It happens at least once a month if not more often, “Are you two sisters?” the question that leaves both Merritt and I completely baffled and wondering what the hell? Now I adore Merritt and think she is simply beautiful but c’mon….sisters?! Merritt is not only a coworker but one of my closest friends and most trusted confidants but I’m damn near old enough to be her mother, a fact that was pointed out years ago when her own mother was conspiring to try and hook her up with my son, (he is in fact a wee bit too young for her and she was totally weirded out because she sees Jeremy like a little brother. See? Insert close enough to be her mom thing here) I would love to look like Merritt but the truth is, we couldn’t look more different.
We’ve spent a couple years now trying to figure out just what might give people the impression that this blonde, green eyed Irish chick and a half Japanese girl with black hair might be related, and not just related but so closely related that our parents might in fact be one in the same….did they take turns or something? Did the sixteen or whatever years, (yeah that’s me NOT counting) in between rejuvenate pop’s sperm to finish coloring in the lines? Did the years of fermentation cause the darker hair and brown eyes? It’s crazy and it has been bugging us for awhile now…
So here are the facts at face value; Merritt and I are both thick bodied and have lots of junk in the front, (Merritt also has the junk in the trunk and of this I am forever envious) neither of us exude that “come hug me” vibe and we both wear square, black rimmed glasses. As far as aesthetics go that is where the similarities end. Sure we share a snarky sense of humor, hers much more adorable, mine a little more raw but for the most part snark is what we do well and saucy is not at all unfamiliar to either of us but still….sisters?
I’ve often kidded and called my glasses my Clark Kents but it’s only now that I am beginning to see just how camouflaging they actually are. I had no idea that those frames, hers and mine could hide or deflect so much. Cover so much. Or that people are so short sighted that they call off the memory and investigative dogs so quickly. Kind of depressing really, to have two so different and complex lives reduced down to big boobs, a thick body and black frames.
Merritt’s dark wavy hair, often studded with a bunch of flowers tucked near her ear, stark and noticeable against her pale white flesh and enhanced by her big, very round and tremendously expressive brown eyes. A remarkably beautiful girl that wears her father’s frame, her father’s calm, her father’s comfort and knowledge with all things electronic. A life spent in a machine shop fondling tools while her driven and passionate mother worked in kitchens making herself one of the finest chefs many of us has ever known. The fortitude for hard work that came from helping that mother prepare and serve many a dinner in strangers homes….a sweet face that grew up knowing both the revelry of foie gras and the feeling of scrubbing the counters before slipping off and letting the “hosts” enjoy the rest of their dinner party. A comfort in her skin unlike any I have ever known in a woman so young, or many twice and thrice her age. She is not only a friend but there are parts of this young girl that make me admire her on a level that is simply impossible to articulate. Half Japanese, half Pittsburgh…all her. She deserves more than to be lost behind Clark Kents or reduced to just another Sam.
I took a second to look at my face before coming here. To really try and see what it is that others see…hard for me as I am not a fan of spending too much time in the mirror but in the interest of giving this post its due, I did it. Behind my Clark Kents there are green eyes and long features, the ones that were a constant reminder that I was unlike my siblings. I don’t look like the rest of the family, I look like my father. My long nose and full mouth, the green eyes and very straight hair….those were all him and while I knew very little of him I can remember my mother telling me that he was the sexiest and most crave inducing man she had ever met. I recently heard one of those things that maybe we aren’t supposed to….the fact that my grandparents wanted my mother to leave my father and move to England where they could help care for the two of us and while I let myself feel a little guilty that the man that sired me was so intoxicating to my mother that she wouldn’t or couldn’t leave him, there was some pride in the fact that I can see her in my face too. My smile is hers. My gestures all her and I find now that rather than feel guilty that she didn’t snap up the chance at a better life for herself…she followed her heart and even if she never knew it, she inspired me to follow mine. Did not work for her but her heart and face are here with me always.
My scars, I see those right off and while many never even notice them I wear them in my walk, the way I speak and sadly at times, the way I guard myself. My heart, spirit and pride were once twisted upon a tightrope, hell I was twisted up there too and while I’m not sure I would love reliving the break ins, the broken face, the whimpering soul, the fear, well as odd as it might sound I would do it all again if it would get me here. I slip on my glasses every day but behind them is the face of a woman, scars and all, that just aches to be loved and accepted…wearing the walk and snark of a woman that has been challenged and has done the best she can. Not raised in a machine shop, not brought up on lug nuts and leftover lobster. I’m not Merritt and big tits aside, she’s not me.
“Oh Yummy” what happens every time I pour some deeply extracted wine for a customer. Forget that they haven’t tasted it, haven’t even smelled it but that dark color in the glass is all they seem to need to ensure that the wine is “the best thing ever”…grrr. Get the same kind of deal when I pour some little Pinot Noir from Alsace, “Oh it’s thin” what the hell?! You haven’t even tasted it yet, how the fuck can you make any intelligible deduction about its texture or weight when you have yet to put it in your mouth? Has this really happened? Have we all become so blinded by flash and shinny that we have all become magpies? Blinded by the first little sliver or impression and not willing or able to see beyond that?
We have a wine at the shop and seeing as I don’t wish to ruffle any feathers I shall leave it nameless but, well it is quite frankly like cough syrup in the glass. Deeply purple, sluggish to move around in the glass and as saturated as any wine I have ever come in contact with. So we pour this freak of nature and everyone losses their shit over it. I get to hear what a massive and huge wine it is and I stand there, behind my Clark Kents, wondering what the hell they are talking about?! Yeah it’s a chunky wine but it’s also flabby, profoundly soft and as far from my idea of big as you can possibly be. Big boobs and black rims….dig deeper and I promise you, there is much to learn.
I love Merritt and think she is as remarkable a human as I have ever met but, she’s not me, I’m not her and if you won’t or can’t get past the first impression….well, you are missing so much with people and with wine. Judge each my their merits and trust me, they each have a story worth knowing and a soul worth sharing…..