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.