Over the past several years, I’ve lost count of the number of times strangers have asked Melissa and me if we were sisters or twins. We truly don’t look alike, so we didn’t understand the repetitive inquiry. One of the first times it happened, we were buying magazines from an airport newsstand prior to a flight. We had a ridiculously early departure time, both looked half asleep, and were wearing baseball hats and glasses. “Are you two twins?” the clerk asked. “No,” we said with a smile. Still chuckling and puzzled as we left the store, we wrote it off to our similar attire that early morning. Other times, we couldn’t come up with a reason to give the person the benefit of the doubt, as we truly looked nothing alike in any way.
Of course, in the above photo we are intentionally in similar outfits for a themed family shoot, but it’s the most recent photo I have of us… If the photo was larger, you’d see that while I have very fair skin, Melissa is olive-toned. She has small, hazel eyes while I have larger, blue eyes. She’s got a more Italian look while I appear more Irish. Nonetheless, we are frequently mistaken for sisters. And I have finally figured out why. Melissa and I have been together for many years – 16 to be exact, and married for almost three. As a result of being together for almost half of our lives, not only are our mannerisms very similar, as well as the inflections in our tone of voice, but there’s also a strong familial energy between us.
If I were in these same situations with a man, I’m sure the clerks would simply assume we were married, but because the idea of same sex marriage is still so new, their assumptions lead to ours being a sibling relationship. When this first started happening to us, we just thought it was so strange, often asking ourselves, “What is wrong with these people? Do they have bad vision?” Now that we’ve figured it out, the question makes us smile. While we look forward to the day that same sex marriage is considered commonplace, in the meantime, we’ll take their inquiry as a compliment to the loving energy that so consistently and naturally flows between us.