When my twin sister Joy and I were little, we hated when we'd have to “share” birthday presents.
We already shared every other possible thing in our lives.*
Not to be gross, but it all started when we shared the same sperm.
Growing up, we shared a bedroom, a school, a best friend, parents, a brother, birthday parties and a Barbie doll house.
We shared the same haircut, the same clothes (sometimes), the same boombox, the same toys and the same snoballs (why couldn’t we just get two separate snoballs??? WHY DID WE HAVE TO SHARE????).
I don’t know if people realize this about twins, but aside from just physical things, we also shared the completely same schedule.
Since we were the exact same age, we were always in the exact same grade in school, we did the exact same homework and we had the exact same bedtime.
In middle school, we were in all the same classes together all day every day, making it a straight 16 waking hours together.
Our freshmen year of high school, Joy and I took the same public bus home and had to share who would pull the cord at our stop to make the “ding!” sound come on.
And, we both needed to take showers at the same time, before our shared bedtime.
Joy and I got into numerous fights over who was going to take a shower first.
I don’t know why we were so particularly competitive over the shower, but it was a very big deal to call it first, and it was hands down the one thing we fought over the most.
There were several times when one of us would completely ignore the other’s calling-of-the-shower-first and would race upstairs after school, strip down and hop in and the other couldn’t do anything about it.
(Or so we thought.)
One time, I ran to the shower first, undeservingly, and Joy sneaked in and turned off the cold water as my back was turned.
Three seconds later, I had scalding hot water all over me and screamed bloody murder as Joy cracked up laughing by the sink.
I did one better.
The next time she was in the shower, I waited outside (creepily) with a bottle of baby powder.
The second she pulled back the curtain, I blasted her with the baby powder up and down and all over, and laughed as it turned into a white paste when mixed with the water all over her.
You couldn’t tell if the smoke rising was powder particles or steam.
(She had to take another shower.)
When we got older, and wiser, we welcomed shared gifts for our birthday.
Our senior year of high school, we shared a car. We shared a fake ID. We shared our older brother’s separate phone line when he went off to college.
Shared gifts were especially useful when we bought a house together in South Carolina. We quickly found we could milk getting a big TV or an entire living room set from IKEA from our parents that we’d “split.”
And even today, even though we live 800 miles apart, the sharing never stops.
We still share friends, Christmas oyster roast parties, a Gmail account (it’s really mine but she uses it), a bank account, a house and a phone plan.
My name is also somehow on Joy’s car insurance.
We share memories and stories and experiences. At one point we shared a cat. This past Halloween, even, we shared the same costume.
Dolly 1 and Dolly 2 at your service.
What I wouldn’t give today to spend 16 waking hours with Joy instead of our usual thrice-daily phone calls (on our shared plan).
Why today? Because TODAY IS OUR 29th BIRTHDAY!!!
What will we share today? Double-tagged Happy Birthday Facebook wall posts from our friends!!
In addition to everything else listed above.
Happy birthday Joy!!!
There’s no one else I’d rather share every single thing with!!!
But give me back my dress. That’s mine.
*No, we did not ever share the same boyfriend. Gross.