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)