Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Twinner tales


When my mom found out she was pregnant she said, “Anything but two girls!” Well, about 2 weeks later, here we were! Sorry Mom.

It has been 9.5 years since I lived with my sister, my identical twin sister. Growing up I spent almost every waking minute with my sister. In kindergarten they tried to put us into separate classes but my mom wouldn’t put up with that. Again in second grade they didn’t succeed, and onward and upward. We had the same friends, liked the same things (except avacados and oatmeal), and finished each others sentences. People referred to us simply as “the twins,” the “Jackson twins,” or what made my blood boil (only mildly I guess), “twinners.” For some reason I found that term so annoying.

(Buds since the womb!)

People would tell us we were the most identical twins they had ever met. “You guys look ex-actly alike.” They would ask what made us different. We would say, “We’re similar, but different” but in reality I often had a hard time deciding how we were different. But I knew we were and I knew that that was important. The only people who could tell us apart were our close friends and family. It was a thing of pride to be able to tell us apart. Most people were too afraid to try. In college I was surprised how many people knew my name. I thought I was really good at names—I knew everyone’s name who knew mine. Then I realized, I had NEVER had an acquaintance I couldn’t remember know my name. Never. Anyway, sidetrack…We had tips. If you dared try. I had dimples. And a green vein on my forehead (Erin means Ireland if that helps you remember). We were constantly being told to '”Smile.” People started getting embarrassed to ask but I was glad to give them a chance to try to get my name right, “It’s a good reminder,” we would say." We would also get often unwelcome comparisons, “Okay, she has the fat face. She has the slanty eyes. She’s the happy one. She’s the grumpy one.” Nothing to brighten your day better than to be told you are the ugly twin.

(Okay, I gave you the hints. Can you tell who is who?)

My whole identity growing up was “the twins.” When we went away to college my dad made us live in separate dorms. I very quickly found my way over to Amber’s place about any time I was bored. But suddenly I wasn’t the “Jackson twins” (notice the plural, I was always plural, even when alone) anymore. I was Erin. People didn’t even know I had a twin (which made for some funny run-ins on campus).

Then she moved across the country. And then so did I. Now I am a dentist and am in residency. She works as a counselor and teaches at the University back home. She is pregnant. We are both married. I don’t know everyone’s name. Instead of knowing her every secret, I know a few; her husband knows most. The funny thing is, as we’ve grown apart, we’ve also physically changed. People are often disappointed at how un-twinnish we are.

Now, I don’t usually remember I am a twin. It’s more of an after thought. I don’t feel like we’re twins anymore.

Which makes me sad sometimes.


(goofing around like only twins know how to do together)


MichiganMarshes said...

Loved your post. I'm not a twin obviously, but I get asked the same types of questions and told the same things about my boys and I have the same problems coming with answers. My boys are totally different even though they are interested in exactly the same things. They are just starting to realize that people can't tell them apart (somtimes even grandparents). I'm pretty sure you and Amber were my friends so I could know how to be a good parent to my boys. Thanks! I am always thinking about the things you guys said annoyed you and apply that to my little guys.

nathan n rachel said...

What a cute kiddo you were (and your sister).

Amber said...

Awww, I miss you guys!

brenna said...

Mom was only pregnant for 2 weeks?

Amber said...

It's sad sometimes to not feel like a twin anymore. But it's nice to have an identity. I miss you. And I wish I remember all our funny twin stories. I thought I'd never forget--they'd make for good stand up comedy. Let's brainstorm someday and write a book. ;)

Heidi Henderson said...

What a fun entry! I often wonder what it would have been like to be identical... the funny thing is my sister and I would fight about if we were identical twins, who would we look like. ha ha...
I've been honored to know such wonderful woman... you two are amazing. And yes it's hard to move on in life and have your own identity, but it's also part of the growing pains in life. It was wierd to me when I went to college and people knew me as Heidi and not Hollie's sister... :)

You are the best! Love you both!

PS... my favorite was when Amber and I were roommates and we would tell people we were twins.... they'd look at us funny... like huh... then we'd say... okay, so we're twins, just not to each other :)

Heidi Henderson said...
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