Saturday, August 4, 2007

Les gémeaux (Gemelles?)

I am a fraternal twin, my sister's name is Carrie and she lives in Madison, WI. She has a LiveJournal if you are interested. Most of her blog entries are epic dreams or simply strange dreams. Although we don't speak every day, its like we walk beside each other often. We were never alone in the world.

Being a twin is an amazing experience. A symbiosis develops over childhood. You think as a pair (even if in disagreement), negotiate as a pair, and can't imagine not being in a pair.

How is life different? Well, imagine being born into a partnership. You are blamed for all your partner's mishaps. For example, if your twin says something mean to someone you are actually accountable. Also, if you dress in something hideous, your twin gets the reputation for being unstylish. However, you also get credit for being smart if you twin is smart. You get special recognition (good or bad) on a regular basis.

And since this is a funny blog, what's funny about being a twin? Well, there was the time that we tried to trick our 5th grade teachers by changing clothes during recess and going to the other's class (we were never placed in the same class in K - 6). It worked too well. The teachers had no clue, and Carrie ended up taking a pretty important "placement" test for me. Good thing she's smart.

Another funny thing was the gift situation. My family was backed in a corner. They had to give the same gift, but slightly different (different color, design, etc.) If different gifts were given, somebody was always dissapointed. I remember the one Christmas my sister got a complete stereo- speakers, record player, 2-tape deck, tuner. Wow- the ability to make mix tapes! And I got...a 22 caliber rifle. Now, I was (am) a tomboy. I did like watching Dad pour metal bullet slugs, clean his muzzleloader (was into recreations), and shoot. However, I don't recall ever asking for a gun, especially considering we (Carrie and I) already shared a "sawed off" 22. Shhh! Don't tell the authorities. It is illegal, but that helped up to hold the thing, since rifles are heavy. Neither one of us shot at anything living, just pop cans and milk jugs filled with water. Anyway, that was a dramatic Christmas. My father swears, to this day, that I asked for the darn thing. I never shot it.

We have always compared ourselves, whether or not it was smart. We compare salaries, test scores, numbers of friends, pant sizes, and hair length and beauty. Carrie can't help but be envious that I have a life partner, PJ. I can't help but be jealous of her salary (especially considering we have the same job).

Speaking of having the same job, we ended up in the exact same job, coming from two entirely different directions. Get this. Carrie has a BA in Fine Art Painting. I have a BA in English Literature and Creative Writing. Carrie has a MA in Teaching with a specialization in Art Teaching. I have a MS in Information with a specialization in Human Computer Interaction. Carrie has worked as an ESL teacher in Korea, as a substitute in Alaska, as an art teacher in North Carolina, as a prep cook, as a gardener...and now she is working as a Documenter at a large organization in Madison. I, on the other hand, have worked as a writer, a college teacher, a temp secretary, a dishwasher, an interface designer, a librarian...and now I am working as a Tech Writer at a small organization. So, from two entirely different academic backgrounds and work histories, we both end up working with writing and training responsibilities for software companies. Weird!

We know each other so well. Carrie calls me when she is a)Bored, b)Upset, c)Proud. I probably do the same thing. I know when it is very important that I pick up the phone, and other times when I can ignore the call (if in the middle of a movie or something) when she is just bored. We talk about all those things that most people get annoyed with us for. For example, when we go out to dinner we'll tell the other exactly what we ate, exactly the modifications we requested for the meal (she'll request no mushrooms or meat, I'll request no Swiss cheese or raw onions). Now, most people cannot stand to hear this level of detail, but to us it is interesting. She'll tell me about the most recent person she has a crush on. I'll tell her about any drama with the dogs or PJ.

There is really a lot more about being a twin, but I'm getting distracted. One thing I can say is that I cannot imagine NOT being a twin.

One last note: please don't name your twins rhyming or alliterative names. Arrrgh!


Carrie said...

My twin is the awesomest. She's a Rion, she's pretty funny, etc.

All her writings about us are spot on.

Yup, it's the best to be a twin. But it's hard to understand you "standard" kids sometimes.

Anonymous said...

Well, I thought I left my LJ addy, but here it is.