First things first. Mirjam van Breeschooten was born November 15, 1970, at 7:58 am. Karin van Breeschooten was born eight minutes later. When neighbors rushed to tell the father the news, he suspected what was coming: "Let me guess," he said. "Twins." It seems that the house in which the family resided had a history of producing twins as far back as the 1500s. The only question we have: Were they as perfect as the Van Breeschootens? Before we had a chance for a face-to-face chat, Playboy Associate Photo Editor Michael Ann Sullivan provided the significant information: Karin has a birthmark near her mouth and a boyfriend in Germany; Mirjam doesn't. Other than that, we were on our own. We met the girls in a hotel room across the street from the Playboy Building. Mirjam was wearing a long jersey, with the sleeves pulled over her hands to use as mitts while she served a hot room-service breakfast. The first impression - adorable! - soared when her double, Karin, walked into the room. We started the interview by asking Mirjam her opinion of America. "We watch St. Elsewhere, Miami Vice, Moonlighting, Hill Street Blues. We only know the gangsters. Last night, we were awakened by police sirens. We thought we were in an episode of Hill Street. Then we took a walk. You have beautiful cars. Big, beautiful cars. So far, everyone we've met has been incredibly nice." Karin jumped in. "Holland is so small. It is a two-hour drive from one side to the other. It's like living in a dollhouse. Everything is under control. There's never a big event. All the news from foreign countries is more exciting than what happens at home. Our newspapers can keep writing about a kidnapping for six months." They said they couldn't wait to eat at a real McDonald's. They wanted to go shopping for cowboy shirts and boots. They wanted to visit a school like the High School of the Performing Arts featured in Fame. They realize that their curiosity is shaped by entertainment, but then, most Americans, when they visit Holland, want to meet Hans Brinker of Silver Skates renown. "What is this silver skate?" asked Mirjam. Karin: "Our characters are really quite similar but never at the same time. A few years ago, I was the wildest one in the house, and now Mirjam is." Karin was a model and Mirjam a nursing student when the opportunity arose to appear in the Dutch edition of Playboy. Mirjam recalls Karin pushing her in front of a mirror and Mirjam giggling at the idea, saying, "Oh, for sure, that's the girl who will be in Playboy." Mirjam giggled to the point of tears again at the memory, her dimples giving warning of a blush. "Yes," said Karin, verifying the story. "One day she was nagging that I was much more beautiful than she was. I dragged her to a mirror and made her look." They are disco crazy. In Holland, kids start to go to dance clubs just out of diapers. Mirjam snuck out at 13. Six months later, the two went out together. "I was helpless," Karin recalled, "but everyone knew Mirjam from the first time." Have they ever switched dates? Never. They shrugged off the inevitable twin questions. "We never could understand what's so special about it. We can't imagine what it's like not to be twins."
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