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Twinfamy Harlot

My husband, G, is a catch. I knew when I first saw him that I was going to marry him. When I say that I knew I was going to marry him, I mean I went home and told my roommate, "I just met this guy and I'm going to marry him," and then had to fan her after she shuddered and fainted at the craziness of this statement.

Ten years later, we've got two kids, a joint bank account, and paperwork and silverware and friends that are so mixed up we're not sure what is whose or whose is what. If he ever woke up to reality, he would have to seriously weigh the efforts between sorting and splitting. See how I worked this? Every year — with more and more of the mixing up of things — works to my advantage.

From the start of our marriage, G liked to joke that we were going to have twins. "No way," I said. "It doesn't run in either of our families, so you better get that idea out of your head now." Cut to a scene several years later in a sterile office, with an ultrasound wand I had just met but with which I was quickly becoming intimate, a monitor that I was pretending to understand, and a general tendency to disdain phrases such as, 'I TOLD you!' and 'SEE? I was right!' (especially when not coming out of my own mouth). There you have the background for some overwhelming, shocking news.


Little did I know that from that moment on, my husband — a normally mild-mannered, laid-back man — would forever change into a twin-attention-seeking HARLOT. He would tell anyone who glanced at my pregnant belly, "Twins!" and beam while these poor strangers would scurry away, trying to avoid further eye contact.

After the twins were born, G would take them for a walk and gauge the success of the walk not by how far he got or whether they cried, but by how many people approached them along the way. I kid you not. I didn't have the heart to tell him that I thought people were more fascinated by our Double Decker stroller than anything else. I mean, it was two stories. On wheels. It called: "PLEASE STARE AT ME," wooing innocent passersby. It carried babies, yes, but as if it were a mere afterthought to its existence.

Regardless, G took full credit for the attention. I watched him enjoy his small bouts of local popularity and gave him the space to do so. At times, I could see him looking around, trying to size up potential twin suitors (target demographic: older women with a propensity for cooing), then inch a little closer to them and wait for them to make the first move: "Oh are they twins?"

But now…poor G. The twinfamy era is over. The kids are older now. They no longer roll via two-level seating. And despite being almost exactly the same height and weight, people don't recognize them as twins anymore. In fact, strangers often ask, "He's older, right?" or, "She's older, right?" We both knew that it had all ended when he came home from the supermarket with the kids one day, pouting because no one (gasp!) had asked if they were twins. Even his target demographic paid him no attention. I know him well enough to know that, for a moment, he thought about asking to exchange these two for a couple of fresh new ones, or — even crazier —asking for a couple more. Alas, he knows me well enough to know not to ask of me such silly things.

It took me awhile to realize that it was less about the attention and more about his pride (although I'm pretty sure that he also loves the attention). He is a very proud father. He's not a braggart; nor is he self-important. But if he had to choose one accomplishment for which to be proud, he would choose these kids. With good reason — he's an incredible father. And let's be real: How lucky was I about my foreshadowing that first day we met? Because, you know, that prediction really could have gone either way.


So this brings me to a small request. If you see a white guy on Sunday with a couple of half-Asian 3-year-olds trying to subtly call attention to himself — take pity. Ask him if his kids are twins. Indulge the poor guy while he proudly shows them off. There's nothing like feeling like a good ol' attention-seeking harlot to make your day.

And maybe, as a Father's Day gift, I can give him just a few more minutes of well-deserved twinfamy.


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