Tuesday, December 11, 2007

In a tea shop

Before I start, let's just re-cap on some basics about me and Dani.

Dani is about five inches taller than me.
I wear specs - D has perfect vision.
Dani has black hair and I have mousy brown.
I have family chubby cheeks - D does not.
We also have different body shapes.

The other day, while the kids were involved in the dress rehearsal for their panto, Dani and I had an hour or two to kill in town. It was pouring with rain and there was no point going home just to come out again so, after we'd dropped the kids at the church hall, we legged it to the nearest cafe. This turned out to be a greasy spoon. It was a rather remarkable find in Brighton. It had typed menus on the tables and served things like 'Banana Longboats' and 'Knickerbocker glories', as well as all the 'something, chips and peas' options you could expect from a cafe twenty or thirty years ago. Cafes in town here tend to be rather swish and over-priced, generally, and serve cakes and drinks you don't recognise.

We were rather pleased with the place and made two teas last a good long while. Behind us were three old women who sat in a row, facing our table. They were talking all the time and every now and then went a bit 'muttery'. Eventually we'd sat there as long as was decent without buying more tea, so we got up to go. As we wrapped ourselves in waterproofs and headed for the door, one of the women called out to us.

"Are you twins?"

She said it with the air of Oliver Twist, like she'd been picked to ask, while the others sat there expectantly. There wasn't much we could say, really, except to say that we weren't. They looked quite dissatisfied with that - and off we went into the rain.

Twins??! It isn't that odd to be taken for sisters - what with wearing similar clothes, having developed similar speech patterns over the years, and clearly being very close - people sometimes do mis-read us. But twins? Have we really got that similar that our radically different colouring and height difference have become invisible?

It is especially funny as the cafe is on the edge of what is, these days, called Brighton's gay village. I wonder if those women amuse themselves by sitting there all day and asking gay people if they are related, in ever more bizarre ways. I can see it now...

To gay couple with age difference. "Is he your grandson?"

To lesbian couple with very butch partner. "Is he your brother?"

To foursome of gay men. "Are you the Jackson Five?"

To older dyke ladies. "You're the Beverley Sisters, aren't you? Where's the other one..."

I bet the days fly by.

8 comments:

Nic said...

PMSL, what an excellent twist on the usually anonymous people watching game :lol:. I used to work with a girl, same age as me with the same colour hair also called Nic. Aside from having the same colour hair (and therefore the associated pale skin and freckles) I don't think we had anothe other similar features and we both used to wear name badges stating our names but if we were ever working together customers would always ask if we were sisters or twins, because obviously if we were our parents would have named us both Nicola!

Liza said...

Rofl thats so funny!
Is it really evil that I was hoping in reply to their question you would say yes we are twins and then do things that twins/sisters should definitely not do ;)
now that would have given them something to talk about!

'EF' said...

pmsl too. That is classic. I think they do it to amuse themselves.

My classy answer would have been: "Twin souls? Yes."

My first long term relationship was with a lad who was nearly a foot taller than me with long straight brown hair..mine being very curly and red at that point with totally different features. People were often-and I mean often asking us if we were brother and sister..which amused us greatly since we were joined at the lips and were always doing that awful teenage snogging thing at bus stops. Question is: did they know something we didn't?

Old ladies can be really mean. Just try and board a bus when there is a crowd of them behind you. My grandma says that you get to a certain age and then you just simply stop caring. EEK!

peri said...

Oooo I bet your faces were priceless!

Now I just want to know where this timewarp is???? Go on - give ;-D

Em said...

pmsl especially are you the jackson 5!

Claire said...

That's what the "lesbian urge to merge" does to you! Congratulations on reaching the lesbian cliche that is actually true. :)

Gill said...

LOL! Makes me want to move down there, where the people-watchers are more fun. Up here we just get asked if we know when the next bus is due, etc.

Polly said...

I got this all the time with my first sweetie, back in the early 1980s (in Berkeley, California of all places). I'm white, she's Latina; we're ten inches apart in height. Go figure. Our intimacy only read one way for people.

I don't know if I'd-a had the courage at the time, but I'd have liked to have blurted out to the old bats, "No, we're Llllllesbian Lllllllllovers!" And then do some scary thing with my tongue or something. Not quite so classy as 'ef'.