Sunday, May 13, 2007


Growing up, I was always the girl with a twin. No matter where I went, there was always another skinny black girl with thick glasses. Whether I knew this girl or not, folks would always ask me if we were twins, sisters, cousins or whatever. Usually, my doppleganger and I would exchange frowns and say in unison, "I don't look like her!"

In sixth grade, my twin was "Penny". We were both in class H27, which meant we were part of a group that took all classes together. The first few days of school everyone made comparisons to us. Teachers would say Strength when they meant Penny and vice versa. We would both roll our eyes. I guess, like me, she had had her share of twins and was sick of it.

Unlike the others, Penny and I actually became friends. She was probably my best friend in school at that time, since I had another best friend in the neighborhood. The twins thing was still something everyone used to tease us about. One of our teachers -- drama, I think -- took it further and labeled us the Good Twin and the Bad Twin. Guess which one I was? I was very expressive (read: talkative, goofy) back then and the teachers just didn't understand me. Yet Penny was quiet and disciplined, always getting her work done perfectly. It was sickening.

For whatever reason, Penny and I had a falling out at the end of the year. I can't remember specifically what the problem was. I think she did something to piss me off, so I phased her out of my life. In true passive, aggressive fashion, we didn't speak for the rest of the school year. I got new friends and so did she. I went to another school the following year and we never spoke again.
Until the advent of Myspace.

I was fooling around on the site one day when I stumbled upon her name. I wondered if she remembered me, so I sent her an email. Turns out, she did remember me and added me to her friends list. She lives in another state, where she is studying for a phd so she can do cancer research. It was weird because she briefly lived in the same Midwestern state that I did, but moved away once I got there.

It was cool reminiscing about old times with her. The online relationship with Penny led me into subsequent conversations with my Sixth Grade Crush, who doesn't live that far from me. From what I've learned, he has everything that I'm looking for in a man -- long locks, single status, NO KIDS, and a love of Harry Potter.

It's been weird looking at these adult photos of people I'll eternally remember as kids. No matter how long Crush's hair grows, I'll still remember him with a high top fade and a rat tail. No matter how many degrees Penny gets, I'll still remember the day she came running down the hall all excited because two boys tried to get her in a sandwich. I guess I'm still a 12-year-old girl at heart.


Mlle Smith said...

First of all, LOVE the bright, new layout! It's all fun and cheery, and I almost thought I was on the wrong website! Hehe! I had a twin once in the 8th grade. I don't remember her name, but I didn't think we looked alike at all. We were just one of the handful of brown girls in our school, so automatically, we were deemed twins.

I'm still a kid at heart...I'm still goofy, giggly, and energetic...and I STILL love to munch on PBJB (peanut butter, jelly and banana sandwiches). I never want to lose that part of me. :0) This was a beautiful post.

Strength/Courage/Wisdom said...

Thanks! I felt like it was time for a new design. That dark background was killing my mood. =)

Glad I'm not the only 12 year old around. And although I love PBJ sandwiches and bananas, I'm very afraid to try them all together. I'll take your word for it, though!

MotownRunnerGirl said...

i like peanut butter and banana sandwiches, no jelly. my mom once made me a banana-lettuce sandwich. that was not a success. i never had a twin growing up. i was the fat kid. i think i would have rathered have a twin. i guess we all have our thing. and yes, awesome layout!!!! it is cheery. i've stopped my schizophrenic layout changes for the time being. the one i currently have is the one i started out with. weirdly, my bf from college has a blog and he has the same layout. it's called check it out. it's all about food.

Strength/Courage/Wisdom said...

Wow, I remember that boyfriend Motown. Now just admit that you stole his layout!

Mlle Smith said...

Errr...I'm considering growing out my perm. Any suggestions? I tried this before and every time I washed my hair, it would dry before I had a chance to detangle and I'd have a headache after all of the tugging and pulling. Eventually I reverted back to a perm. Any suggestions on making the transition? :0l

Strength/Courage/Wisdom said...

Mlle Smith: Yay!! C'mon to the darkside! =) The first thing you have to do is get a hairdresser that will help you and support you through this process. I told my stylist (also my aunt) that I wanted to lock. So everytime I went to her, we cut out some of the relaxed hair and let the new growth come in. Eventually, I got braids. And then we took the braids out and I was rocking the short locks. It progressed from there.

So that was my experience. Are you looking to lock or do something else?

Tha L said...

Hilarious! Yeah, there's some chic runnin around Vegas for at least 8 years who belongs on my twin list. I think I saw her once at a club, and I was absolutely shocked because I thought I was looking in a mirror. Very strange feeling. Good memories about the junior high twins and the pbj (wish I still had my pbj t-shirt!). Wonderful new layout mama!

Mlle Smith said...

Well, I prefer to wear it sans locks, but since I'll be in France, I won't necessarily have steady hairstylist for a fact, I found one in Paris, but I'll have to take the easyjet there every few months to get my hair groomed...

I would LOVE to wear it braided until it grows out, but I'm not sure of which is best: box braids or cornrows. Do the braids damage the hair?

I have no idea of how to wash my hair without a perm...seriously. That was the main reason I got my hair permed again (after chopping off ALL of my perm and going completely natural for a few months). I just couldn't deal with the process of washing it. Any suggestions?

Actually, tell me ANYTHING. I don't know the first thing to do with natural hair...

Strength/Courage/Wisdom said...


U do have a bit of a predicament. Maybe a hot comb would work. I try to avoid washing my hair myself, be it permed or locked. My hair is thiiiick and drives me nuts when I wash it. There's a book I have that may be of some guidance: "For Colored Girls Who've Considered Weaves when the Chemicals Became too rough."

There are also a few other sites:,

My only other suggestion is when you're in France, grab every black woman you see and ask her where she gets her hair done! If I find anything else, I'll be sure to send it your way. I hope this helps!

Mlle Smith said...

Have you seen this website before?

I don't know how their products would work on my hair...but it might be worth investigating. Hmmmm.... :0l

Olivier and I are arguing right now because he prefers straight hair and now I want to clobber him. Anyway.

Strength/Courage/Wisdom said...

Yikes on the straight hair preference.

I've never heard of that site before. It's worth a try.