I love my twin. I love being her twin sister and bickering about who is really the oldest (it’s me) and who cleaned the cat litter last (it was probably her). Growing up with a sibling who is the exact same age as you shapes your interactions with others, and how you see the world. I know that it has definitely made me into the person that I am today, and positively impacted my life in an infinite amount of ways. Still, being a twin does not come without unique frustrations.
As babies, you draw instant crowds. People oooh and ahhh over the adorableness of two babies and pepper your poor, exhausted parents with questions. When you grow up, the crowd ignores your parents and turn the questions on you. Here are five questions that I think, personally, most twins are tired of answering.
1. Are you sure you’re really twins?
This was a question that I was asked a lot as a child. I remember one time I was getting on the school bus in the morning and this scrawny boy with buzzed blond hair and a white t-shirt stuck his head over the seat in front of me and said, “are you sure you’re really twins? You look nothing alike.” I remember nearly crying as I argued with him. “Yes,” I insisted, “we are twins! We are!” Needless to say, I strongly dislike this question. Yes, I am a twin. No, my twin and I are not clones of each other. We do not look exactly the same, but that does not change the fact that we are twins.
2. Do you ever fight?
I suppose this is a question that anyone who has a sibling is asked during their lifetime, but I think it is still worth addressing on this list, as I have been asked it quite often. The simple answer is yes. Of course we fight sometimes. We are human. Just because we are twins does not mean that we are saints. However, my sister and I do not fight often, and we generally get along very well.
3. Are you close?
When I tell people that I have a twin this is usually the follow up question, and I have never known how to answer. Of course is usually on the tip of my tongue, but I also acknowledge that not every person is close with their twins and every person is different. Yes, is my answer. We are very close. I have never known life without my twin and I cannot imagine it.
4. So do you have similar interests?
I understand that people are fascinated by the idea of twins. A twin is an instant companion you will have your whole life. You will always have someone to play with. However, I still find this question amusing, because it assumes that because we are the same age, my twin and I enjoy the same things. Granted, we do have similar interests: reading, hiking, etc, but we are also incredibly different people. I am an English Major and she is a Biology major, for example. We are not the same person.
5. Do you have…you know…the twin thing?
By the “twin thing” I assume that the person is asking if my twin and I are telepathic. This is a difficult question to answer, and it is one I get often. Again, I think because of popular fiction, fantasy, and the public’s general fascination with twins, people are curious to see if the stories are true. While I think this is an incredibly personal question, I usually either shrug or nod, because, at least in my experience, there is something incredibly powerful and special about the bond that my sister and I share. Can we read each others every thought and emotion 24/7? Do we have mystical powers? The simple answer is no.
So, the next time you meet someone who is a twin, I would advise against asking these five questions. Twins are simply two individual people who happened to be born incredibly close to each other, and share a birthday.