I asked one of my twins what he would like for Christmas and then, separately, I also asked the other one.
They sent photos back to me via text, and I was stunned to see that they both wanted exactly the same black and white speckled resin plate by Dinosaur Designs. Same plate, same colour, and apparently, they had not previously conferred on the subject at all.
That was not the reason I was stunned, however. They are identical twins, so I am used to them thinking in tandem about certain things.
When they were little boys, they would unwrap gifts with their eyes fixed firmly on what their brother was unwrapping and then silently swap whatever they received, it was deeply weird.
No, I was more stunned that they both wanted expensive serving platters at the age of 25.
They are both moving into rental apartments with their girlfriends, who have clearly had a huge civilising effect on them very early. I don’t have a Dinosaur Designs serving platter. I don’t know what happened exactly, but I don’t have to give them the lecture about being more house proud.
I’ve become Edina from Ab Fab, railing at my children about the fact they skipped the bit about being irresponsible ratbags.
Instead, one of the conversations went along the lines of me saying incredulously, “You are buying a custom-made sofa? In crème? Couldn’t you just find one dumped on the street in Darlinghurst and drag it home, like we used to?”.
They stare at me in amusement while I go on and on about how in my day, we made bookcases out of planks left on building site and bricks, how milk crates were the perfect base for a futon, how we got fab crockery at Vinnies. But when I was in my early 20s there was no IKEA, there were no Facebook Marketplace bargains, no Gumtree. You couldn’t buy melamine outdoor dinnerware and velvet armchairs at Kmart.
One of my sons just bought a $350 coffee table, citing its timeless mid-century design, of pale polished timber and smoky glass as a good long-term investment, causing me to look at my current cheap and nasty table and scream involuntarily: “J’Accuse!!! You two demons destroyed any nice thing I ever had. I’ve never had the chance to have a crème lounge, a mid-century glass coffee table, a delicate vase.”
“Ten years of round-the-clock wrestling meant smashed everything in your wake.
“Do you remember those nice antique green ceramic parrots I bought in Shanghai? No, I bet not because you OBLITERATED THEM when you pushed your brother into the cabinet. Remember that lovely pale blue rug in the living room I bought when you were little? No. BECAUSE I COULDN’T EVER RISK BUYING ONE!”
Anyway, now they are leaving home and I am left with a hodgepodge of make-do furniture, and a distinct dearth of Waterford crystal that I can see. Anyway, I’ll send the twins my Christmas request.
I want a porcelain Hermès tea set. It’s an investment, boys.