Wicked Wednesday: It’s Twins!

Grilled for Murder Murder Most FowlThe Wickeds are celebrating Edith’s double book birthday. Two on the same day. Yes, it’s twins! Or since one mom is Edith Maxwell and the other is Maddie Day, maybe it’s something more darkly complicated. Like clones via surrogacy. Or a man’s wife and mistress giving birth on the same day.

Twins are a staple of fiction down through the ages, from mythology to the Bobbseys. Shakespeare loved fraternal boy-girl pairs, like his own children.

Wickeds: Tell us your best twin story–real or fictional.

Barb: My favorite twin story is absolutely true. Most people who read this blog know my Maine Clambake Mysteries are set in a highly fictionalized version of Boothbay Harbor, Maine. There’s a swing bridge between Boothbay Harbor and Southport Island, that is a bridge that opens up to let boats go through. The bridge must have a tender day and night, and for forty-five years those tenders were identical twins Duane and Dwight Lewis. Imagine the fictional possibilities! The hapless protagonist who drives to the bridge in the morning and chats with the bridge attendant as she waits for a sailboat to glide through. When she comes back at night, and the guy has no idea who she is! This could go on and on.

Sherry: My daughter and I were renting videos in a video store (remember those?) in Shalimar, Florida. Elizabeth was in third grade and as we were checking out, she tugged on my arm and said, “Mom that lady looks like you.” The woman and I looked at each other — we did look like each other! Even stranger her name was Janet as is my sister’s. We also went to the same church, people would often mistake me for her or ask if I was Janet’s sister. We never did find any family connection between the two of us.

Liz: There aren’t too many people with my last name in the world. And there are certainly not a lot of people with the same first and last names. But I happened to find my “name twin” on Facebook – yes, there’s another Elizabeth Mugavero, and she went to the same private high school I did, and lives right near where I grew up. I don’t think she looks like me aside from the same color hair, but it’s still weird!

Jessie: When I was in kindergarten there was a girl named Lisa in my class who also had long dark hair and dark eyes. In some sort of weird psychic-link way our mothers would dress us almost identically every day. The teacher was completely incapable of telling us apart. She called us by each others’ names the entire year and would yell at us when we didn’t answer her.

Julie: My favorite twin story happened around fourteen years ago this month. My sister was expecting her first child. Though she wasn’t due until December, she looked really pregnant really early. We saw my parents on Memorial Day weekend, and my father said “are you having twins?”. She hit him on the arm, and everyone laughed. My sister had changed a half dozen diapers in her life, and the thing she loved most about babies is that they became toddlers. That next week, she went in for an exam, and came by my house. “There are two heartbeats,” was all she could say. She let me listen in while she called my folks. For the first, and perhaps only time in his life, my father was speechless. The best part of the story was the end, when my beloved nieces were born on December 23. We celebrate their half birthday on June 23, my grandmother’s birthday. Looking forward to it!

Barb: Julie–what a beautiful story. I reminds me of another of my favorite true twin stories.

Dinner guest to exhausted mother of twins: “But you knew you were having twins, right?”

Exhausted mother: “Not at conception.”

1972 college-break camping trip in the California desert. From left, Cathy Corwin, Nancy Willets, my sister Janet Maxwell, Sara Tarr, and me .

Edith: I love all these stories! I think my books are astral twins: born on the same day, same year, but otherwise unrelated. I met my astral twin in college in 1971. Nancy Willets was my sister’s roommate at the University of California, Irvine, where I also studied. Nancy was delightful, fun, smart,and both taller and slimmer than me. I’m sorry to say my sister and I have both lost touch with her, though. (Why do women go and change their names when they marry, anyway? It makes it so hard to find them again decades later. But that’s another story.) Actually, lots of people thought my sister Janet and I were twins in those college days – see the picture. And doesn’t it remind you of the Wicked Cozy banner shot? Friends walking and laughing…

Readers: What’s your favorite twin story? Are you one or do you have them in the family? Ever met your astral twin?

25 Thoughts

  1. Great stories! Having married a twin (the bad one, naturally) the first time around, I have no blog-worthy twin tales. I’m saving them for the first savage thriller I write.
    Seriously, one of my favorite relatives is a twin, I have twin granddaughters and other twins in my family. I marvel at how well they do at being twins.

  2. I attended various schools with twins (two sets fraternal, two sets identical). And one of my Irish great-grandmothers was a twin (fraternal–I think they were kids 11a and 11b).

    But I was named for a twin. My mother recalled meeting an adorable pair of girls (not even related to our family) named Susan and Sheila. She tried Susan on me first and I slept through it. I guess I woke up to Sheila.

  3. I’m disappointed I don’t have much in the way of twin stories. Once when we were eating at a restaurant years ago, someone came over and told my husband he looked like the king of Sweden. And people often say that my younger son looks like, and reminds them of Spencer Reed on Criminal Minds. I’ve never been mistaken for anyone else. I’m pretty sure my husband would say he couldn’t handle more than one of me.

  4. Twins do not run in my family, but apparently they do in my neighborhood. Within a few weeks of my birth three other neighborhood ladies had children and they each had twin girls. The first to be born were Kim and Paula followed by Colleen and Doreen and a day or so later, Robin and Sharon who was always called Sherry. Every time we saw them my mom would say, “thank God” very softly as they passed by. She was so relieved they weren’t her responsibility. They were all exceptionally naughty children with Colleen teetering on the brink of evil. Robin grew up to be a wonderful woman as did her sister. I’m not sure what became of the others, but occasionally I see Colleen on Facebook and it makes me breakout in a cold sweat just seeing her photo! Childhood is a traumatic business!

  5. Two of my ex-husband’s brothers had fraternal twins. When I was house-sized pregnant with my first son, they kept checking for twins, but nope, just one large baby in there. (I also ate for two from day one…)

  6. In high school, I had a friend named Mark. And for the first two months we were friends, we got the exact same score on our tests in the two classes we had together – Algebra and Chemistry.

    I’ve virtually met an Amazon review who has the exact same birthday, including year, that I do.

    As for mystery solving twins, there was a series years ago (like 15 years ago) written by twins starring twins. They told the story in alternating chapters from each twin’s first person point of view. They were fantastic. I wish there had been more than 5 books in the Tatum Twins mystery series.

      1. The Tatum twin books are great, Edith. Written by Barbara Taylor McCafferty (AKA Taylor McCafferty and Tierney McClellan) and set in Louisville, Ky. They’re funny and smartly written and I, too, wish there were more than 5.

  7. For years, I was the only Keenan Powell I knew. Now there’s a ton of them. I, however, am the first. And I tell them that when I encounter them.

  8. My aunt (by marriage) was an identical twin. She and her twin sister had given up ever having children, when they finally got pregnant and announced it on the same day. They gave birth to sons, one day apart. The boys looked a lot alike and were mistaken for twins as they were growing up.

    I’ve never met my astral twin, but one of my high school classmates was close. We had the same name, down to the same middle initial. Her father and my father had the same first name (and it was not a common name), spelled slightly differently. Her mother and my mother had the same initials. We were the same height, same color hair and eyes, and graduated high school with the same GPA. We went to different colleges, but wound up with degrees in the same major. We never did find a family connection, but it was very confusing when we were in school.

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