Monday, November 26, 2007

My Evil Twin?

Melissa's WeddingI pulled into the gas station and one of the attendants came out to see if I needed help. He looked at me kind of funny and said, “Are you related to Melissa?”

I get this a lot, my youngest sister and I look alike (I'm the one in blue and she's the one in the wedding dress) and I can’t count how many times I’ve had someone who knows her stop me and ask if I’m her sister so this didn’t surprise me. I smiled and said “Yes.”

Then he said, “You must be her mother!”

Believe it or not I’ve got this before too, I was thirteen when she was born and there were several times I’d be packing her around on my hip when someone would stop to admire and ask if she was mine. I had a hard time believing that they really thought I was the mother—I always suspected that they just wanted to have their consciences assured that I wasn’t an unwed mother, dropping out of junior high to raise my love child.

At thirteen I loved the flattery of looking old enough to have a baby but 25 years have a way of dampening my enthusiasm for mistaken maternity and I hadn’t expected him to take me for her mother. I mean, come on! I'd have to be at least 40 to have produced a 24 year old daughter—and that's if I had her at 16. I'm still at least three whole years away from 40! THREE years baby! Still, I was determined not to take offense and I smiled and said, “Uh, no, I’m her sister.”

“Oh sorry—” he said with a smile (he wasn’t even old enough to be embarrassed at his mistake) “but you look just like her!”

“Yea, we get that a lot.” And I smiled back.

There was a pause while my gas kept pumping and I wondered if he gave this kind of attention to all the customers at his gas station or just the ones who look like old girlfriends when he said, “Didn’t she just have a baby?”

“Yes—it was a girl and they named her Lucy.”

“I thought so, I didn’t get a chance to see them when they were up here.”

There was another pause while I wondered if this were another guy she’d dated before getting married a year and a half ago. It had been a long time since they'd been up to Anchorage.

“How do you know Melissa?” I asked.

“We had a class together at UAA . . . ”

I didn’t realize Melissa had taken any classes at the University—she is at school down south but it isn’t unusual for people to pick up classes in the summer here before going back to school in the fall, maybe she'd had a class I didn't know about. But then it got really weird.

“ . . . and I used to see her at Change Point . . . ”

Change Point? What was Change Point? My mind did a quick revving of the data tapes to remember where I’d heard that name before. Was it one of those trade schools like Charter College or something? It couldn’t be one of those rehab places like Charter North could it? How well did I know my sweet little sister? Change Point . . . Change Point . . . Change Point . . . that name was so familiar. Wasn't that the huge warehouse church off Minnesota Boulevard?

He must have noticed the stupid look on my face as my memory banks were churning on empty and he slowed down to a conversational trickle.

“Uh . . . are we talking about the same Melissa?” He asked.

“I don’t know—are we?”

“I guess not. But man you look just like her!

Just like her plus twenty years apparently.

I finished the gas and drove away, pondering two possibilities: first, that my little sister is living a double life working for the CIA as an top-secret operative infiltrating local non-denominational churches like Change Point or second, not only do I have a double in my younger sister but now there is another woman out there who looks just like us (if it’s a third look alike would she still be a double or would you call her a triple?) and that not only is she the same age as my sister, but she is also married, just recently had a baby AND is named Melissa. What are the odds?

But really now, who cares? All I know is that I’ve been mistaken for a grandmother.

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62 comments:

tiff said...

LOL!
That's not too bad. I was once mistaken for my sister's little sister (she is five years younger). She sailed through to an over 18 concert at the ripe old age of fifteen and I was asked for ID! How fair is that?

If it's any consolation, I hear being a grandma is better than being a mum!

lynnae @ from under the clutter said...

I remember sitting in church with my brother when I was about 15. He's 9 years younger than I am. A woman leaned over and said, "He's so cute. Is he yours?" I about died laughing.

Fortunately my "little" brother is 6'5" now, and nobody mistakes me for his mother anymore. :)

Laura @ Laura Williams' Musings said...

LOL!! I've gotten mistaken for a grandmother... my children's grandmother!

I couldn't tell you how many cashier's have felt like crawling under the counter on their comments.

I know it's because of my premature grey and the fact that my oldest is 19 and 10 years older than my next child. She gets mistaken for the two youngest's mama all the time.

Grace said...

My sister was born when I was thirteen too. Wow, Michelle we have another thing in common.

I went to see the Lion King movie when I was 17 with my 4 year old sister. Everyone thought she was my lovechild and someone took pity on me and said "Must be tough, huh, to have a child this young. You should have been in school!" lol!

frog ponds rock... said...

hehehehehe... I am a grandma and it is heaps of fun...

p.s I will gladly swap you an echidna for a moose.. lol

cheers kim

Robin said...

What a beautiful picture.

Since you're a year YOUNGER than me, I flatly refuse to believe that you could possibly look like a grandmother, no matter what age you had a child!

No Nonsense Girl said...

LOL, I'm soo sorry!!!

Alex Elliot said...

That is a really funny story! I loved the ending.

Irene said...

That is funny! But I don't think there is any way you look like a grandmother. It is a gorgeous picture! And holy cow - you and your sister really are twin-like!

Poppy Fields said...

That's funny. I haven't had that problem, but my gray haired husband, who's only three years older than me, has been mistaken for our daughters' grandpa...he doesn't think that's funny at all :)

Caffienated Cowgirl said...

I am still laughing! You have to solve this mystery and let us know!

Mama Zen said...

Ouch!

Summer said...

You two could be twins. I'm actually surprised that your 13 years older than her based on that picture. You don't look it.
You should ask her about Change point and let us know what she says.

Melissa Markham said...

LOL! That is pretty freaky that there would be two Melissa's with all of those similarities that look alike as well... Sounds like you are entering the Twilight Zone!

Once, about 7 years ago, I was swimming with my then 14 year old stepson and my son Jack, who was 3 going on four. One of the ladies in the pool asked something like had we been married long! I was 34 at the time! I don't know if I really looked that young or they thought I was a cradle robber or what, but it was extremely funny!

Kelly @ Love Well said...

First, you really, really look alike. So I'm not surprised you get asked if you're related all the time.

Second, you look like twins, not like siblings separated by 13 years. That's astonishing!

Third, maybe yon gas station attendant grew up in Appalachia, where women are often grandmothers at the age of 30. You never know.

SpokaneMama said...

I remember when I was 24. I was living in Wyoming and the drinking age was 18 then. I went to buy beer and the boy (I mean boy! He looked about 15) carded me! Man was I bummed. I have always looked young for my age.

Right now, I wish that were my problem! So far no Grandma comments! But I am having to cover the early greys!

Mrs Mecomber said...

Wow, gas attendants in Alaska are mighty chatty.

NY pumpers give a steely stare and only crack a smile as soon as they've got their flinty hands on your credit card.

Ashley said...

You all do look alike, I would have guessed twins. Not mother daughter.

I remember when I first got married, Jeremy and I went to a Jazz restaurant. They carded, you had to be 18 to get in. He got carded, so I pulled out my license. I handed it to the guy, but he said no YOU can just go in.

I was bummed Jeremy is 4 years older than me.

Joyful Days said...

You two do look astonishingly alike. But more in a "twin" sort of way. You are just a baby!! You are younger than my "little" sister.

I've reconciled myself that I am old enough to be a grandmother. In fact I am old enough to be my youngest son's grandmother. Without raising any eyebrows.

Gorgeous photo!

mumple said...

LOL! Sorry, but that's the sort of weirdness that follows me around!

You two do look like twins--and you do NOT look 13 years older!

Ignore the boy's comments about age--I think sometimes, they're born with a dolt gene.

a writer's woolgatherings said...

LOL! Oh Michelle, anyone who could mistake you for a mother to a 25 year old or even a grandmother obviously has a few loose screws!

Veronica Mitchell said...

There was a girl in college who everybody used to get confused with me. She weighed about forty pounds more than I did. That did not make me happy.

Julie Pippert said...

GOO GRIEF! You do not look old enough to be 12+ years older much less her mother. What a doofus.

Have you asked your sister if it is her?

Julie
Using My Words

Julie Pippert said...

P.S. I am 16 years older than my youngest brother and did I ever get a lot of "young mother" judgement comments when I went out and about with him!

Julie
Using My Words

Carinne said...

What I'm upset about is the fact that I was CUT OUT OF THE PICTURE! Forget about being mistake for a grandmother - apparently, I'm not good enough to even be in the picture. :)

cheeky said...

First of all, you don't look old enough to be her mother. Secondly, even if you were, 40 is not old, nor is 44 for that matter but I understand you are still a few years away from the big 40 and it's a safe distance. Thirdly, please do tell when you ask her if she is indeed the Melissa he is speaking of at CP. You got me all curious now!

Cocoa said...

Oh no! At least you've got a good sense of humor about it all.

Mountain Dweller said...

Yikes! I seem to have the problem the other way round. Whenever I'm out with my mum, I often get asked if I'm her sister!

gretchen from lifenut said...

I recently wrote a post about a grocery store clerk who wheeled my baby to me around the checkout, saying "go see grandma..." I'm 36.

Yeah. Horrifying.

I have a "twin" sister too, but she is only three years younger and everyone thinks I am her when I visit our hometown.

Lisa Milton said...

My sister & I get that a lot. I feel your pain.

I love it when they ask if we are twins or who is older.

(Somewhere my sister is shouting: LISA IS 4 YEARS OLDER.)

You just gave me an idea for tomorrow's post.

Bless you.

chelle said...

When I lived in Ontario there was a twin out there ... People would come up to me all the time asking me weird questions...never did meet up with my twin.

An Ordinary Mom said...

There's not much else you can do besides laugh at this strange coincidence :) !!

Lara said...

Well, when I was 16 and out shopping with my mom, someone honestly thought we were sisters. Which is fine, since she does look very young, but THEN this person guessed that I was the older sister. That was a horrible moment for me.

You'll need to quiz your sister about this guy...the circumstances are too weird with the name and the baby and stuff. :)

Wacky Mommy said...

Twin or sister, yes. Mother???? No.

Heffalump said...

Ahhh...Granny Scribbit!

When I was in 7th Grade a guy came up and started talking to me. He had mistook me for one of his friends, even right up in my face. Then he realized finally that I wasn't his friend he was pretty embarrassed, but I was even more embarrassed because his friend was a guy. I had the nickname Jake for a while after that.
I would rather be mistaken for a Grandma than a teenaged boy...

Loralee Choate said...

There is 14 years between my sister and I and we get the same thing. Not so fun for her.

However, in that photo, HELLO? You do NOT look old enough to be her mother.

I'm also digging the dress. I could never wear that color and I love it. It would make me look like I had jaundice and that I was about to vomit. Which makes me sad. It really does...

Mercy's Maid said...

How funny!

My sisters are 10.5 and 15 years older than me. The oldest one was accused of being my mother every time she took me out in public. :)

jubilee said...

Yeah, the guy definitely has the dolt gene.
My first year away at college I kept getting phone calls for a girl that had the same first and last name as I did and she had the same dorm room the year before I lived there. Our middle names are different, that was the only saving grace. Crazy.

Deb - Mom of 3 Girls said...

LOL, oh that's funny! Or not... :)

I have (premature) gray hair - I can remember being asked at least once when Hannah was a baby if I was her grandmother because I hadn't dyed my hair while I was pregnant... I was like, um no - I'm only 32! Sigh.

Cecily R said...

What a great story. I vote for the secret CIA life.

When I was 13 and my brother was 17we were helping my mom at a store trying to get our baby brother to stop crying. Twice we were stopped to chit chat about how cute our baby was. I was mortified. They were both my brothers. Ew.

If it's any consolation I don't think you even look your age, let alone old enough to have a 24 year old.

Daisy said...

My mom was 20 when I was born. Now that we're adults (okay, she's in her 60s and I'm, well, 20 years younger) people mistake us for sisters. I laugh and hope I age as well as she has!

SabineM said...

LOL!
Are you two close? My daughters are 11 years apart....though Maya is adopted so My oldest will not look like her mother!
My M&M girls have an amazing relationship today and I hope it stays even when my oldest is off to College (oh how much I dread that day to come-but it is 5 years away).
Right now my oldest is like a mini mother to Maya....they are too cute together!

Val said...

Maybe Change Point has an LDS division?

Maddy said...

Just generations of ageless women!
Cheers

Mary@notbefore7 said...

Now THAT cracked me up. I wondered where that was going.

My sister and I don't "look" alike as much visually, but our gestures are so much alike that I have gotten comments about our voice, expressions, etc being alike!

Gloria said...

LOL!!! But how? You look more like twin sisters! So it MUST be a different Melissa. LOL.

I look older than my 22 years. When I was 16, a shopkeeper asked me if my mum was MY SISTER. My mum was so pleased but I kept thinking…is it because she looks young, or because I look old? ARGH!

I’ve been to stores where salespeople chat me up and ask if I had just came back from sending my kids to school. Where do they get that assumption??? Worse was because they asked on an afternoon. Where I came from, only junior high age children attends afternoon session!

Recently a frequent customer at my part time job asked me for advice for the coming summer holidays. “What about you? How do you keep your kids occupied?”

Only kids old enough to go to school get summer holidays!!!!!!!!

PJ said...

They say everyone has a double. Then you've run across someone who knows your sister's double. Where is your double hiding? Then there would be four of you...a quad? quartet? (If you sing!) quadruplets? Hmm. Where is English when one needs it!

And don't knock Grandmotherhood ...it's a great time. Take the child for an afternoon, let her do anything she wants, stuff her with sweets and then send her back to mom and dad! :)

Babystepper said...

Forget the arch-nemesis. You have gas attendants? Someone "came out to see if [you] needed help"? Oh, to be in a land of full-service gas stations!

WorksForMom said...

OMG, this was so hilarious. HEE~larious! All you can do is laugh.

And wow, seriously, what a beautiful family you have. You two could be twins (TWINS, not grandma and grandchild). :)

The Preacher's Wife said...

Honey, you are a adorable and look nothing like a grandma.

What a moron.

But you two do look just alike!! I love that pic :)

Lisa

Janet said...

You and your sister (and your Mom) are all beautiful and none of you looks remotely like a grandmother, including your Mom who is one. I have been mistaken for my children's grandmother, because most of the 45-year-olds in this area ARE grandmothers. In fact, a girl in Mary Margaret's dance class has a grandmother who is younger than I am. And a former co-worker is about 31 or 32. When her son was 13, he got his 13-year-old girlfriend pregnant. They were both 14 (and had broken up) when the baby was born in March. I feel VERY sorry for the baby. Who knows what will happen to her? Right now she's shuttled back and forth between her parents houses. Well, her grandparents' houses, as her parents are in 9th grade and still living at home.

luckyzmom said...

He probably knows your sister, but is mixed on from where or how. Something similar recently happened to me.

jchevais said...

LOL! A grandmother. Yes. That would have left me speechless too.

Amy W said...

That was funny...

zamejias said...

We -my sisters and I- get those comments sometimes. There was even a time we - Sis #2 and I- were in a public transpo and someone asked if we were twins. And we just smiled and said, "yes" almost in unison (just for the heck of it).

But to be mistaken as grandmother! I didn't have any similar experience.

wayabetty said...

THAT was hilarious! I did Google "Change Point" and it's a church, I'm sure you already did that.

And here I thought it was just an Chinese thing, everyone thinks we're Chinese, just b/c we're Asians!

page2 said...

I still think of you as a teenager with Ferrah Fawcett hair. There's no way you can look like a grandma. I always wished my hair could do that.

dcrmom said...

LOL! That's hilarious. And yo guys DO look alike. You're both gorgeous, by the way.

Qtpies7 said...

I was 12 when my littlest brother was born, and I loved being mistaken for his mother!
I haven't been outright asked about being a grandma, but someone thought my 18yo son was my baby's father, so either I was the grandma or a sicko. (she said he looked just like his daddy, and the only one around was Drew, whom I was talking to about his dad.)

my4kids said...

That is too funny! I'm not sure if you'd call it a triple or another double though.

elena jane said...

lol.....nothing more....just lol!! ;-)

The Lazy Organizer said...

Very weird. Ok, I'll tell mine too. My sister is only 8 years older (but 7 inches shorter) and people are still asking us if she's my mother. It does not make her happy. Especially now that I'm old and wrinkled! No, she does not look old enough to be my mother. Some people are just really stupid.