Darren and I have been asked that question more often that one might expect. It's always an awkward moment, and it gets even more so if our standard reply of "Neither" doesn't nip things in the bud.
"Oh, so just friends?"
Yeah sure, whatever, we're just friends. Now, can you please just finish bagging up our goat cheese, fresh pasta, and mojito mix and let us leave??
I mean come on. We're both stocky Nordic-looking boys with sandy blond hair and dazzling blue eyes. I could maybe see that someone might think we're cousins, but twins?
Right, we're twins separated at birth--by six years and two different sets of parents! It's a miracle, watch for us on Oprah!
Darren's mom recently sent us some childhood pictures of Darren, and even when you look at us as kids, the resemblance is hardly uncanny. (In case you need help, that's me on the left.)
The most annoying game of Are You Guys Twins? that we ever played took place on a Northwest Airlines flight from Amsterdam to Minneapolis about six years ago. The plane was just a few minutes from landing, and two flight attendants had just sat down in the jump seats that faced the first row of coach where we sat.
The younger of the two women started the game off.
"So are you guys twins, or just brothers?"
"Really? Because you look SO much alike!" She turned to her coworker, a matronly woman twenty years her senior, and said "I mean, don't they look like twins?"
"Not really," replied the second woman, clearly more interested in the huge bunch of tulips she had bought at Schiphol airport.
"So you're just friends?" continued the young one.
No, not just friends. [This, I hasten to point out, is the point where the game REALLY should have ended.]
"Oh, so you don't know each other? You just happened to sit by each other?"
"So you're coworkers traveling to Europe on business?"
No, um... [Won't this freakin' plane ever land? Or explode? OR SOMETHING?!?]
Finally, the older woman stopped admiring her flowers long enough to intervene.
"Geez, Cathy," she snapped, in voice that carried back at least three rows, "Get a clue! They're obviously GAY!"
The game ended there, which is fortunate, because even though he hadn't said a word throughout the entire painful exchange, I knew Darren was ready to choke the life out of both of them. (Not that he's a violent man, mind you, but who could blame him? Enough is enough.)
Okay, the annoying grocery bagger who used to ask us if we were twins gets a pass, because she was mildly retarded.
But flight attendants? Hello? Honey we own that profession!
Man, some people's kids need to be smacked.