#ICSBeABlogger entry number 2 follows Anna Kemp's lockdown journey with her brothers...
As I sat in front of my television last March with my family, watching bumbling Boris forbid all non-essential activity, my brothers and I looked at one another- partly in disbelief and partly asking ourselves “how will we all stay in this house without killing each other?”.
My younger brother was in his second year at university and my older brother would be at his boyfriend’s house 80% of the time- so I held the title of ‘only-child-adjacent’ with so much pride. On your normal day it would just me and my parents and we all stayed out of each other’s way and lived in harmony- a sweet harmony that was absolutely shattered on the return of my brothers.
With the whole gang together again, we had some laughs at first. Quiz nights, DIY projects, the standard quarantine family fun. But we couldn’t even make it to the end of April before the homicidal thoughts starting to appear worryingly often. I felt like I could barely use the loo without someone knocking on the door telling me to hurry up. Our bedroom, what was once my personal haven, became what felt like a shared prison cell. Having brothers, who I am certain have holes in their stomachs, meant that breakfast was a battle of who can get to the Rice Krispies first. Bear in mind that, to them- a serving size is half the box so if you snooze, you certainly lose.
Everything changed one random afternoon when I walked into the living room and, to my surprise, found my little brother watching Gossip Girl. My impulse response was to mock him- and I did, for a good 10 minutes. However, I then found myself watching ironically which- an episode or two later-- became less ironic and more full-time investment and enjoyment of the show. Skip to a day later and my older brother is working from home in the living room whilst we are continuing our Gossip Girl binge and I am now on the receiving end of the ridicule that he is relentlessly spewing. But eventually, when talking about the characters, the “what a cringey idiot” turned into “why didn’t he ask her to prom!” and soon enough was a “OMG! That is SO Nate!”.
And boom. Just like that, the three of us were hooked. We blasted through the entire series in just under 2 weeks and it honestly became the highlight of all our days. We would discuss it for hours, order takeout to watch it, send each other Buzzfeed “Which Gossip Girl Character Are You?” quizzes, anxiously praying we get Georgina and then being grossly devastated when we got Jenny.
So now, every so often, we pick a cheesy teenage drama show and binge watch it together the three of us. I could have never predicted that Gossip Girl would be the vessel that not only stopped me from murdering my brothers, but also made them my best friends.
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