Voting for Bangs

May 16th, 2019

Week 20: The 2019 Voting with My Dollar Project

My daughters have a knack for saying totally off-the-wall things the very moment they wake up in the early, early morning. This morning, Phoebe fixed her eyes on my forehead from inches away, pointed at it, and asked, “Mama? Where did you get those?”

I had waited for this moment, knowing it was inevitable, and so was able to avoid the urge to say “Dude, it’s rude to point out someone’s forehead wrinkles.” Instead, I calmly explained that the crevasses on my fivehead come from a lifetime of laughter (a poetic lie I prefer to the truth, which is that they’re genetic; my dad has them, too).

She shook her head. “No, those….”

Then I realized she was talking about my bangs again. Phoebe has been very curious about my bangs lately. “Do they keep your hair out of your face?” she has asked me multiple times.

I have not told her how I got my bangs — with scissors — for reasons that are probably pretty obvious, although I know it’s only a matter of time before she figures it out and takes it upon herself to get bangs.

I have had bangs since I was nearly as young as she is, and I would give her bangs, actually, except that she has these insane cowlicks (also DNA; her father has them). Even my lovely hairstylist shot down the idea of bangs for Phoebe because they simply wouldn’t work. Her hair would flick straight up.

I keep Phoebe’s hair long and cut Eliza’s into a bob in order to differentiate them — not so much for myself, but for the kids and teachers at school. But even with drastically different haircuts, people struggle. It pains me when a small child runs up to us at a birthday party, looks back and forth between my daughters, points to one, and says “Which one is this?”

At the same time, I get it. They look a lot alike. I have friends with non-identical twins whose kids I have a hard time telling apart. And I don’t even try with the other identicals I know.

Still, raising identical twins is really weird. Anytime we read a book or watch a movie or overhear a conversation about how “everyone is unique” I feel like there’s a little asterisk next to my kids. Of course, they are unique individuals, with their own brains and faces and thoughts and lives. But when compared to just about anyone else in the world, they look, act, and think an awful lot alike. Which is why people tend to talk about them as a unit.

And of course, they have the same cowlicks. These are the very same cowlicks my mother-in-law advised me to pray against during my pregnancy. Apparently, I was ineffective at that, but in my defense, I didn’t really take her seriously. Now I know.

What I’m eating:

The last of the Stumptown coffee I bought in New York. Bracing myself for subpar Vermont coffee beans again.

What I’m watching:

One last Game of Thrones, then probably extra therapy.

What I’m reading:

This New York Times article: Gen X Is A Mess.

What I’m listening to:

Laurie Berkner’s “I Gave My Love a Cherry” on repeat in the car to the point of blunt insanity.

What I’m working on:

A blog post about additive printing technology, another about asynchronous messaging in customer-service technology, and an actual letter (to be mailed!) for my operational AI client.

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