Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Le Mot Juste -- Right Then!

          Today I read that there’s a Yiddish word  for “the right thing, said at the right time.”  Sorry, can’t remember what I was reading, can’t find it again.  But it’s a word we need in English, though it would be used rarely.  Most times you think of what you should have said hours later, perhaps in the middle of the night.   That’s why I remember clearly one time when I gave the perfect answer right then and there.
Betty and David
          My cousin Betty’s twin was as big as she was little.  She was about my height, and what with the elderly shrinking, I’m hard put to make five feet lately.
          Over the years, when Betty told people she had a twin brother, every so often she’d get the question
           “Identical or fraternal?”
           But that’s not the point of this story. 
           So Betty and I met for lunch, discovered we were dressed alike.  Neither had bothered to fuss – we were both in blue work shirts, faded jeans, clunky old-lady white sneakers.
            Lunch was fine, then we decided to stop at a supermarket.  In we went, she turned up one aisle, I started up another, and a woman tapped my arm.
           “Excuse me, but I’m curious.  Are you twins?”
            And I replied without a moment's hesitation!

“She is.  I’m not.”



  1. We do have 'the right place at the right time...

  2. re: twin brother, identical or fraternal, we once had a medical student who asked the standardized patient, "have you ever committed suicide?"

  3. I'm reading 1984 right now, and it's making me appreciate words that are very infrequently used but useful!