with Lynne and Leslie

A Christmas Love Letter To My Sister Inspired by “Survivor”

by SweetMidlife

Hi! Lynne here.


I wanted to take a break from the Christmas preparations and whatnot and tell you about the gift I got 43 years ago. I’ve had her since before birth, because she’s my identical twin sister, and she’s been kinda stick with me since the beginning of time as the two of us know it.

I was inspired to write this post because of what went down on “Survivor” this past season. So, I don’t know if any of you watch “Survivor”, but we do, and the season that just ended was one where they have two teams made up of loved ones (siblings, lovers, parents and kids) playing against each other. Two of the competitors were identical twins Natalie and Nadiya Anderson, who had previously competed together twice on “The Amazing Race”. And these twins were not fans of those twins. Well, at first we liked their closeness, and their fierce love for each other, and the way they called each other “Twinnie”, because we come up with crazy names for each other that other people might not get, but we don’t care. Leslie and I call each other Doppel T. and Doppel G., because we are the other’s doppelganger, each other’s look-alike. But sometime during the Anderson sisters’ first season on TAR, they seemed to use their linked powers for bad and not good, as they became snide, and by their second season, they were full-fledged icky. They seemed impatient with other cultures, and said some things that seemed downright offensive. Now, this happens frequently on that show, but with the legacy they had already built, it seemed worse. Also, because they looked so much alike, and had done little to differentiate themselves from each other, their two identical faces seemed to make one unlikable persona.

So when we found out that they were going to be on “Survivor”, we were not excited. Double the annoyance!

But that is not what happened.

The sisters, as I said, were put on separate teams, and Nadiya became the very first person voted out of the season. And this lit a light under Natalie’s butt and set her game on fire. Without her sister there, she decided that there were going to be identical bookends on that season, with the first out looking just like the last person standing: because Natalie set out to win this thing, for she and her sister. And she did! She played an amazing game, both social and strategic, and took home the million dollar prize for her she and her sister. And in the process, this person who was so identified with her sister, stood out to us as her own person. And because she played longer without her partner than anyone else, she was no longer just a “Twinnie”, but she was NATALIE. But at the end of the day, she was sharing it with her twin, because that was her identity too.

I loved this. Twins are weird. I am one, and we can be strange. This Buzz-Feed article sums it up brilliantly. We fight to be seen as individuals, but we find ourselves also in each other. And even when we are apart, doing our own thing, we sometimes have each other in mind. I haven’t lived in the same state as Leslie in 20 years, and over the last 12, we have been WAY far from each other, with me in Maryland and her in Florida. And we are our own people, both wives and parents, both professionals, but she is still the first person that I want to tell things to. We are each other’s biggest fans, but also each other’s fiercest competitor. When we text weight loss pictures to each other, it forces the other to work-out too. We answer to each other’s names. We are fiercely independent and intertwined. She is my cohort, we are each other’s evil twin, and I love her. We won’t be together tomorrow, and that sticks. But I will call her and look in the mirror, and it will be like she’s there. Or something.

Merry Christmas, Doppel T.


7 Responses to “A Christmas Love Letter To My Sister Inspired by “Survivor””

  1. dstreet27@aol.com' aunt Donna says:

    That’s my girls! Love you, Aunt Donna

  2. lesliegraystreeter@gmail.com' Leslie says:

    Aunt Donna…I would not have gotten through the last two years of loss and then unexpected surprises without your guidance and humor. You’re amazing.

  3. ajyeargin@yahoo.com' adia says:

    Sisters are awesome. Thid made me teary. Merry Christmas to you noth.

  4. maria_blake@comcast.net' Maria says:

    Love you both!! You are my favorite identical twins 😉

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