Author Topic: "Are you two related?"  (Read 11028 times)

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Piratelvr1121

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"Are you two related?"
« on: March 22, 2010, 10:14:58 AM »
This wasn't so much an offensive question, but an interesting assumption nonetheless.   

BG:  I've mentioned before that one of my dearest friends is in her 50's, and I'm 31.  We met online and hit it off because of a shared love for Pirates of the Caribbean, Johnny Depp, and a love of all things Irish.   Plus we have the same taste in clothes and jewelry.  Most of the time when we're talking online, on the phone or in person we don't notice the age difference.     She doesn't look her age, either, as she looks more like she's in her early 40's, at most.   

I went to meet and visit her last summer in her hometown in Iowa last summer and we had a grand time shopping and just hanging out.   

Here's where the interesting assumption comes in.   A few places we went to outside of her hometown (It's small and they all know her, her sister and niece) to go shopping, she'd tell them I was visiting from Maryland and joke about our age difference and they'd ask, "Are you two related?"  We'd tell them "Oh no, just good friends."

We don't look a lot alike apart from having fair complexions and auburn hair.   But then again if you saw her and her niece together you wouldn't necessarily guess they were related if you didn't already know.   And I don't look like all of my relatives either. 

It's just an interesting assumption, I think, that two people hanging out who are a significant age difference are probably related.   
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

goblue2539

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Re: "Are you two related?"
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2010, 10:18:57 AM »
I'm not even sure it's because of the age difference.  I have a close friend who is only a few years older than me, and we get the "Are you sisters?" thing all the time.  It seems to have more to do with how we relate to each other than any age or appearance commonality. 

It is an assumption, but it's certainly not a bad one.  :D  I think it's really cool that you're close enough and comfortable enough for people to assume you're actually relatives.

Squeaks

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Re: "Are you two related?"
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2010, 10:31:12 AM »
Sometimes subtle mannerisms can really show through and make people seem related. 

So a slight visual resemblance, combined with certain interactions and similar mannerisms can lead to the question.

FWIW I do not think it is a rude question.  "related" does mean anything derogatory or comment on age, it seems to mostly be a conversation starter.

Piratelvr1121

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Re: "Are you two related?"
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2010, 10:39:14 AM »
I've had that happen too, with another very good friend who is only a few months younger than I.   Though we were asked if we were cousins.    

It's not a bad assumption at all, as I wouldn't mind being related to either of these friends!    I didn't think it was rude or offensive, just interesting and to be honest, flattering one! 
Quote
Sometimes subtle mannerisms can really show through and make people seem related. 

So a slight visual resemblance, combined with certain interactions and similar mannerisms can lead to the question.


Interestingly enough, a coworker of my friend was listening to the two of us talk to each other and observed that our voices sound very similar.   So it could have been that, too.   
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

Sophia

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Re: "Are you two related?"
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2010, 11:58:53 AM »
I get that fairly regularly with one friend.  It is so common, I now call him "the brother I don't have".  It gets across the idea that while yes, we are close, and yes, we might have come in one car, he's had health problems.  No, we aren't married to each other, and No, we aren't having an affair.  I think it has more to do with mannerisms and that we've known each other for 15+ years.  Plus, If we brought in photos of our parents, people would say that he looks more like my dad's kid than I do. 

gollymolly2

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Re: "Are you two related?"
« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2010, 12:04:11 PM »
It's not really an assumption if they're asking, right?

Piratelvr1121

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Re: "Are you two related?"
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2010, 12:17:26 PM »
I guess not, really.   After one of these encounters while we were in Cedar Rapids, I commented to my friend about the people who had asked if we were related.   One person did ask how we were related and we told them we're not. 

She said "Well I don't think we look related, it's probably the fact that you're visiting from out of town and our age difference.   They're probably not used to seeing such an age gap between friends, so they assume we must be related."

I was telling a local acquaintance about this friend, as we were talking about people we knew who chose to never marry.   I mentioned that this friend is one of them.   The acquaintance, who is just a year younger than my friend, smiled and said "Well I'm sure she'll change her mind when she's older and meets someone..." thus assuming the friend is close to my age.  I kind of chuckled and informed her that my friend's in her 50's and has long given up on finding a man, and is happier being single. :)   

My friend told me that when she told her sister how old I am before I came out to visit last year, she said with surprise "Oh! Okay!"  N said "Well some people seem to be surprised that my best friend is a woman young enough to be my daughter!"  :D

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

Luci

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Re: "Are you two related?"
« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2010, 12:54:32 PM »
I went to a flea market with a friend 20 years younger than I am and we were really having a great time. One of the vendors asked if we were related, we looked at each other in shock, and I said to my friend, "Oh my golly! I AM old enough to be your mother!" I don't think either one of us truly realized it before, even though we had discussed cultural differences in our age groups. I am also just a tad older than her eldest sibling.

At least the vendor didn't ask me if I was Mom. Whew! Vendor dodged an etiquette bullet on that one, didn't she?

Hushabye

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Re: "Are you two related?"
« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2010, 01:14:40 PM »
I get that with my husband, and I still haven't come up with a good response to "Are you two brother and sister?" that doesn't immediately result in me bursting into laughter or being grossed out.

Piratelvr1121

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Re: "Are you two related?"
« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2010, 02:01:39 PM »
I went to a flea market with a friend 20 years younger than I am and we were really having a great time. One of the vendors asked if we were related, we looked at each other in shock, and I said to my friend, "Oh my golly! I AM old enough to be your mother!" I don't think either one of us truly realized it before, even though we had discussed cultural differences in our age groups. I am also just a tad older than her eldest sibling.

At least the vendor didn't ask me if I was Mom. Whew! Vendor dodged an etiquette bullet on that one, didn't she?

LOL!! Yeah, she did.   My friend has been pointing out that she'd old enough to be my mother since we found out each other's ages when we met online two years ago.   She often jokes about our age difference and the fact that she does mother me often.   It's nice though, when you're close enough to someone that you don't notice the age difference until it's pointed out.   Like when one of you can remember the 70's and the other was born during them! LOL!
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

PeasNCues

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Re: "Are you two related?"
« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2010, 02:03:55 PM »
I think it's an assumption, but I don't think it is a rude one.
'I shall sit here quietly by the fire for a bit, and perhaps go out later for a sniff of air.  Mind your Ps and Qs, and don't forget that you are supposed to be escaping in secret, and are still on the high-road and not very far from the Shire!' -FOTR

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Pinky830

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Re: "Are you two related?"
« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2010, 02:04:55 PM »
Meh, it happens. I work for an old friend. We are both tall with reddish hair and freckles. We really don't look anything alike...you would never confuse us with each other...but we are vaguely reminiscent of each other if that makes sense. A few clients have asked if we're related.  

WolfWay

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Re: "Are you two related?"
« Reply #12 on: March 23, 2010, 08:22:17 AM »
My flatmate and I get the "are you sisters?" question all the time. I think we've picked up a lot of mannerisms from each other over the years.

I also had the same question a lot at school about myself and another girl in the same class as we were both blonde, bespectacled and fat. We had nothing in common with each other except for a vague physical resemblance. I did get a little sick of being called by her name though.

On a slight tangent: I've two widely different assumptions about my poor mum not being related to me.

When I was a teenage, I've had people assume my mum was my grandmother.  :(

Once I hit my twenties, people refused to believe that my mum was really old enough to be my mum. I didn't mention that I have an older brother who is eleven years older than me. Their heads might have exploded.  ;D (My mum has aged fantastically. She's past retirement age, but people still assume she's only in her 40s).
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Suze

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Re: "Are you two related?"
« Reply #13 on: March 23, 2010, 08:32:54 AM »
I have some really good friends that people can't figure out if I am related to the Hubby or the Wife......

looks more the hubby and actions more the wife.

no relationship other than the one that we supplied ourselves.  Brothers and Sisters.   Apparently I am the Sister she wished she got instead of the ones she did and the Sister he never had (only child)

and he is the big brother I never got and she is the sister close to my age. (my only sib is 14 years older than I am)

Her and I went "shopping" the other weekend and got sooooo stupit and silly by the time we got home......

and I am 50 and she is 47 and we were giggling like two 16 year olds.....
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BeagleMommy

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Re: "Are you two related?"
« Reply #14 on: March 23, 2010, 10:48:11 AM »
I'm not really sure it's an assumption, but it is not rude.  My brother and I get the opposite.  I favor my mom and bro is a carbon copy of dad (my parents joke that they recycled themselves).  He is about two inches taller and I have more of a rosy complexion.  We both have dark brown hair and brown eyes.

People will often ask "How do you know each other?".

We've started answering "DNA".  ;D