A dictionary would define embarrassment as a cause to feel awkward or ashamed. Well, if my brother actually goes ahead and gets engaged to Miss Halpern — my science teacher — that will definitely fall under the above definition. I mean, seriously! Of all the girls in the world available to him, why did he have to pick her?

My classmate Shira’s brother got engaged to Miss Klein just a few weeks ago. Miss Klein is the most dynamic, popular and fun-loving teacher, always surrounded by a horde of admiring students (myself among them). And you know what? Shira doesn’t even appreciate how lucky she is to have gotten such a sister-in-law. Shira is more on the quiet side; the type of girl who would rather stay at home with a gripping novel than attend the camp reunion. And me, whose middle name is fun, might end up with a sister-in-law like Miss Halpern. Talk about irony. What I wouldn’t do to swap places with Shira.

It’s not that I don’t like my brother. I do. I think he’s a great guy and will make an even greater husband, but there’s no denying it — he’s slightly different from the mass population. Ditto for Miss Halpern. Which is why deep in my heart I know that they are a good match. And because I know that — and from the way my brother’s been walking around recently, with that silly grin on his face and a certain glow in his eye, I can see he knows it, too, and I know that it’s probably only a matter of time before they make it official — my sense of the impending doom is only getting greater.

Nobody hates Miss Halpern. Thank goodness, she’s not one of those intolerable teachers who think they own the monopoly over the classroom just because they’ve been to seminary in Israel for a year and received a teaching degree, and suffering from severe memory shortage that in the very recent past they were on the other side of the desk. Nope! That’s not the problem. Miss Halpern is somewhat strict but she’s also caring and fair and everybody knows that. It’s just that she’s a bit interesting. And not interesting as in her lessons are interesting but interesting as in different; slightly off the beaten track. Her excessive interest in science for a start. She teaches the most boring topics with the same animation used to discuss a clearance sale in Macy’s, and not noticing everyone rolling their eyes while she’s droning on and on. And then there’s her clothes. While I can’t say they’re old-fashioned, they’re definitely not the current fashion. Not that my brother would see that as a strike against her. He’s forever making fun of me and my sisters when we beg our mother to buy us new clothes because our old ones are “so last year.” (Excerpted from Mishpacha Jr., Issue 676)