Sweet Twindipity: Thoughts on Being a Twin

by Aimee Hancock

“It’s double the giggles and double the grins, and double the trouble if you’re blessed [to be a] twin.”  

—Author Unknown

twin babies

“Wait, there are two of you?”

I’ve heard this so often, it should be included on my headstone. My sister and I are fraternal twins, two separate eggs that happened to be fertilized at the same time, and we look quite a bit alike. Our closest friends can tell us apart from behind even when our hair is done exactly the same or separate the two of us just from our voices on the phone. Those who don’t know us as well struggle to tell us apart. But if they think it’s hard to tell us apart now, they should see our baby pictures—even I can’t tell who’s who without my mom’s help!

While growing up, I was used to people knowing that I was a twin. There were no strange looks or double-takes from people because they knew we were twins, even if they couldn’t always tell us apart. Amber and I took advantage of this and played jokes on people. In third grade, we switched seats and no one ever knew until a few years later when we finally confessed.

Attending college has been a different experience for Amber and me because most people on campus don’t know that we are twins, whether they see us separate or together. I have had entire conversations with people who (as I found out later) thought I was Amber. We also meet people who see us, blink a few times, and suspiciously ask, “Are you two twins?” Continuing our love of playing jokes on people, we have been successful in convincing a few people that we are simply cousins or just barely met and have absolutely no relation at all.

In addition to being an easy way to pull pranks on people, there are many other perks to being a twin. Amber and I have been best friends for more than twenty years, and we share a special bond. We have many of the same interests, which makes it easy to find activities to do together that we both enjoy, such as playing sports or watching movies. We also think along the same wavelength most of the time, which makes it a bit like having an extension of me. It’s nice to always have someone to talk to and to share adventures with.

college twins

 Before freshman year, the longest we had ever been apart was three days. Now, we live together and our roommates find it amusing to watch us interact because we don’t have to say much. We are always laughing with each other and communicating simply through looks (maybe even twin telepathy) and movie quotes, which looks crazy and sounds like gibberish to anyone observing us.

However, not everything about being a twin works out that well. Sometimes people treat us as a single person. When we were younger and people would call on the phone and ask if the twins were there, my mom would ask which one they wanted to talk to. They would then reply that it didn’t matter. In junior high, many people just called us both “twin.” This hurt because they saw us as one person and failed to differentiate between the two of us.

Having a twin makes it hard to be yourself, especially if you are around people who don’t know who you are. I believe that identity is important; I want to be my own person. And I have had to learn how to be my own person and to not worry so much if others don’t know which twin I am.

Even with so many people in the world, there are no two people who are exactly the same. I know what it’s like to be looked over or to have my identity clumped with someone else’s, so I make an extra effort to try to see people for who they are as individuals. Each person has individual worth and is unique, even if he or she looks like or has mannerisms that are similar to someone else’s.

Being a twin has its ups and downs, but the ups definitely outweigh the downs. It can be frustrating to be called by the wrong name on an almost daily basis (sometimes even by my own grandmother), and to have to endure the scrutinizing looks from those trying to find the difference between my sister and me. But, I wouldn’t trade anything for being a twin. I know who I am, and that’s enough for me.

I may be a twin, but I’m one of a kind.