by Jonathan Biped Perry
I’m two years older than my brother Jay, but for the last several years people have assumed that he is the older brother. At least since college. It may be because he has a professional job where he has to wear a suit, however much he may try not to (when I wear suits to work people ask if I have a job interview and look at me suspiciously). Jay may seem older because he’s more of an Alpha. It may also be that he has a wife and a son, whereas I have cupboards full of chocolate and still talk about getting a rock band together. But it is possible that people think he’s older because he looks older. His hairline has receded more than mine (though he still has a fine head of hair) and I’m not sure that he’s discovered the magic (or vanity) of facial exfoliation and moisturizer (I only use a little. I’m not too weird.).
Last Christmas Jay and his family and I vacationed together in CA to see our living ancestors and random members of the family tree. After a Christmas church service, a man I was talking to made a reference to my father visiting with me. He was actually talking about my younger brother Jay standing right behind me! I couldn’t believe it. How excellent is this? I suspect that the old chap had poor vision or there were strange shadows across Jay’s face that aged him 30 years, or maybe he just misspoke, but it was still wild to hear! At least for me. Jay wasn’t so keen. This will certainly be one of those annoying things I’ll bring up for decades to come. “Jay, remember that Christmas when the guy thought you were my dad? That was awesome!”
For years when we were growing up people often thought Jay and I were twins, though it may have been mostly because they were only seeing us from a distance and maybe the twin talk was more in a fraternal twin sort of way. I could see that. We do look a lot alike. But having my younger brother mistaken for my father is killer and I don’t suppose I’ll ever let Jay live that one down. Now, if I can only get people to think my youngest brother Chris is my mom, that would be swell.
Have you had weird experiences like this?
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