Having two distinct skulls isn’t amazing, of course. Children do tend to have their own heads. But two people couldn’t be more dissimilar in temperament and thinking than we are.
I wish I could be more like my optimistic, free-spirited, artistic sister instead of the pessimistic, meticulous curmudgeon I am annoyed to have residing within me. But I can’t help it. I think I’m genetically hardwired to be fastidious.
If you want someone predictable and responsible and who enjoys proofreading commas, I’m your woman. But don’t ask me to focus on more than one thing at a time. I get all confused and disoriented if I even try to skim a magazine while watching TV. Really, I can barely think and swallow at the same time, which is why all my books have Diet Coke stains on the pages.
Another symptom of my plodding nature is that I freak out at time pressures. When I was married, my gut would do the Twist whenever my husband was ready to leave and I was still getting ready – even if I cleverly started four hours early. Despite my logical protests that since I took longer to get ready, I should shower first, he would grab the shower, be ready in 15 minutes and start pacing and hovering at the bathroom door.
“How much longer are you going to be?” he’d ask, deciding whether to start the car.
“I need 30 minutes!” I would scream, driving the mascara wand into my eyebrow with adrenaline-crazed hands.
“Geesh, I just asked,” he would sigh.
Eventually, he learned to leave the house – and the city – until I was ready.
When it comes to multi-tasking, I’m limited to completing just one thing at a time when doing highly intricate and complex mental tasks, like tying my shoes or searching my memory for a technical word like “dog.”
When it comes to the way my sister and most people function in life, their brains are the Indy 500. And I’m puttering along at 25 mph. That’s OK, though. Just give me your misplaced commas and leave me alone to work.