TWO MINUTES WITH...
ANNAPOLIS VALLEY TWINS SHARE A BOND BEYOND DNA
Today, we launch a special feature that looks at some of the people we come across in our daily lives but may not know very much about.
Charlotte Benjamin and Sharon Caul roll forks into napkins as they roll their eyes laughing.
The 60-year-old identical twins have worked together as waitresses in Kentville for nearly three decades, and share everything – their hairdresser, doctor, dentist – along with their job and the deed to a house.
They also share near-identical DNA, fingerprints and birthmarks, so alike at birth they wore different coloured ribbons as markers. That said, they haven’t actually known who is who since their father mixed the ribbons up, but with two brains that work more like one, it doesn’t seem to matter.
“She could be Charlotte, and I could be Sharon. We’re a two-in-one, and it feels like the same brain,” says Benjamin.
The sisters were raised in Stephenville, N.L., where they attended school with eight other sets of twins. When Caul moved to Nova Scotia in 1982, Benjamin followed in 1984.
They now live apart – Caul in New Minas, Benjamin in Sheffield Mills – but work together and delight customers with antics like dressing the same and switching identities.
It’s a game they played in school when they’d switch classes and fool teachers, and one Benjamin used at 14 during a breakup.
“I was peeking through the curtain in the house and sent Sharon out, dressed in my clothes. He didn’t know – he was foolish,” she laughs.
They bring matching outfits on vacation and love being mirror images. They are so used to this sameness, and being together, neither can imagine a life without the other.
“In all our years, we’ve only been apart a total of four years. If anything ever happens to my husband, it will be me and her,” says Benjamin, as Caul’s eyes fill with tears.
“Forever – ever and ever. Life without her, well – there is no life,” says Caul.
The sisters have worked together for nearly three decades as waitresses at Paddy’s Brewpub and Rosie’s Restaurant in Kentville, where one often gets mistaken for the other. But it’s something they play up and take advantage of to have a little fun. “We always know where the other is, and don’t bump into each other – it’s that twin thing we do,” laughs Benjamin.
Charlotte Benjamin and Sharon Caul, both 60, are identical twins, and haven’t really been certain who is who since their father mixed up the ribbons that identified them when they were babies.