Some of my most interesting experiences happen when I’m walking my dog. I meet a lot of fellow dog-walkers who are generally nice humans. Except that stern, rod-straight man and his neurotic, uber-focused Border Collie that I’ve seen every day for the last I-don’t-know-how-many years on their way to the beach. Neither of them look happy, if you ask me. The man never smiles, rarely speaks and looks exactly the same every single day. This is not an exaggeration. I could spot that guy anywhere in the world in a throng of identically looking men at any given time. Same khaki pants, same backpack, same hat, same red jacket, same green Chuckit toy. I kick ass at Where’s Waldo because of this guy.
I give the man props for taking his furry companion to the beach every day but for the love of Dog give the poor thing some Prozac before he starts licking the walls from too much training!
But this post isn’t about dogs or grouchy neighbors. It’s about twins.
Twins fascinate me. They always have. It wouldn’t be a stretch to admit that I secretly wanted to have one. But that would have been a cruel twist of fate for my parents especially if the cosmos has cursed them with an identical set of me. I’ll leave the reasons up to the reader’s imagination. To be clear, it’s fraternal twins that I’m fascinated by. Specifically, the differences between them. I mean, if would be silly to “compare identical twins”, right? Wouldn’t that be oxymoronic? (or is it just me?)
It was my recent good fortune to cross paths with a gorgeous set of twin girls. They looked to be about 6 and were drawn to my dog who is a very handsome dude, if I must say so myself. I overheard them ask their father if they could pet him and he replied they had to ask me nicely first. This made me like the dad immediately. I said yes before they even asked. These two cherubs had eyes the color of the ocean behind them and the blonde braids that I longed for in my teen years and still covet as an adult. They were very similar in appearance but their differences were abundantly clear. Cherub #1 was gregarious and talkative and enveloped my dog with brave hugs and nose kisses despite the fact that he was eye-level. Her hands were dirty with whatever it was she had explored on the beach and her braid was coming apart at the seams. Cherub #2 stepped in once she saw her sister getting major face licks. She was clearly more cautious and definitely cleaner like maybe she used a sand shovel to dig for that buried treasure rather than her bare hands. She wore a frilly hair trinket that kept her braids from abandoning ship.
Cherub #1 sported a tattered denim skirt, a stained cotton tee-shirt and fleece camouflage boots. Cherub #2, a feminine tutu and an equally girly-girl top. Her fleece boots were brilliant pink and adorned with a million sequins.
When I commented on their boots, Cherub #1 volunteered they got them for Christmas. When I asked them if they were twins, it opened up a floodgate of information delivered in a spray of machine-gun-fire consciousness devoid of pauses: we’re twins and we’re going to be six and we were born on the same day but we’re not identical and our birthday is August 21st and we’re going to have a big party when we get home and we love dogs and we’re on vacation and live in Idaho and this is my dad his name is Jeff but my mom could come because she had to work and do you want to know what we want for our birthday?
My head was still reeling from all that information and I was searching for bullet holes in my chest but hell yes, I was dying to know.
“I want a bow and arrow,” she said.
When I asked Cherub #2 what she wanted, she replied with a clear and confident voice.
“I…want a wedding dress.”
Dad laughed out loud, not the least but surprised by any of this.
“As you can see…they only look alike,” he said.
I could tell by the way he looked down at them he was head over heels in love with his angel twins and their myriad differences. He was proud of them and it showed. It made me like him even more.
All I can say is those little nuggets made my day. And even though the encounter was fleeting and random, I’ll never look at a bow and arrow or a wedding dress as long as I live without thinking of them.
I told you twins were fascinating.
Or maybe it’s just me.