Double Up

I have a weird fascination with twins. Always have. I was reminded of this only recently when I was assigned a story on famous twins at work, and spent what felt like hours staring at their photos, mesmerized… I’ve always found it amazing when you see a person and then discover there’s two of them. It’s like, “Woah! Was there a two-for-one sale? And why didn’t anybody tell me?” I can’t stop staring.

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen – surprisingly NOT identical...
Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen – surprisingly NOT identical…

Growing up, one of my favourite movies was The Parent Trap (the Hayley Mills version, not the Lindsay Lohan version – although that one was also surprisingly good), about twin sisters who only meet each other at a summer camp and then switch identities in an effort to get to know their other parent and bring them both back together. “Yep,” I used think. “I bet this is what happened to me.”

This could happen...
Totally plausible…

When I was a little girl, I convinced myself I had a secret twin sister who my parents kept under the house. I don’t know why they kept her there. It seemed like a good enough place at the time… I even used to have arguments with my mum about it.

Me: “Just tell me! Am I a twin?”

Mum: “No.”

Me: “You’re lying!”

Mum: “I think I’d know.”

Sure, Mum. Likely story.
Sure, Mum. Likely story.

After finally accepting that maybe I didn’t have a twin (I checked under the house – found nothing), I decided to convince my sister, Patrice, that she did. I concocted an elaborate story about how she was an Indian princess who we adopted. Her birth parents named her “Shitty O’Doodle Vancha”, while her twin sister was named “Darling O’Doodle Vancha”, because her biological parents preferred her sister. Obviously. That’s why they gave Patrice/Shitty up for adoption. When times got tough, Patrice would pack a bag and threaten to go back to India. I would’ve been happy to stand on the balcony and wave her goodbye, but Mum would always send me up to her room to convince her to stay. With a stony face, I’d tell her, “But they don’t want you.”

This is Mindy Kaling. But it could have been my sister...
This is Mindy Kaling. But it could have been my sister…

More recently, people tend to think Patrice and I are twins. While there’s definitely a similarity – we are biological sisters after all (or so they tell me – yes, the jig about India is definitely up) – I just don’t see it. In 2012, Patrice and I travelled through America together, and everyday, people would stop us and ask if we were twins. They would then proceed to stare in disbelief when we told them, “No. Just sisters.” It got to the point where it was easier to just nod in agreement and say, “Yes! Yes, we are!” (For the record, I’m three and a half years older.)

In New York with Patrice.
In New York with Patrice.

The thing I really love about twins though is how tight a unit they are. It’s like having an in-built best friend. I have cousins who are identical twins, and I’ve always been fascinated by how close they are. They obviously have their own personalities and identities, but whenever they come back together, they just seem to compliment each other perfectly. It’s like two pieces of a puzzle coming together.

With my cousins, Melanie and Peta – actual twins.
With my cousins, Melanie and Peta – actual twins.

So, please – if you happen to know or find my twin sister (I know she’s out there, Mum), let me know ASAP.

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Clueless

My dad has absolutely no idea what I do for a living. It doesn’t matter how many times I try to explain it to him, it never seems to sink in. “Dad, I write about celebrities,” I tell him. “CEL-EB-RI-TIES!” He nods like he understands, but I know he doesn’t. I’ve even given him a couple of copies of the magazines I’ve written for so he can actually see what I do. Still, no idea. This is an example of a conversation we often have…

Dad: “You should put that in your magazine.”

Me: “Politics?”

Dad: “So?”

Me: “I work for a celebrity magazine!”

Dad: “And politics don’t affect celebrities?”

Me: “Dad! How do you still have no idea what I do?! Oh my God! I can’t keep having this conversation with you! UGH.”

With Dad... I'm not sure who annoys who more.
With Dad… I’m not sure who annoys who more.

As little as my dad knows about my career, he knows even less about celebrities. (The only other person I know of who may be on par with my dad on the celebrity front is my friend, Lea. After years of trying to educate Lea on the world of celebrity, one day she told me she knew who Kim Kardashian was. I wanted to cry – it brought meaning to my life.) When Caitlyn Jenner’s Vanity Fair cover came out, my dad and I had the following conversation…

Dad: “Who the hell is Caitlyn Jenner?”

Me: “That’s Bruce Jenner now.”

Dad: “Who’s Bruce Jenner?”

Me: “Are you being serious right now? You can’t be serious?! Dad, he was from your era! He was an Olympic athlete! He was married to Kris Jenner?!”

Dad: “Never heard of any of them.”

Nope.
Nope.

A few years ago, my mum told Dad she had tickets for them to go the Prince concert. My dad thought he was going to see Prince Charles. Does Prince Charles even sing?! Who knows…

Given his track record, I thought I would show my dad some photos of celebrities to see if he knew who they were. Kind of like flashcards. This is what I got (the dad jokes were complimentary)… Lea, you’re up next.

Beyonce

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Me: “Who’s this?”

Dad: “Brown? Is her name Brown? Isn’t there a singer called Brown?”

Me: “Hmm. What does she do?”

Dad: “She’s a singer, I think. Or a model.”

Kendall Jenner

KENDALL JENNER at Miss Vogue Australia #3 Photoshoot

Me: “Who’s this?”

Dad: “Someone anorexic…”

Me: “That’s not a name, but whatever. What does she do?”

Dad: “Is she a model? She looks anorexic enough to be a model.”

Me: “Okay…”

Jake Gyllenhaal

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Me: “Who’s this?”

Dad: “Jake Giggenthaw. Jake Gyllenthaw…”

Me: “Are you having a stroke? What does he do?”

Dad: “He’s an actor.”

Chris O’Dowd

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Me: “Who’s this?”

Dad: “Oh, that’s your friend from The IT Crowd! I don’t know his name. Put down Hugh Grant.”

Me: “Dad, you’ve met him! Look at his face – even he’s judging you right now! What does he do?”

Dad: “He’s an actor! He was even in an Australian film [The Sapphires], wasn’t he?”

One Direction

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Me: “Who’s this?”

Dad: “Aren’t they those singers? Those young guys… Isn’t one of them gay and another one was too depressed to sing? What are they called? One Direction!”

Me: “Don’t get too excited – Mum helped you. Can you name them all individually?”

Dad: “There’s no way! Don’t ask me these questions!”

Justin Bieber

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Me: “Who’s this?”

Dad: “Oh, yes. That’s the singing fetus. What’s his name? Bieber! Bieber!”

Me: “Mum, stop helping him! What does he do?”

Dad: “Besides throw tantrums and put himself in jail and populate America?”

Jennifer Lawrence

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Me: “Who’s this?”

Dad: “Delta Goodrem, perhaps?”

Me: “Close enough. What does she do?”

Dad: “She’s a singer.”

Steve Carell

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Me: “Who’s this?”

Dad: “What’s his name? Carell! I didn’t realise he played the guitar.”

Me: “It’s a ukelele. And I’m pretty sure it’s a prop.”

Dad: “He must be a favourite around Christmas time. They sing a lot of Carells then.”

Me: “Yeah, good one… What does he do?”

Dad: “He’s an actor! He was in The Office and that movie where they drive across America with the dead grandma strapped to the roof [Little Miss Sunshine].”

Taylor Swift

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Me: “Who’s this?”

Dad: “That wouldn’t be Taylor Swift, would it?”

Me: “How do you know that?! How do you know that?! Did you cheat?!”

[Dad laughs and nods.]

Me: “DAD! What does she do?”

Dad: “Is she an actress?”

Rihanna

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Me: “Who’s this?”

Dad: “Opera Winfrey? Who has a nose ring besides a cow?”

Me: “That is so offensive. You’re offensive! What does she do?”

Dad: “Well, she’s certainly not a brain surgeon…”

Kanye West

gq_kanye-west-doesn-t-care-if-you-hate-him

Me: “Who’s this?”

Dad: “Jonathan Swift.”

Me: “Uh. Sure. What does he do?”

Dad: “He’s an actor.”

Ryan Gosling

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Me: “Who’s this?”

Dad: “I’ve never seen him before.”

Me: “You’ve never seen him before? Patrice has a cardboard cut-out of him!”

Dad: “Oh! Right. The cardboard cut-out… Michael? Ryan O’Neal!”

Me: “What does he do?”

Dad: “He’s an actor.”

Me: “Okay, I’ve heard enough. You can go now. Go! Leave! I can’t look at you anymore.”

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