Friday, August 10, 2007

"Please go easy on me when you blog about this."

Yep. That's what my sister said on Tuesday while waiting for our flight out of Florida.

And the thing is, I really want to, but she just mass produces these amazing bloggable moments.

Before I do that though, a little background...

This is Kate.

She is my identical twin sister. Kate and I are besties, as you would imagine. We lived together for about 24 years until I decided it was time to cut the umbilical cord.

I love my sister; she's the other half of me. If she didn't exist, I'm not so sure I could. We are closer than sisters, more loyal than friends and fiercely protective of each other. She's the blood and I'm the heart.

Kate and I are very different though. We're not your run-of-the-mill, carbon copy identical twins. On the surface, she's a brunette, I'm a blonde. She wears glasses, I wear contacts. I'm a self-proclaimed fashionista and her style is what I would describe as utilitarian chic. She's just as comfortable in her nursing scrubs as I am in my 4-inch stilettos.

Kate got all the smarts that I didn't. She exceled in Math and Science, while I leaned toward English and Art. She's practical and determined. I'm irrational and lazy.

Kate and I have very distinct personalities. Donnelly can back me up here, having lived with both of us for a time.

Kate is type-A. She works a very stressful job as a cardiac nurse, but it's perfect for her. She's very nurturing and has this intrinsic desire to take care of people. I get skeeved out just thinking about old people eating. You have the flu? I'll call you a cab to the doctor.

She's a worrier. When she drops me off at O'Hare for business trips, she takes 15 minutes to say goodbye and makes sure she tells me that she loves me at least twenty times before she drives away. She's a people pleaser through and through, a pacifist in a soldier's body. For me, there is no passive in my passive-agressiveness. I have no problem standing up for myself or for other people, almost to a fault. Kate has trouble sending back food at restaurants.

Day in and day out, she is a model human being. Every day she goes into work knowing she's going to get screamed at, spit on, clawed at, condescended to and she just dips into whatever reserve of untapped fortitude she keeps inside and keeps on going. I could never do what she does. I'd end up in handcuffs.

But beyond work, I think what I admire about her most is the way she loves. The way she loves people is completely honest. In relationships, she doesn't have the same pretenses, the same hangups and baggage as other people sometimes drag around with them. She comes to them as pure and noble as she leaves them. I don't think it's naivete. I think it's just an amazing ability to forgive.

The thing though about Kate is that she lives above a darker layer, sometimes hiding under it for days. Inside it she becomes pessimistic and maudlin and needs help being pulled out. All of the sudden she is the one who needs instead of the provider. She is reduced to tears at a moment's notice.

Her job forces her to display her demons afterhours.

Evidence of these demons is written all over slammed doors, busted plaster walls and screaming voicemails.

At times she's highstrung, uptight, and quick-tempered. She knows this. Gateses are nothing if not passionate. Passionate fucking lunatics.

But Kate is always who she is. She has no swiveling face she turns on for others. And the thing is, she doesn't see that as even a possibility. Kate is Kate for herself and no one else. And I'm proud of her for that.

And then there's me.

Imagine the opposite of all that and that's who I am. I strive to be better every day, but somehow I always find myself hovering over the not-quite-actualized label in Maslow's hierarchy.

The point is, and somehow I have digressed completely from a Florida recap to a get to know me post, that my sister and I are completely different. We're the Balki and Cousin Larry of the twin world.

Here's the thing though, we work. Maybe it's because we have to, maybe it's because estrangement isn't in a twin's vocabulary.

But maybe it's because we choose to be this way, each flaw in each other illuminating some other strength, some other unique quality in the other.

And somehow just by being her, I am me.


Peter DeWolf said...

Go easy? I want to be secretary-treasurer in her fan club after reading that.

Hellafied said...

Peter: I actually never got into what I was going to recap about which involved her sitting down in the elevator my VP had just walked into, pulling her dress over head and when I asked her to stand up, screaming "FUCK YOOOOU!" at me. Obviously, drunk.

But still, total fan club.

dmbmeg said...

i can't fucking wait for the Florida recap.

Between the two of us, we could blog about Kate for days, weeks even.

Peter DeWolf said...

HA! Legend move.

All the Os in "YOOOOOOOOU" make the story.

And full marks for the Balki/Cousin Larry mention.

The Stormin Mormon said...

Yeah, adding the whole dress elevator line may have slanted the feel of the story a bit.

dmbmeg said...

I'd be lying if I said the anonymous comment didn't make me chuckle.

especially the "you chest"

Lozo said...

i'm not sure how you pronounce it, but i believe it's called menage a trois. call me.

Hellafied said...

Lozo: Props for spelling french words right. I'm not easily impressed.

dmbmeg said...

he had to google it I am sure. don't you dare lower your standards.

l.elkins said...

crap, this bottom picture is pretty. do you guys ever think it's unfair when all the pretty gets into one family? of course, prolly not if it's YOUR family...! anyway, i like sibling stories. they bring the warm fuzzies.