Sunday, May 13, 2007

Another Birthday Post

While everyone else is doing Mother's Day, we've been celebrating my sister's 40th birthday (it's also my dad's 70th, but he is away, so we'll be celebrating when he gets back--Happy Birthday Daddy!).

This is the speech I made last night at her birthday bash (first her husband welcomed everyone and introduced me, saying "I am a man of few words, but Becca is a woman of many words"):

Hi, I'm S's sister, Becca. Those of you who know us both know that we are very different. Those of you who only know one of us also know that we are very different, because you've heard us complain about the other. [nervous laughter as people fear this is going to be an inappropriate roast]

But there is one important way in which we are alike, and that is our looks. [peals of genuine laughter, as all evening my sister's friends have been doing double-takes when they see me]

Now, I don't really see it. First of all, nobody knows what she herself really looks like, and second, I'm the one who, when people say the baby looks just like her mother, thinks, uh, the baby looks just like a baby. [now they know they can laugh, and they are pretty much laughing through the rest]

But I have come to terms with the fact that S and I look alike, because wherever I go, from City to California, people come up to me and say, "S!!!" or "S?" or "Did you teach at City Neighborhood School?" or "Did you go to City School of Suburb?"

[Here I left out a piece, but nobody noticed. The part I left out was: So I've learned, whenever I see a stranger looking at me quizzically, to say "I'm S's sister."]

Actually, though, looking like my sister has been a wonderful thing, because I've learned so much about her. Did you know that there are dozens, perhaps hundreds, of children in Blue State whose best teacher ever was S? And that she is a fabulous dancer? And such a great hostess? And there are so many people out there who miss her, and wish they could see her, and send her their best regards? [I actually can't remember if I did this part in the interrogative or the declarative--I practiced the speech a lot in my head, and this is the first time I'm writing it down.]

So I'd like everyone to raise their glass and toast S--and I'm going to do this chronologically--the best daughter, sister, wife, mother, teacher, dancer, flower arranger, long-term maker of photo quilts [at this point, S and and a few of her friends started chiming in with "ninja warrior," "Jedi knight," and the like, and I was pretty much drowned out]. May the next forty years bring double the pleasure and half the trouble.


Anonymous said...

Hey- you are the greatest sister ever. It really was an excellent speech. No one could ever helped make my birthday a very special day. THanks.

Dawn said...

I would totally swipe that speech for *my* sister's 40th birthday (same day as M's) but I don't look like her. Rats.

jackie said...

What a sweet speech! My sister and I look nothing alike, but I have a similar experience-- my maiden name is very unusual, and my mother and stepmother are both teachers and were for decades, so often in my life I have had strangers hear my name and then tell me what a great teacher my mother is.

Libby said...

Hmm, my sister's 40th is coming up, and we do look alike...maybe I'll be swiping some of this, too!