarily talented and smart men, and we like dramatic words like "literally" and "horrified."

Now that I've introduced my personality doppelganger, I am going to turn the computer over to Brooke and let her begin her career as a blogger.


Hi, this is Brooke. Sarah is a lot like me, so when we are together I realize just how annoying I am; I have truly developed a lot of empathy for my husband here at band camp. Just kidding! I must say that Sarah is, second only to myself, the most amazing person in the world. Foliage literally! OK not really foliage literally, for as much as Sarah exaggerates, I am still the only one of us that regularly misuses our code word in an attempt to take exaggeration to new heights.

Neither of us takes ourselves seriously, which sometimes leads others to believe we may be less accomplished than we actually are. However, we are actually both VERY accomplished and brilliant, just so you know.

During the first week of band camp people were always coming up to us and saying, "You guys knew each other before, right?" and we had to reply, "No, sadly we have gotten this obnoxiously close in just three days."

I would like to share with you guys a special story that happened just the other day. Sarah and I were hanging out in my room when she suddenly decided to lie on my bed. I approved of the idea and jumped in beside her. I wasn't sure how she would react, but thankfully she seemed completely comfortable, and we continued our gabbing and laughing side by side. Soon enough I forgot that we were in a slightly compromising position, and exclaimed "I have an idea for something we could do! You might not want to, but just hear me out." Sarah's face turned to a look of horror and she began laughing uncontrollably and declared, "My heart is jumping out of my chest! I'm so afraid of where you're going with this!" Realizing the horror of my statement, I also began laughing uncontrollably and couldn't catch a breath to explain myself for about three full minutes (foliage literally this time for real). When I finally gained composure I blurted out my original intention: "I thought we could go get bubble tea." Needless to say, we immediately jumped out of bed and got ourselves to the nearest Asian beverage establishment.


Okay, it's Sarah again. Isn't Brooke fun?

Here's us trying out the MK&A look {that's Mary-Kate and Ashley, for those unaware...}

{Brooke is good at this look. I totally fail.}

Here we are with Ting-Ting! We love Ting-Ting!

And with Rachel! (On my birthday. At the frozen yogurt place. YES.)

With Mary!

And here we are in front of a very yellow wall:

Before we finish this post, I want to share with you an idea the two of us had. Because our personalities are so similar and tend to amplify one another, we've been faced more fully with our own weirdness, and we also tend to feed off of one another and escalate the level of crazy. Yesterday we came up with a great idea. We were discussing the fact that, since we don't go to the wild band camp parties that occur frequently, and because we're both married, perhaps people think we're Mormon. And thus our brilliant idea was born: before the end of band camp, we are determined to find some situation in which we can tell someone here, with a straight face, that we are sister wives. We'd love to see the look on someone's face when we said, "Well, Margaret's taking good care of our husband at home, but we're really looking forward to getting back to him."

We even tried taking a sister wives picture after a concert one night, with Brooke's husband Daniel. But the "adoring gazes" version just ended up with us cracking ourselves up:

So we just smiled like normal people:

Here we are with Carrie (whose sister Hannah is a fellow blogger), who came up to the two of us and said, "I need a picture with the sister wives!"

{Edited post-NOI to add: We did try telling this sister wife story to a few people, and while they didn't believe us, they did think it was funny.}

And with that, which really sums up so much of what Brooke and I are all about -- in terms of humor, not marital goals -- we will bid you all a good night.

Wait... first we will add in a conversation we just had:

Sarah: What's your least favorite thing about me?
Brooke: I can't possibly think of just one. What's your least favorite thing about me?
Sarah: The fact that it takes you literally twenty minutes to wash your hands.
Brooke: Well, my favorite thing about you is that you're like me. We have a similar sense of humor. I like it because it makes me feel more normal.
Sarah: My favorite thing about you is the way you snort when you laugh.
Brooke: Thanks, jerk.

We love each other so much.

1 comment:

  1. Hahaha! The sister wives, I love it.

    Actually thought process: huh, that Carrie looks like my sister. OH WAIT that is my sister.