Monday, February 22, 2010

My "Twin"

Have you ever met someone who everyone honestly thought was your twin? I'm going to guess that you haven't, because this isn't something that happens to normal people. But there was a girl I used to know with whom I had a very personally conflicting relationship.

We had met at a drama camp and thought nothing of it. We were both short, with darkish curly hair and the same first name, but that wasn't an uncommon description. We were friendly enough to each other, exchanged phone numbers, and went away thinking we were never going to see each other again.

However. I went to the snow with my family that year and, as I was sidling over to my skiing lesson, I saw a familiar face. Well, ok, it wasn't her face I noticed first. It was that girl, only... something was weird. We were both wearing the same pink ski jacket, the same black pants. We both had blue beanies and were both currently growing our hair long. At first I was like, 'Hey, coincidence!', but then things started to get very confusing for everyone. I was placed in the same ski class as her and her father, and so the three of us automatically banded together. Naturally, everyone assumed she and I were sisters at the very least. Most people assumed we were twins who had never outgrown the novelty of dressing alike. It then got more confusing when everyone else in the class struggled to learn our names. This is how the conversation usually went:

Man: So, what was your name again?
Me: Sarah*
Man: Oh, ok. I thought the other one was named Sarah.
Me: She is.
Man: Oh. Wait, so you guys aren't sisters?
Me: No, just friends.
Man: Oh, so you came down here together?
Me: Um, no. We just sort of ran into each other.
Man: Wearing the exact same outfit? Thousands of kilometres away from where you live?
Me: Yes.

At the end of the week, we again exchanged numbers, promising to catch up again. And we did end up texting each other fairly regularly. The messages that followed made up the most politely passive-aggressive assertion of identity I have ever been a part of.

See, it turned out we also had the same nickname. It's not a name I use anymore (there comes a time in a person's life when you are just too old to get away with a nickname that ends in a Z), but at the time it was MY name. Not anyone else's name, my name. My identity, even. Unfortunately, she felt the same way. It was never something we were going to outright bring up with each other - we were far too polite for any of that. What ensued was a series of text messages, where she would address me by our real name, and sign off with the nickname. In response, I would address HER by our real name, reply to what she'd said, and then sign off with the nickname. This continued for entirely too long.

Neither of us ended up coming out ahead. I think we realised that the whole thing was entirely too absurd and ceased all contact.

-Smackie Onassis


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