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?