In the year 1992 or thereabouts when my brother was about three years old, we, then a family of four, all went to the German Market (Kriskindelmarkt) in Ottawa. I think we were also with my Oma. For the past few years, it had become a tradition to go there every year, or every year we could make it. So, there we are, the four of us, stomping around the Market, looking at trinkets and my parents making sure that we wouldn't knock down any of the fragile figurines or whatnot. Of course, I was petrified of knocking down anything, so I stayed a good distance away from some of the more expensive and fragile things. My brother, however, liked to get really close to practically sniff or maybe even drool on some of the ornaments. Being only two or three years old, he was allowed to be a drooler. Well, I digress.
So, there we were at the German Market. It was always very comforting to hear so much German spoken in one place. After looking at the massive gingerbread house that they made every year, we slowly started to make our way back to the car to go home. We stopped to get our coats back on. As my parents were still talking to Oma and organizing all of our coats and mitts, my brother kept on walking oblivious to the fact that no one was walking with him anymore. Well, it turns out that he thought he was still walking with Mom. In fact, my brother was walking down the stairs to the Market basement, holding onto the coat of some lady. There were a few seconds of panic when my parents didn't see my brother. Fortunately, we caught him just in time, before he went too far down the stairs. I think he had just noticed that this woman wasn't his mother. The woman hadn't noticed until we came up to them! Anyway, it was quite funny, for me especially, that my brother had ran away with this woman that resembled my mother. It was a good thing that the woman had a good sense of humour about the whole thing, rather than think that this kid was pleading for a way to get out of our family.
Something somewhat similar happened to me tonight. I was eating at the community supper. My sister was due to perform her Christmas concert after the supper. My Mom was across the buffet table from me, and we were talking whilst she put food on her plate. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to stay to watch my sister's play, so I went to give her a hug and a kiss on the forehead goodbye. I leaned into her beside me and was just about to embrace her when I realized that this was not at all my sister. I had gotten close to her and my hand had touched her shoulder. This was some random lady beside me who was helping herself to the food. We both kind of jumped, probably I the most after realizing my mistake. This woman was the same build and had the same hair style as my sister! I felt quite embarrassed and ran over to the table where my sister was sitting. I gave her a hug and a kiss, and the lady exploded with: "You thought I was a kid?"
"Um, I thought you were my sister..." I sputtered.
"It's the height, isn't it, isn't it!" she exclaimed.
"No no, it's the hair, the hair style, yours is the same..." I peetered out.
"Oh, no no, it's the height!" At least she was laughing.
There wasn't more I could say to save face. I grabbed my coat and got the heck out of there. Whew.