So here’s my question for the day for my October challenge. Since it’s Friday and I usually have a lot to do on Fridays, then I haven’t made any changes to the prompt page, but here is the random question for today:
This is where the “common sense” comes in for me with this question. My family and I are… distant to put it mildly. Some of them and I are flat out estranged. And the rest are just… not in touch. So my family probably doesn’t tell many stories about me, at least not in my presence. I’m sure those that do tell stories about me spin tales that are very embarrassing, and probably either inflated out of all proportion, or simply not true. But that’s neither here nor there. Having said all of that, I’ll tell y’all a story that my sister and I used to bring up in family gatherings — before we drifted apart.
So when I was in my early twenties, I drove up from Florida to visit my sister in Mississippi. We were both Navy wives and our husbands were stationed in the respective states. My husband was out to sea at the time, and I had a bit of wanderlust, hence the visit. Anyway, it was a bit of a drive and I had three small kids in the car, so I was way tired by the time I got to her small town. This was before cell phones, let alone smart phones, so all I had to go by was a map and her directions. I’d never been to Mississippi before, so I knew nothing about the state at all. My atlas got me to her city, but I didn’t have a map of her town at all. I got to her general area about nine in the morning and couldn’t figure out the directions she’d given me. So I did what anyone in those days did when they were lost, I went to the nearest gas station.
I walked into the gas station with my written directions, went up to the counter, and was like, “Hey, can you tell me where this street is?”
The lady behind the counter looked at me like I’d grown a third head. “Is this a joke?”
I just kind of leaned on the counter and sighed. “No, I’ve been driving for eight hours and I’m trying to find my sister’s place. Do you know where this street is?” I tapped the paper with the directions.
She crossed her arms and narrowed her eyes. “Chris (sister’s name), what’s wrong with you?”
Cue frustration. “I’m not Chris, I’m Willow, Chris’s sister. Here’s my ID.” I pulled out my Florida state driver’s license and set it on the counter with a click. She glanced at the license and back but didn’t pick it up. I gestured to my car and said, “Are those Chris’s kids?” She looked at the car and back. I could see that she was wavering but she still thought I was Chris. So I asked to borrow her phone — remember, this was before cell phones — and called my sister. I was like, “Dude, can you tell this lady that I’m not you?”
I gave the phone to the woman behind the counter and she tried to tell the woman that I was who I said I was. The woman gave the phone back to me and Chris told me to stay put and she’d be right there. So I waited a few moments and bought some coffee for me and snacks for the kids. Don’t worry, dear reader, I was keeping an eye on them. It wasn’t looked down upon back then like it is now. Anyways, after a bit, Chris showed up, and the lady behind the counter freaked out because she’d never seen identical twins before. This is what happens, y’all when you don’t leave your home town or look outside of your immediate surroundings. She apologized to me for not believing me, and I was like, “Whatever, I’m tired. Let’s go.” And followed Chris to her house.
It’s not the first nor the last time that I’ve had to say, Who are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes? when it comes to being an identical twin. But even in the face of my ID, the three kids in the car that weren’t my sister’s, and my sister telling her that I wasn’t her, this woman did not believe me until she saw the both of us standing in front of her. That’s why I totally understand it when some people refuse to acknowledge what’s standing right in front of them, even with evidence to back it up. I mean, it’s not reasonable, not by a long shot, but I get that it happens, because it happened to me. More than once.