I feel like everyone has a story like this, or knows someone who does.
The part I really don’t understand is twofold:
- If a girl is usually well-behaved and follows the rules, why would you automatically jump to the conclusion that she’s suddenly fraternizing with members of the opposite gender?
- Either way, what about judging people favorably? You know, the old dan likaf zechus thing we are supposed to do?
Anyway, this story comes to us via Rachel, although it happened to her friend.
Dassi was out in public with her big brother. Even worse, they were on Avenue J. Maybe they were picking up some groceries from Blue Ribbon for their mother. Or, honestly, they might have sat down for some pizza for lunch at J2. There are any number of reasons two siblings might be out on the main strip together.
Neither of them thought anything of it. After all, they hung out together all the time at home, with no insinuations of propriety. In fact, it’s really touching, when siblings lack that competitive rivalry, and can spend time together peacefully. It warms my heart, really.
Well, it didn’t warm the heart of Dassi’s principal. On Monday, whilst putting her English lit book back in her locker, Dassi was accosted by the principal and drawn aside for a severe talking to.
“So, who is your boyfriend?”
“Your boyfriend. Who is he? Where did you get him from?”
“I don’t have a boyfriend.”
“Don’t try to lie to me. You have the chutzpah to walk down Avenue J with him, and then deny to my face that he exists?”
“I — I –” Dassi groped for a good answer to this bewildering statement. She wasn’t lying. She hadn’t had any such chutzpah, and she wasn’t denying anything to the principal’s face. Well, she was, but it was true!
“You were seen yesterday walking down Avenue J with a boy. Do you deny this?”
“O–oh! That was my brother!”
Snort from the principal.
“No really, that was my brother. He goes to Torah V’daas. We were running some errands together.”
“Good story. You really expect me to believe it? Listen here, Dassi, I’ve been in this job for a long time. I wasn’t born yesterday.”
“No really,” Dassi was smiling with relief. “That’s my big brother. He’s two years older than me. He’s going to Israel next year. We’re very close.”
The principal did not believe, and persisted in accusing an otherwise well-behaved student of brazen mendacity.
“But it’s true!” Dassi was getting frustrated. “You can even ask my mother!”
This turned out to be a solution they could both agree on. Dassi dialed her mother’s cell.
“Hi Mommy, can you please tell Rebbetzin Stern who I was on Avenue J with yesterday?”
“Um, you mean Menachem? Your brother?”
Dassi grinned triumphantly across the desk at the principal.
“Thanks, that’s all. Love you!”
“Um, love you too. We’ll talk later.”
And with that, she was permitted to return to class.
This story submitted by Rachel, who never fraternizes with her brothers in public.