A Thing or Two About Twins

I’m an identical twin. Sometimes instead of saying that I might say I “have” an identical twin but it’s not like she’s something I can own. A lot of people believe misconceptions about twins and I'd gotten to laugh at those my whole life. I can remember people asking me, genuinely curious, if I could read my twin's mind. Also, I'm not sure where this came from, but there is a fair amount of people who believe we can feel each other's pain. Where did that come from? Being with your twin in public meand people have an excuse to ask you random questions. Answering twin questions is a social obligation we twins learn to live with. One of the questions I get asked most often is: "who is older?" I’m really not sure why that is such a fascinating question for people, but I’m proud to say I’m the eldest daughter. Though if we’re being honest here, I’m only twelve minutes older, so, it’s not like I’ve accomplished anything. If I’m explaining my age superiority to someone with my Mom nearby, she’ll be sure to say it was the “longest twelve minutes of her life” and I don’t doubt that!

There are plenty of other questions people ask me about being a twin and by now I’ve learned the questions don’t stop when you get older. Going to a different college from my twin assures that people won’t do that weird thing when they compare the two of us, (“She’s taller” “Thanks, I know”) but always raises questions. Here are some of those burning questions about being a twin that I get all. the. time.

1. Can You Read Each Other’s Minds?

Unfortunately, no. We can’t. One time my twin said something I was thinking, which was a bit bizarre. And another time I started singing the song that was in her head. But I think we can dismiss these as coincidences. We actually did try to use telepathy once. Apparently the only way to make it work is if you both believe. Maybe one day...

2. Can You Feel Each Other’s Pain?

If you count secondhand anxiety or sympathy, then I guess? No, I won’t feel it if you punch her. But I will be obligated to defend her honor by punching you back. Kidding. Please don’t injure us for your experiments, it’s not nice.

3. So Who’s the Devil?

Yes, we have been asked this. There’s this theory that when there are twins one must be evil and the other is the angel. I would like to confirm that neither one of us is evil. Also, I don’t think either of us are angels but I can’t confirm my twin isn’t an angel. In all honesty, if you think about it, we’ve all got good and bad in us and our twinness doesn’t make us any different.

4. Did Your Parents Mix You Up?

In our case, I was born a lot smaller than my twin so my parents did not have to put an X on my forehead to distinguish us from each other. In fact, I’m still several inches shorter and about ten pounds lighter. So when in doubt people just point out that I’m smaller and that’s how they differentiate us. But I’d also like to clear up that we are different people that look different enough once you actually look at us.

5. Was It Really Awful for Your Parents?

Imagine you’re running on a treadmill while feeding a baby. Now someone hands you another baby. Yes, having two babies at once is difficult. Fortunately, I have two parents so that’s a baby for each, how perfect. 

6. Do You Have Your Own Language?

Actually, we did at one point. Before we learned to talk we would talk to each other and use words that made no sense. That’s pretty neat, especially because it baffled my parents. Maybe someday I’ll be struck by the realization that I know exactly what “wee a wa” means but for now I think we can all agree babies don’t know what they are saying, especially when the person they are communicating with is also a baby. I guess by now we have a language of obscure memes and inside jokes that span back a lot longer than most friendships. Our language of foolery is impressive, but I can hardly see someone studying it in college.

So to summarize what we have learned, my twin can’t feel my pain or tell me the answers to my math homework through my mind. However, a twin, like any other siblings, can be the support you need during tough times, and the person that cheers you up with a good laugh when you most need it. I’m okay with not having a clone because having a kind sister that will always have my back is more than enough to be grateful for. I don’t wonder why people often tell me they wish they had a twin. Because honestly, it’s pretty awesome.

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