“I Know His Sister…”

Don’t you love the chazal that recommends that if you want to wed a girl you should check out her brother? When I try to apply that to myself I inevitably run up against the same brick wall of a question: Which brother?

In terms of personality, I’m probably more like the one in the white shirt with the felt yarmulke on the back of his head. The one who has no intention of ever becoming what we term “employed”. But in terms of attitudes, I’m more like the one with the blue shirts and the leather yarmulke on the top of his head who’s been an entrepreneur since the tender age of 12.

And let’s not start on the sisters. I always shudder when people say things like, “I don’t know him but I know his family,” or “I don’t know her but I know her sister” or better yet, “Do you have a sister? I have someone for her.” Like right. I’m nothing like my older sister. But me and my younger sister are such polar opposites that we often argue over which of us is adopted. I always win, because I’m the spitting image of my mother.

In fact, just yesterday in shul a teenaged neighbor commented to me and my mother as we were on our way out, “Do you know—you guys look identical? It’s scary. Do you ever get confused and mix yourselves up?”

“All the time,” I deadpanned. “Why just yesterday morning I found myself brushing my mother’s teeth.”

“I’m not sure if you’re flattering me or insulting Bad4,” my mother observed. She’s long ago reached the point where she lies about her age. She tells people that she’s 86 so they’ll marvel about how young she looks for her age.

“Insulted?” the neighbor responded, way too loudly. “I would love it if I looked like my mother!”

“You would?” we both chorused, glancing over to her mother who was chatting nearby. Her mother looked up briefly.

“She wants a digital camera for her birthday,” she said.


But where were we? Oh yes, I look like my mother so I can’t be adopted. My sister, on the other hand, doesn’t look exactly like anyone. We think she might take after my father, but it’s hard to tell, seeing as the balance of his hair is on the other end of his face and (thankfully) doesn’t have a dorky headband in it. Dorky according to me, of course. I think my sister considers them “cute”. We get along famously in that way. Typical routine:

Sister: (bursting in holding a pair of shoes) Hey Bad4! Like my new shoes?

Me: (looking up briefly from book) They’re hideous.

Sister: (grinning ecstatically) I’m so excited! I was sooo afraid you’d like them!

Me: Not a chance. You know, I’m very impressed. I didn’t know they made shoes uglier than your last pair. But lo and behold! Here we have living—actually, dead—I’m sure dead—I would just die if I looked like that—evidence.

Sister: (giggles) Yes! This pair is much nicer than last pair.

Me: Last pair was just a factory accident. These are a misanthrope’s revenge on humanity.

Sister: (practically bouncing in joy) Thanks, Bad4! I really liked them before, but now I love them! (runs from the room shouting) Ma! I adore my new shoes! I can’t wait to wear them!

Me: (sits up abruptly) Hey waitasec! You can’t wear those in public! I’ll never get married!

As I was saying, do you know my sister? Maybe you have someone for me?


9 thoughts on ““I Know His Sister…”

  1. Lol, I think maybe your youngest sister and mine were twins stolen from their parents and separated at birth. It’s the only thing that explains how different we are. As to my own kids, when people ask how many I have I explain that I have “three ‘only’ children.” Knowing one tells you nothing about the others.

  2. lol. I have the same thing with my sister directly below me. We don’t look alike, and have very different personalities and opinions. I don’t think anyone could redht a shidduch based on her to me or vice versa. hehe. Nice observation.

  3. LOL!!!

    My family is pretty varied; I always wonder what I’ll be like when I grow up…Hard to follow this train of thought in a concise comment, so whatever.

    Anyway, plenty of people define me based on my sister, so I’d think they’d be pretty disappointed to be mistaken, except they’re so convinced we’re alike that they refuse to see the differences… This is really making shidduchim confusing…

  4. I am VERY different than my sister just below me. However, a teacher that she works with just recently called her to redt her a shidduch. My sister told her right away that she has an older sister so this shadchan was like “oh, so maybe it’s for your sister.” Interestingly enough, the shidduch sounded much more suited for me than my sister, but it was funny how she originaly thought of it for my sister. Hey, ya never know..

  5. My sister and I are fairly similar in a lot of ways, although there are more differences now than there used to be. I think if she’d come back to America after sem as planned, we’d be much more similar than we are now; we probably would have been able to date the same guys. But even then, we were never the exact same person, although we understand each other very well and have a lot of the same tastes. Our looks are somewhat similar; people tend to either think we look like twins or think we don’t look related at all. I think that if someone tried to redt me a shidduch based on my sister, it wouldn’t be that too far off the mark.

    Still, I understand the frustration felt by people who are very dissimilar to their siblings. It must be incredibly annoying (and sometimes even harmful) to be judged based on someone so different from yourself, even if you do share a set of parents.

  6. Pingback: Friday Repost: One Big Happy Family | Bad for Shidduchim

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