Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Yin and Yang 2

My memories of grade school were of always protecting Konnie, however, I never thought her shyness would cause me any difficulties once we entered junior high. Though honestly, I didn’t really experience any glitches in seventh grade, since that year, the only guy who ever talked to me in the halls was the president of the student body who, for some strange reason took a liking to me on sight.

He just didn’t realize until around the middle of the year that two girls were ignoring his come ons. But I didn’t have a problem.

The first time I realized I had a problem with Konnie’s shyness was in eighth grade. That wasn’t until several months into the school year when I entered my third period class and a ninth grade boy in that class didn’t say hi to me for the first time all year. For next several days, every time I tried to catch his eye, he looked away.

I so wanted to know what was wrong, but my fourth period class was completely at the other end of the three-story building, I barely had enough time to make it to class before the tardy bell rang, and I never saw Greg (the guy in third period) at any other time during the day.

Then, a few days later, instead of fourth period, there was an assembly. Since there was no fear of a tardy bell, I stopped him before he left the class, and asked why he was mad at me.

He told me that he’d seen me in the halls the other day and he said hi, but I ignored him. I looked him in the eye and said, “When and where?” worried I had inadvertently not seen my friend.

He told me between sixth and seventh period down by the gym. I sighed with relief. “That wasn’t me.”

“It was too. I swear!”

I told him exactly where my sixth and seventh period classes were, both on the opposite end of the building as the gym. He repeated that he was sure he saw me; I smiled and said, “I’m a twin. And she has gym seventh period.”

He groaned and apologized.

After school that day was the first time I gave Konnie my, “If a guy says hi, say hi back because I might know him,” speech. And I really enjoyed moving to that smaller school in ninth grade simply because everyone knew both of us, there was no chance of her offending some guy friend of mine, and I didn’t have to worry about Konnie roaming the halls. Then we moved.

Fortunately, none of the guys at this school took offense by me apparently ignoring them. They asked me why sometimes I smiled and said hi while other times I looked down, blushing.
I told them, “That wasn’t me.”

They didn’t want to believe me, but a couple of friends who knew us from church were present for that conversation, and they backed me up, which started the discussion on how to tell us apart. I said, “If the one you see says hi back, it’s me, if she doesn’t say hi —”

And on of our church friends said, “You both say hi to me!”

“She knows you!”

“Well, how do I tell you apart?”

“Jeez, you see us together first thing in the morning. Figure it out!”

Anyway, despite it being a bigger school, I didn’t notice any huge problems with how shy Konnie was, but all that taught me one thing. If someone I’m sure I don’t know says hi as if they know me, I ask them how they think they know me.

And I’ve got a few fun stories of doing just that.

Anyway, that’s what being a twin is like for me.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Yin and Yang

The one saving thing for me growing up was having my twin by my side most of the time. Then we hit middle school, with different classes and very few of them together. For the first time in my life I had to navigate the halls of school on my own.
And this is where we first ran into a big problem.
I would walk down the hallway blithely ignoring greetings from strangers, guys, because I was far too shy to talk to them only to have Bonnie later come up and bop me on the head because I’d ignored a friend of hers.
I don’t remember such incidences in eight grade then in ninth grade we moved to a small school. The minute we walked in the entire student body knew there were two of us so we had no problems with mix ups until we moved again.
This last school was the largest yet. Here I handled it the same way I had in seventh grade, much to Bonnie’s dismay. I simply ignored greetings from any guys I didn’t know. So when her friends asked why sometimes she ignored them she had to respond. “Those times it wasn’t me.”
Of course by then she’d already given me the ‘if a guy you don’t know says hi to you he’s probably my friend so say hi,’ lecture several times. I never did.
Then there was the previously mentioned incident in P.E. class where my friend asked how to tell us apart.
After thinking about it a moment, I said, “Well, if you know her and see one of us in the hallway and say hi and get no response you have me. And if you know me and see one of us in the hallway,” I paused. “Well, you still don’t know which one you have.”
“That doesn’t help me. I know you.”
Bonnie always figured if she didn’t recognize someone saying hi to her than they must think she was me so she was friendly back. Me? There was no way I was talking to a stranger, especially a strange guy, so Bonnie’s friends got ignored. A lot.
But that is the yin and yang of being twins. One tends to be the quiet shy one and one tends to be the outspoken one. For us, I’ll gladly accept that I’m the quiet one.
I’m the one who quietly accepted walking past a guy friend of mine every day between second and third period passing at the drinking fountain so close I could touch him without ever saying a word.
I could end the story there but actually one day, at an after school drama activity, he mentioned to me that he hadn’t seen me in a couple of weeks and asked where I’d been. I told him where and when I saw him every day, saying, “Look down once in a while.” The next school day he was looking down as he came around that corner. He didn’t miss me anymore.

You would think I’d learn to speak up after that, but I’m still the quiet one. And though I’m not as shy now, I’m still the quiet one. I think it’s a twin thing.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Staying Connected The Twin Way

Okay, each year in the month of November is the online writing challenge  and I participate. Now Nano (as it’s called) is a well-organized event that even includes real time meetings in the real world called Write Ins, and this past Saturday I attended one such event.

As the meeting was winding down, and everyone was gathering their equipment, the leader of our local group said, “Now don’t forget to backup your work on a flash drive,” then went into a story, which happened to a guy in our group a couple a years ago where, near the end of the month, he lost his entire manuscript.

While the other ladies present all promised they had flash drives, but my first thought was, “Dang, I need to email K.De,” (my twin’s nickname) and the next second it struck me how out of place that would have sounded had I said it out loud.

But it wasn’t out of place. As loving sisters, we want to help each other, so we save copies of each other’s manuscripts on our computers as a backup.

It is also why a few days ago as it neared my bedtime and I hadn’t seen Konnie online all day, I called her, just to make sure everything was okay. And she’s done the same for me.

Back before we entered the modern internet world we kept in touch with periodic phone calls, which we never planned or expected, but I can’t tell you how many times I was busy when the phone rang and I told my husband something on the lines of, “Tell her I’m busy.”

The first time this happened, he stared at me. “Tell who you’re busy?”

“Just answer the phone!”

Of course, when he did answer, it was Konnie. I knew it was.

I can even remember a couple times when I asked my husband if he thought we could afford me calling Konnie when the phone rang and I said, “Never mind,” then answered her call.

My husband rolled his eyes heavenward and muttered, “Oh brother.”

And I drove him up the wall a few years ago when some work our landlord did at the back of our house knocked our phone line down. We were without phone or internet for four days and that whole time I fretted, “Konnie’s trying to get ahold of me!”

Of course, by this time we’d been married long enough that Tom didn’t try to tell I couldn’t possibly know what Konnie was doing clear in another state. He simply kept reminding me we’d done everything we could. The phone repair people would come on Monday. But, boy, that was one miserable weekend!

Now days I have cell phone, and I programmed her number with a special ring tone. If you hear music coming from my cell, it’s Konnie. But I do still have a landline. This is a fancy job that will vocally tell me who is calling, but even before that system kicks into action, I already know when it’s Konnie calling. Technology can’t trump genes! :)

Wednesday, November 5, 2014


What’s it like being a twin?
Yeah, people actually ask that.
I’m always tempted to ask them what it is like being a singleton. And before you say anything along the lines of normal, remember our frame of reference is different.
Let me illustrate being a twin. I’ll start with twin telepathy.
I can give lots of illustrations of us using our telepathy, here are just a few. The first one is the first time anyone suggested we could use our connection to cheat. It was a teacher.
No, he didn’t suggest we cheat.
Our high school biology teacher separated his students for tests, no one beside or in front of or behind anyone else, so no one could glance at anyone else’s paper.
He explained this, counted the students, and then said, “We don’t have enough seats.” He counted again, then picked up his briefcase and walked over in front of where Bonnie and I sat. “You could cheat even if I placed you in opposite corners. So, you can stay here, just turn your backs to each other and I’ll put my briefcase here.” Which he then placed on the table between us. Then of course we proved we wouldn’t cheat when she couldn’t get mitosis and meiosis.
Then a couple of years later in another class, our teacher had split everyone up in the manner our biology teacher had wanted to, including Bonnie and I ending up several rows apart. As students finished their test they handed it in and left the room. Finally our teacher stood in a row of chairs between where Bonnie and I were still working and ask the last three students if we were done yet.
The young man stood to hand his in.
I said, “Just double checking my answers.”
Bonnie said, “I can’t remember the answer for number five.” (Okay, I’m not sure which number it was now, but I know she was specific then.)
I glanced at my paper. “Oh, that’s easy.”
She said, “Oh, yeah.” And apparently furiously wrote the answer or so I’ve been told. (Remember the teacher stood between us.)
Our friend who hadn’t left yet pointed and said, “Cheat! Cheat!”
The teacher said, “Yeah, but I can’t do anything about that kind of cheating.”
And that is the only time we have ever cheated on a test. Well, at least that I know of.
Then there are all the times I’ve called Bonnie’s house and my brother-in-law answered. The conversation went something like this.
Bonnie in the background: “Tell K.De I’ll be right back.” (K.De is my nickname.)
Tom said, “What makes you think it's K.De.”
Me laughing. “Because it is. And I heard her.”
My point is twin telepathy is real. Bonnie has mentioned it in her posts. And it happened to me, earlier, before writing this post, I was sitting at our kitchen table with a guest and I heard a phone going off. Mind you there are five cell phones in my house with similar rings tones and four of them were in the far reaches of the house. But without error, I knew it was mine, because I knew it was Bonnie calling. No caller ID necessary.

And no. It wasn’t our shortest conversation ever.