Another one is coming! That is how my parents explain the scene in the delivery room the day my sister and I were born. Three minutes later out I came to everyone’s surprise, nameless for days, and labeled “little one.” This answers the first of many questions a twin gets asked. Who is older and did your mom know she was having twins? Anyone who is an identical twin can relate to the standard list of inquiries that come with the territory. Over the years you find yourself sounding like a broken record playing out ground-hogs day, and it goes a little something like this..
- Do you feel her pain?
- Ever switch boyfriends?
- Can you read each others minds?
- Did you play tricks on your teachers, swap classrooms?
- You’re a twin..so how does that work?
- Which one is the good vs. evil twin?
- How can I tell you two apart?
The last one on this list, how can I tell you apart? Master your response and make it crystal clear, because what people really want to know is “how do I know it’s you so I don’t embarrass myself.” Also selfishly you desperately want others to understand and identify the difference. I not only have shared the same womb, crib, soccer team, college, and first apartment with my sister, but the past 13 years also the same employer! For all you twins out there do the math. That means the ground-hog instances just quadrupled, and the approach on spiking out your identity got taken to a whole new level. Just to up the game, my twin also sits on the same floor and frequents the same bathroom. You with me twinsies? You can only imagine the scene, let me paint you a picture of the top 5.
1 .Before Work Text: You have to text your twin before work to let them know you are wearing the shirt you both decided to buy since you shop together and gravitate towards the same brands.
2. Same Outfits – You plan to grab a quick morning coffee, get one quick glimpse at each other and realize you wore similar outfits. Turn back around your not getting that coffee together and increasing the staring odds.
3. Meeting New Coworkers – Don’t forget to mention there is in fact another person in the building the looks just like you. If you don’t, well onto #4.
4. Why didn’t You Say Hi ? – You forget to mention your twin in your professional introduction. So when your co-worker says good morning in the cafe, (to who they think is you) and gets a blank stare, they wonder what they did wrong and why they did not get a smile and hello.
5. Afraid to Make the First Move – You can see the hesitation, and attempt to study your face before people make a move and say hello. These are the one’s who know you are a twin but there not sure which one they are looking at and God forbid they say hi to the wrong one!
I did not sit down with my twin and map out grand plans about how we could work for the same company when we got older, but I can’t say I am surprised that we gravitated to the same place. There are countless instances of twins separated at birth that end up living similar lives, and having the same career. If you read a few of these stories the photo copies of life experiences are fascinating. There I said it, twins are fascinating! But I have to remind myself of this weekly, in my mind I am like any other person, sibling, sister, until I go out in public with side by side with my twin. That is when it feels like you are being eyed by the paparazzi.
You know those times when you are out together, and all of a sudden you can feel the burning, blatant stare of a spectator. Here it comes, wait for it, wait.. “Are you?…..” Sometimes a scratching of the head and look of utter confusion accompanies the ask, while they wait for you to fill in the blank (here we go again with being afraid to make the first move) and respond to relieve the awkwardness. A few more stares between us and then you confirm their suspicions “yes, yes we are twins.” Inevitably a sigh of relief follows, as if they thought they were going crazy and actually “seeing double.” Why is everyone so surprised? The shock factor always amazes me, but again I have to remind myself about the fascination.
Being a twin is a blessing, unique, and provides a connection to a sibling that is different from most. Now if you had asked me 16 year ago if I thought I would be connected on a weekly basis at work I would have laughed. Probably just as much as I do now at the countless instances and stories of my co-workers stumbling on the other version of me. Among them all, there is one reaction that is the most common and through my eyes always seems to draw some seriously intense emotion behind it. Oh my god there is another one of you? Yes, yes there is… Do you have one too? What is your twin story?