Are you two…?

Me and my sister went shopping recently, and one thing has been running through my mind since then:

The most common question I get asked, I think possibly the earliest twin related one I’ve ever been asked, but don’t hold me to that, is ‘Are you two related?’ The man at the till happened to ask us this as we were checking out.

Now, this confuses me for a few reasons.

The main one is that it makes me think:

Do they ask that because they think we look identical but don’t want to offend us by assuming that we’re twins?

Do me and my sister not look as much alike as we think we do, so they’re just commenting on a similarity between us?

Do they legitimately think that we’re not related and just want to comment on how we look freakishly alike?

I mean, all of my friends tell me that, when they first got to know us, they weren’t sure how they were ever going to tell us apart. But once they knew us for a while, now they don’t know how they ever confused us.

The confusing thing about being a twin is that I don’t think I look exceptionally similar to my sister. I suppose people always see every detail in themselves, whether it’s a spot that they think must be the size of a football to everyone else, but is really so tiny you can’t notice it. Or some feature that they don’t like about themselves that they think is really obvious.

I think everyone sees themselves in high definition. So, using that, I can see every minute difference between me and my sister, and so I don’t see the ‘identical’ part of us being twins as much as other people.

I wonder if there might be some sort of analyser at some point in the future that could tell us how alike we look, how you look to the world, maybe even give you a ‘rating of attractiveness’ or something, but I’m not sure if that would be a good thing.

For now, I might just have to settle for eventually bringing up the courage to ask the next person to say the dreaded question all of this above, and just hope for an answer.

The Great Costume Dilemma

So today I was visiting a friend, and for her birthday party she’s doing a fancy dress one: Fantasy and Legend. Hence, we went shopping for some last minute costume purchases.

This led me to at least a few shops, browsing around the endless aisles of ‘pirate girl’, ‘Alice in Blunderland’ (Also an Alice in LSD land, but no in Wonderland…) and ‘greek goddess’. The common theme in all of these semed to be an underlying aspiration to show as much skin off as possible.

Now, I know this is purely the Female costumes, as I once saw a costume of a ‘body bag’ (a bit morbid I know, but stay with me) and the male version of it was just a regular body bag with a hole for the head and the arms etc. However, the female version was just a bodycon mini black dress, with a toe tag style necklace… I fail to see how this is anything vaguely like a body bag. Also, the disparity between the male version and the female version just goes to show how over sexualised halloween has become… but just for women.

I suppose this is just one of the social sexisms that may never go away, in fact, it’s actually gotten worse over the years. Maybe in a few more we’ll be seeing Halloween underwear clothes, and it might be so hard to just find a normal outfit that covers even a small amount of skin.

This might seem a little off season, being on the other end of the calender to the season I’m actually talking about, but you can’t help what pops into your head.

Happy not-Halloween everyone, hopefully you’ll have better luck than me in finding a non-slutty/sexy costume.

Multiple Misconceptions

I might as well start with it out there: I am a twin. It’s only one apsect of myself, but people seem to think that it defines me entirely.

The thing about being a twin, is you are in a prime position to notice many of society’s contraditions towards us.

Let me give you a list of things I don’t like about people’s perceptions of being a twin:

1. Just imagine a pair of twins. You’re thinking about two identical people, yes? Dressed alike? With similar hair?

Now, what I don’t understand is that whilst people seem to see twins as copies of each other, as two people who are basically the same person, they also want us to be ‘individuals’, to do ‘our own thing’ different to one another.

So, how can I be expected to be the same as my sister in every way, including personal style, whilst also trying to be different to her, trying to strike out on my own as it were.

You see, I already do what makes me happy in life. I already make my own choices, I already have my own personal style, likes, dislikes, the whole lot. But, just because all of these personal traits of mine also happen to be the personal traits of my sister, suddenly I am not doing what I want to do. I am only doing everything because my sister is also doing it.

This is not true. And only because I am a twin do I get asked the question: ‘Why did you choose the same (Insert item/life choice) as your sister?’

I don’t see this as a valid question. I chose what I chose, because I wanted to, because it was what I had decided to do. I don’t see how my choices should effect, or even be compared to my twin’s.

2. I get asked a lot: ‘How is having a twin different to having a brother or sister?’

I don’t know. I have only ever had a twin, how should I know what it’s like to have a sibling, it’s as foreign to me as we are to you.

3. Why are twins so intimidating? According to some people, being a twin and also hanging out with my twin will prevent me from making good friends and also having a boyfriend.

Apparently, seeing two people who are so similar and also so close to each other, will cause people to be afraid of talking to us, or make them worried that we will be extremely offended if they get us mixed up. This is strange to me, and also can make me quite lonely: As much as I love my sister, we do have little to talk about, and being together can feel exactly the same as me being alone.

This brings me to:

4. I am not offended if you call me by my sister’s name, or by any name to be honest. As long as you try to get it right or try to give me a name, I will be happy.

What makes me unhappy is being called: The twins, The sisters, The (last name) twins, Thing 1 or 2, or anything that removes my identity as an individual.

I don’t see how anyone could think it was polite, or nice. If I called people ‘boy’ or ‘girl’ or anything except their name, wouldn’t they find it odd or maybe even rude?

And that is just the start of my life as a twin. But don’t worry, it’s not all bad.