Joined at the unbelted waist

If ever I was tempted to ask a stranger’s permission to snap a photograph, it was yesterday morning.  I still regret not doing so.  Definitely my loss–and yours. 

I had just taken a seat on the shuttle bus to an early plane when I saw a tall, well-dressed man boarding the bus.  I looked down for a split second, looked up and saw him getting on the bus, again.  Déjà vu?  I rubbed my eyes and shook my head and wished for a second cup of coffee.

I got on the plane and found my seat. 

I saw the same man, I’d say he was between 45 and 50 years old, walking down the aisle.  He was tall, wore a very good charcoal micro-plaid suit, a starched white shirt, gold cufflinks, odd-looking large-framed glasses and a bright red silk tie with a windowpane design and yellow accents.

Right behind him was another man, between 45 and 50.  He was tall, wore a very good charcoal micro-plaid suit, a starched white shirt, gold cufflinks, odd-looking large-framed glasses and a bright red silk tie with a windowpane design and yellow accents.

The two men found their seats across the aisle and one row back from me, but before they sat side by side, each took off his suit coat.  I confirmed the identical designer suits, shirts, ties, cufflinks, pocket squares, glasses, shoes and haircuts.  I strained my neck trying to compare the monograms on their identical French cuffs.

They had identical faces.  They were 45-year-old identical twins.  Dressed identically.

Then, as the suit coats came off, I saw that one was wearing red suspenders and the other, yellow.  Clearly, they were expressing their individuality.  In identical ways.

The plane took off.  As I looked over my shoulder, I was almost willing to risk air safety and turn on my camera phone, just to capture it—two oversized men, seated tightly side by side in Row 6 of a puddle jumper, impeccably and identically dressed, discussing college baseball.  And then, at exactly the same time, they fell asleep, their heads dipped forward, chins resting on their identical red silk ties.

Oh, to know their story.

The only clue they provided — each carried on board a paper shopping bag.  One from Brooks Brothers, the other, from the Supreme Court gift shop.


Filed under Beauty and Fashion, Foibles and Faux Pas, Travel

6 responses to “Joined at the unbelted waist

  1. this is such a cool story….i was captivated 🙂

  2. William Greene

    This intriguing mystery begs at least some theoretical explanation: Identical twins practicing law can cover appointments and court appearances for each other while the other gets in that elusive golf round. The suspender code permits their staff to accurately track individual golf handicaps. I can think of no other practical modern excuse for twin adults dressing amost identically.

  3. Dennis Jones

    Lovely post. Discreet picture, say of their views from behind might have been alright (at least for personal consumption, if not for posting on blog).

  4. Mom

    Back in the 50’s when I lived in Arlington, I used to see two tiny little elderly ladies who were obviously identical twins. They always traveled the area everywhere together: I saw them on buses, in stores, and they’d pop up in unexpected places with their blue perms and little dimity dresses set off nicely by their single strand of pearls. I know exactly how you felt, and always wished I had known their story. ”Gotta love life.

    • Mom

      I just recalled something I read in Henri Bergson’s book “Laughter” in which he writes that “one thing” is seldom funny in itself, but when another identical one is presented, it makes people laugh. He illustrates that when a person sneaks through a window it is not funny. But when he is followed by another one just like the first one, it becomes funny. And funnier yet when another knocks at the door…
      (How do I remember such stuff I read forty years ago and can’t remember what I had for breakfast?)

  5. Pat Abrams

    Monica, had I been there I would have become their best friend before the plane landed.

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