Kristen Arnett on Kristen Arnett

Kristen Arnett

Here’s the thing about names: they’re yours and they’re not supposed to belong to anybody else. With a twin you share a womb, you share a life. Parents. Genetics. The same face and hands and hair. Psychic abilities, if you’re lucky. A stranger with your name means they’re probably doing something much better or much worse than you. It means there’s always going to be someone else you’re competing with, and aren’t we always competing so hard against ourselves already?

Other Kristen Arnett makes Green Make-Up, which means she is Environmentally Conscious. Other Kristen Arnett Cares about the Planet and Looks Great Doing It. Every few months I searched my own name-nemesis and all those searches revealed she was doing just fine. She eats healthy and gets a good night’s sleep. She drinks water. Bet that Other Kristen Arnett doesn’t knock back eight beers and pass out on her couch on a work night. Bet she brushes her hair in the morning before work. It is great and terrible to know there is someone else out there living your own life better than you. Great because you can always cut yourself some slack – no need to worry about living right, they’ve got it handled – but terrible because you’ll always have a built-in excuse not to live right yourself.

Now when I search Other Kristen Arnett, I’m the one who pops up first. What was it like that day she looked for herself and saw me staring back at her? My grinning face, superimposed over a godawful Tweet about animal puns. Did she think of me the same way I’d always thought of her, kind of jealous, but a little relieved? Does that mean I’ve got to drink a gallon of water a day now for clearer skin? Will she sit back and finally relax, knowing that she finally gets to be the one who doesn’t have to try so hard anymore? I hope she enjoys the time off. I hope she thinks of me fondly. We’re stuck together, whether we like it or not.

She’s a democrat. Hope she remembered to vote.

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