Thursday, January 28, 2010

Feeling Ugly? Conjoin the club.

Some twins are identical, differentiated only by small details such as a freckle or a dimple. And sometimes, they’re fraternal, being told apart by the giant difference in their head size.

It is one thing to be a bad-looking individual; a singular person without a twin. It is another thing to have been hit with the ugly stick while your twin brother or sister was sprinkled with fairy dust. This person is with you from birth; standing right next to you in all of your family photos as a flashing neon sign saying, “Look at what you could have been if the Zygote chose differently.”

There are many things in life that aren’t fair: Why do men bald? Better yet, why do some women bald? Why are wives usually twice the size of their husbands? Why did the Buffalo Bills lose four Super Bowls? Why when I shave my legs does the hair grow back immediately? Why is Snooki famous and getting to travel the country doing appearances while I’m sitting here in my apartment all alone with a giant bouffant and nowhere to go?

There are no answers to nature’s cruelties, no justification for our lots in life. The bottom line is that sometimes Mother Nature can be a Biznatch. (I have some resentment toward her for the lazy eye and colossal gap between my front teeth – which have since been fixed if you’re wondering).

So, we’ve admitted that sometimes a twin wakes up on the wrong side of the fallopian tube. Now, I'll tell you that there is etiquette involved when it comes to dealing with the less attractive twin; etiquette that should be used from the time she is born.

I advise you to be sympathetic toward her, but do it subtly. She is going to have a tough road ahead. We need to strap love to her little webbed feet so she can walk the road of life with the confidence she deserves.

Etiquette Rule #1: Do not put your twins in equally cute clothing if they don’t have equally cute faces. It just gives the better-looking twin the opportunity to shine. If the twins are pale skinned females, I suggest dressing the ugly twin in colors that will flatter her skin tone such as dark blues and purples et cetera. The attractive twin should be put in colors that aren’t as flattering to her skin tone: yellows and oranges. *The key here is not to make the attractive twin look ugly; it’s to tone down her beauty so the contrast in looks become less obvious.

Etiquette Rule #2: A rose by any other name doesn’t smell as sweet. If the difference in looks is obvious from birth, give the less attractive twin the cooler name. Take me for example… My Mother admitted that she wanted to name me ‘Summer.’ And, when I was getting benched from the softball game with 5lb glasses drooped at the edge of my nose, ‘Summer’ would have given me that cool edge that I needed.

And finally…

Etiquette Rule #3: Santa should forget that Sarah likes pink but remember that Summer likes green. For example, if you are going to buy your twins iPods, the unattractive twin should receive the one with the hip, trendy color while the attractive twin still gets an iPod, it's the boring black one. (Listen, she’s lucky you’re not getting her a cassette player.)

*Any questions or suggestions on Twin etiquette can be sent to my much more attractive sister. She's works as my assistant in a broom closet opening all my fan mail.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

If You Don't Wash Your Hands You'll Contract Ridicule.

On a recent excursion to a public restroom (and I use the word "excursion" quite literally), I was disgusted to find a middle-aged, well dressed woman waltz right out of the freshly flushed bathroom stall and back into a restaurant with out washing her hands. I thought, wow, the nerve it takes to see a person standing right there and say to herself "You know what? I'm not going to wash my hands. This person can like it or lump it."

Maybe in a perfect world this woman didn't even use the toilet, maybe she just had to change her clothes or perhaps she just needed some privacy for a moment. But, even so, she has the social duty, relieved or not, to wash her hands. I understand if she was in the restroom alone without any witnesses and she just said "screw it, I better get back out there, my pasta is getting cold." But to be so brazen, so bold that she can just walk right past a person without feeling slightly obliged to wash is unnerving. If she's not washing in front of people, I can't imagine what she's doing in private.

Perhaps she was in a hurry and didn't have time to wash her hands. But nothing is so urgent that she can't just do me the favor of even fake washing her hands. Just to show me that she cares. The issue here isn't about germs. It's about appearances.

Let me clarify, this post is not about touching soap to hands. It's about fulfilling the unwritten (and sometimes written) social rule that we need to wash our hands after using a public restroom. She didn't even really need to wash her hands to make me happy. I would have been satisfied with a fake wash... just turning on the water and placing her hands near it. Just some effort to show me she respects social etiquette.

Of course we all should wash our hands after we use the restroom. Especially a public restroom. But, I will admit there are times when I just don't feel like washing my hands for a couple of reasons. 1. My sleeves are long and washing would result in wet discomfort. 2. I'm in a hurry to get back to the movie. 3. Having maneuvered my way around the bathroom with my elbows, washing my hands would almost be redundant.

But, as a respectable member of society I will ALWAYS, I mean ALWAYS wash my hands when someone else is present in the restroom, long sleeves or not. And, if there is a person in the stall, unable to see me while I'm at the sink, I will turn on the water just to ease their minds.

Catching Swine Flu, or T.B., or Lady Gaga isn't what motivates myself and other kindred spirits to wash our hands in a public restroom. What motivates us is social pressure. It's like recycling: You don't always do it because you want to. You do it because someone's looking.

The woman who just couldn't wait to get back to her pasta may have not contracted H1N1 but she has caught something far worse, flack from Kristen Carney.