My sister and I were born in Berkeley California, twenty minutes apart. We are fraternal twins which means we don’t share an identical genetic code, but our family always referred to us as one unit: ‘the girls’. As children we shared a room, friends, toys, clothes, punishments.
But we have always been different from each other too; she has green eyes, I have blue. She’s neat, I’m messy. I’m shy and she’s outgoing. She’s an idealist where I am pragmatic. I like dogs and she likes cats.
Our adult lives contrast with one another’s too. Rucha is raising her three sons in California, a whirlwind of noise and activity, school plays, tantrums, laundry and laughter. I recently moved to North Carolina, and am working on a new business designing a line of limited edition clothing and accessories. My days are usually pretty quiet and insular; walking the dog, practicing yoga, spending hours at the sewing machine or cutting table listening to NPR, watching movies with my husband.
We’re still ‘the girls’ though. We finish each others sentences, and laugh at the same things. Oh, and we married men who are childhood best friends! This blog gives us a chance to keep connected over the miles, and share moments from our divergent lives with our friends and family.
I do want to write a few words about my sister. Rucha is an amazing mother, though she might disagree with me on a bad day! I say the evidence is in her beautiful, smart, funny, self-confident children who are some of the most lovely people I know. She is also warm and generous, quick to share herself and her experiences with others, bright (both in spirit and intellect) and witty. This particularly comes across in her writing, and I’m very excited to see what she brings to this project.
Well, as usual my sister has covered most of the pertinent details – short and sweet, just like her! What she didn’t tell you is that she is an amazing and committed artist, currently putting her hand to beautiful fabrics and her own unique designs. She has champagne taste, which makes me laugh since we grew up on lentils (!), but she has an eye for beauty and knows when something is classic and tasteful. Me, I’m more flash in the pan, and I’ll always pick the hot pink shoes over her wiser choice of black. Style-wise, sometimes I feel like Liberace to her Anna Wintour. You also should know that as ‘quiet and insular’ as she professes her days to be, my sister is a secret bad-ass who will twist the head off a mutant cockroach if given enough provocation. Oh and p.s. – she is the neat one and I am messy!
How can twins avoid such polarizing attitudes, even towards ourselves? Since our most profound polarity is this current East coast/West coast separation, and since we can’t avoid it, then perhaps we should embrace these differences – explore them, come to know and understand the different worlds we occupy.
So while my twin lives a more focused and creative life than I can imagine, I am sitting pretty in the center of the whirling chaos she described – the extreme tropical storm known as Motherhood. Most days I don’t feel like I am doing anything of importance other than marshalling ridiculous fights between my boys, finishing one meal & set of dishes in order to start the next and, if I’m lucky, reserving enough energy at night to cozy up on the couch with my patient husband to watch one of “our shows” (currently we’re seriously hooked on Deadwood). If I sound bitter, I’m not (well…maybe just a little); but in the rigors of raising young children I know that my challenge is to find The Beautiful or The Unexpected or The Meaningful Moment in the day or in the week. And through this blog, I have a chance to share it with my sister, and with you.
Because we are twins, first and foremost “the girls”, there are plenty of similarities, or ‘samenesses’ that are woven into the fabric of our lives, sometimes more than we even realize. I think these too will be revealed in our weekly, bi-coastal conversation. It is my hope that by keeping in touch with each other this way that we will learn even more about one another, and about ourselves.