Laptop Anthropologist

Meeting my sister from another mister.

By Tara Murtha
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 6 | Posted Aug. 6, 2008

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The first thing, the other Tara Murtha says is, "Oh, I'm glad you're hot too. I mean, who wants to be the Not Hot Tara Murtha?"


She's flanked by her friend Jeff, a bike messenger dude in full regalia. He shakes my hand and explains he's come to protect her in case it's a setup. "I don't want Tara Murtha getting raped," he says. I agree.

We stroll in search of champagne and Tara begins, "Well, my name was actually changed at Ellis Island ... "

I scream. My grandfather Daniel left Ireland with the name Murtaugh, but the ethnicity was shaved off at Ellis Island. An Ellis Island special, my family calls it.

"Exactly," she says.

It's amazing how much we have in common. All our grandparents are deceased. We're blond with blue eyes. We have two brothers. We bitch about Gone With the Wind. Her parents, like mine, were convinced she was a lesbian in college. We both call our moms "Mama," which we discover while calling our families to try to figure out if we're related.

The balloon's not working at the Zoo, so we head for the monkey house. We chat about dating older men, HIV tests, hairstyles and transsexual hookers. All in all, an excellent first date.

Then things get awkward. We're staring at a monkey with, like, perfect breasts. Woman-looking breasts.

"She's got a bigger rack than me!" Tara says before whipping around, slapping me in the arm and laughing. "I'm glad you have small boobs too!"

We're having a great time, but haven't settled the adjective issue. I bring up the offensive Google hit. "What's the deal with calling yourself the 'real Tara Murtha' in the vagina story?" I finally ask. Turns out her friend added the "real" part.

She says she's just fine with being the Other Tara Murtha. So am I. Very Hegelian with a dash of de Beauvoir. Dig it.

Then we discover we'd already put each other's names and numbers in our phones as OTM. And without having to discuss it, we know exactly what to call each other when we do call each other. Crazy.

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Comments 1 - 6 of 6
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1. PAT said... on Aug 6, 2008 at 09:27AM

“It really is funny how when two people have the same name, each one wants to be the original. My husband's sister was named Pat as was I. Even tho she was married and gave up her maiden name, she laughed and told me she would always be Pat M-----, and I would be known in the family as Pat Sullivan, my maiden name and here it is 44 yrs. later and I'm still Pat Sullivan or Tom's Pat.”

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2. BettyB said... on Aug 6, 2008 at 04:27PM

“I had another Elizabeth Flynn! She even had the same birthday. She was kinda boring though... Melissa Rose had another Melissa Rose, but she died, and the first Melissa got married and changed her name to Hammelbacker...hmm. Your Tara Murtha seems like way more fun...”

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3. Wendy said... on Aug 7, 2008 at 10:48AM

“With all the Wendy Smiths in the world I actually never met one. Great story!”

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4. Cathal McGinn said... on Aug 20, 2008 at 03:41PM

“Only 1 Cathal McGinn!”

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5. PAT said... on Sep 3, 2008 at 07:57AM

“Hilarious! MY name is Pat, and my wife's sister's boyfriend is also named Pat (just to be clear, I am a male Pat). We have been classified as Pat 1 and Pat 2, and this has become the subject of competition to see who takes 1st (I win because I'm a husband, and I was actually 1st). It gets extra weird if/when my mom is around, because she is also Pat. Of course, out of respect, she automatically assumes the title of Pat 1, if only temporarily. I am reading this because my wife, who happens to be FRIENDS with the non-PW-writing Other Tara Murtha, told me about the story and sent me the link. Here I am reading this, and the first comment is from Pat, whose in-law is also Pat, and so on. So, Pat: I feel your pain. And Tara: I think it's obvious, but you should probably do a follow-up piece on this phenomenon.”

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6. Joe Rubenstein said... on Nov 12, 2008 at 04:21PM

“Tara, That is just too damn strange! Do you still see the Other? Check out Doppleganger (sp.?), anyway..good to hear and read you. I'll be in Phila. Monday meeting up with a consultant at the Penn Museum (noon). Any chance before or after? Joe”


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