Remember the band Oasis? In 1996, Two Britpop brothers and a couple of friends had a mega hit with the song Wonderwall.
They had a couple of other hits, and then a few years ago they put out another album that was a hit and became popular again. And then, in 2009, the brothers got into a fight backstage. A big one. And the band broke up over it. And then the rest of us sort of forgot about them.
Or at least I had, until I saw this article in Entertainment Weekly last week.
Nearly a year and a half later, the brothers still aren't speaking to each other. More than that, they hate each other.
You guys, this could happen to my kids. I worry about it.
My boys are so close in age, just over two years apart. And their personalities are so, so different. Yeah, they both like Legos and Wii games, and they are - physically anyway - nearly clones of their father, but that's about where it ends. They used to be buddies and play together, especially when they were younger, but these days that can't really be in the same room together without some arguing and shoving and then the beatings begin.
Lots and lots of beatings.
Mostly I let it all play out. I try not to get involved, unless they are throwing down in front of company or out in public. I let them work it out. Except for the little passive aggressive thwomping on the head which is usually what will start a sure enough throwdown, when I'm not in the mood for it. And let's just admit right now, I am rarely in the mood for it.
My brother and I fought, sometimes violently. At least, until he got bigger than me one day, and then it pretty much stopped. But I remember that hot, vitriolic, sibling anger. The stuff of pre-pubescent angst that doesn't exist anymore, as adults. My brother and I are pretty close, these days, although we don't see enough of each other due to opposite work schedules (he's a bartender, I'm an office drone.)
But I saw that article about Liam and Noel Gallagher and it really bothered me. Can you imagine being so angry with a family member that you stopped speaking to them, or they to you? I cannot. Yes, I have had toxic people in my life, whom I have found a way to avoid. I have family members who make me so crazy I can only deal with them in very small, very structured doses of time. But even people I really can't stand I learned I can be polite to for the course of a Thanksgiving dinner (wine helps, it's true, but there's a point of no return on that.) But I've never considered that I might never speak to a family member again. Think of what this is doing to their parents, other siblings, mutual friends. My God, the consequences of what was really, a giant temper tantrum.
I'd like to believe that my two boys will someday move past their overactive competitive spirit, and find common ground. Maybe that won't happen until they're adults. I've tried to direct them into different interests and sports, though they both play soccer and they both do boy scouts, but they each have at least one other focused interest that doesn't overlap.
Of course, when they are adults, I may be their common ground. Maybe, they will band together and text each other under the dinner table saying things like "OMG, will she ever shut up? Pass the bread," or "dude, have you noticed mom's grip on reality is notsomuch? LOL How soon can we have her committed?"
I guess I can live with that.