My husband, the high-tech high priest, discovered some new app on his Iphone and sent an invitation to me, our daughter and our son to use it. It’s called Latitude and it’s some kind of espionage-like device that tells you where the other person — or his or her Iphone — is.
Our daughter called it “creepy,” but signed up, anyway. My husband subsequently reported that she was in Palo Alto, California, where she lives — like this was some kind of bigtime revelation.
Then he started hounding me to get on Latitude, too. “Look at it this way,” he said. “If your phone gets stolen, we’ll know where the thief is.”
Oh, brother. I always love ideas like this that begin with a “what if” premise and end up with a felony. But anyway, I gave him my phone so he could sign me up himself, since I’m not interested in new apps. After all, I hardly ever use the apps I’ve already got, so why would I want to sign up for any new ones? Anyway, he started pawing around my Iphone, complaining how it was out-of-date and casting aspersions on me as an Iphone owner. This — along with a total loss of privacy — is what I get when he starts fretting over my high-tech devices. I should know better by now.
Still, I was kind of interested in getting Latitude for at least one reason: My husband, as it turns out, seems to have a twin on the Upper West Side.
(I should point out, first, that I happen to know something about twins. My father and aunt were twins, as were my great-aunts. In fact, my family has a history of naming twins in the most egregious way possible. All I can say is it’s a good thing my great aunts were born in Oklahoma, instead of Texas.)
But back to the Upper West Side twin. I saw him the first time when I was walking to meet my husband at the neighborhood Barnes & Noble. I was about a block away from the store when I saw my husband leaving it. Which didn’t make sense, since we were supposed to meet at the store. I went inside and whiled away the time, which I can always do quite easily in a bookstore. Eventually, I went upstairs, where I found my husband in the psychology section.
He’d been there the entire time, he insisted. No, he hadn’t left the store earlier.
Not a big deal. I forgot it till a few days later, when I left our apartment to walk to the grocery store. My husband was sitting at his desk, working, when I left.
Which made it all the crazier when I saw “him” standing at a nearby stoplight. The posture, the clothes, the hairline, the coloring — all were so familiar to me I had to stop myself from calling out to him. But I knew that, logically, it couldn’t be my husband — who was several yards behind me, on the second floor, working at a desk.
“You’ve got a twin around here, somewhere,” I told my husband later. “Believe me, it’s such a close resemblance, it’s uncanny.”
“I didn’t know there were two such great-looking guys on the Upper West Side,” he said.
Since the last sighting, I haven’t seen the twin again. If I do, though, I might suggest he get an app for his Iphone. “This is not your husband!” the app would say. “Please do not nag, criticize or boss around. Some things should be saved for the sanctity of marriage.”
(Copyright 2009 by Ruth Pennebaker)