It came as a surprise to my whole family – my younger brother Jonathan had joined the Marine Reserves. He told us after spoiling my parents and I with nice gifts for Christmas '04. Two years later, he is being called up for his first overseas deployment. All signs point to Iraq by Summer.
So what does a twenty-something young man want to do for his last hoorah before shipping off to war in the desert? Why go to Montreal for a VIP weekend of drinking, gambling, and other sordid activities. And this is where I come in. I was on the short list of invitees for the trip April 20-22, 2007. He had already put down a deposit with a VIP service which echoed the entertainment of a bachelor party. It looked like a lot of fun!
I waffled early and often this morning. I should go because this is his bon voyage party. I should ensure he had one last good time. I should not go because I just shelled out half my bonus on a titanium implant. I should not go because there is a good chance I will spend a lot of money on shallow activities, which could jeopardize my savings goals and long term plans for 2007 and beyond.
When I thought about having to say no more often previously, I was thinking in terms of turning down an invite to a bar or the movies, not passing up my Marine brother's desire to party in Canada before he ships off to war. Was I a bad brother if I didn't categorically say I would be there that weekend?
By mid-afternoon, I responded with an e-mail to say I would like to visit him in NYC next month, take him out to dinner, maybe even Scores, however the trip to Montreal would conflict with my personal goals this year, and therefore I wouldn't be able to make it. :(