Matchy Matchy! Yep, that’s me…(about to punch myself in the face it would appear)
So,What’s It Like To Be A Twin?
I’ve been writing a novel, and in the process have been dredging up some of the past. You may know by now that I have a twin sister.
Some of you might think this is an excellent pairing. That you perhaps wish you had grown with a twin to share your childhood with?
This is a common reaction.
We don’t share this enthusiasm. I found it difficult. She also found it difficult.
I understand that siblings have their rivalries. That natural fight to be the best or the worst (depending on your goals) is always present when you have more than one brother or sister. Someone always wants mom and dads praise, or attention.
Unlike brothers and sisters, having a twin is comparable to wearing a ball and chain. You are one and the same to everyone else.
Some twins really do get along sweetly. A peaches and cream kind of collaborative friendship and bond is shared between them. I never understood it.
My best friend is also a twin, and (yes, more twins!) she and her sister got along incredibly as children. Then they grew into individual women, the same for my younger sisters.
So, why didn’t I have a twin that I could bond with as a kid? What gives?
My sister and I were like lemon juice and milk. That shit curdles no matter how fast you whizz it together.
Why shouldn’t two sisters get along? Especially twin sisters.
I’ll tell you folks. It’s pretty simple when you really look at the way most people behave around twins:
Our parents dressed us the same (which is common in twin world) but it left us wanting our own individuality. Our personalities are polar opposites of each other. I was quiet, timid, silly, scared. She was intimidating, bossy, smart. Why couldn’t anyone see that? We were (and are) not the same person. People seemed to only judge us physically.
People have uttered the following to me:
“Woah, wait I can tell you apart now! You’ve got more crooked teeth than her.”
“I think she’s prettier than you are.”
“You’re the fat one.”
“I think she’s better looking, because she has long hair” (this one prompted me to grow out my boy hair pretty fast!)
“You’re the nice one.” (finally a compliment! I’ve got something good going for me!)
“Who’s the tougher one?”
This prompted a school yard fight in grade two. We were 6. I was not a fighter. My sister was, and had been hanging out with the mean girls at school when they posed this question. It was cold and snowing. Oblivious to this question, I was wearing a snow suit probably making a snow angel on my own, when my sister and the gang of girls approached. The girls made a circle around us, and started to chant “FIGHT, FIGHT, FIGHT!!!”
I did not understand the point. I wondered why Heather kept shoving me around. I was a timid kid. I did not like confrontation. But fear not for this timid little mouse. There was a proud lion resting, waiting, ready to fight; in the chest of this timid little mouse.
I threw one punch. Directly into her face. The fight stopped. Everyone backed away. Everyone (myself included) was stunned.
I never fought back before (or after this, unless I had to). She could be ruthless (I’ve got scars). I was hurt that she would listen to these girls, to come and hurt me purposely. She went home with a black eye and said it was from a cupboard door. I was left in peace for a time. Just so we’re clear here, this is not an endorsement to fight, but to fight when you have to.
As I grew up I dressed differently, cut my hair, hung out with different people. I went my own way. I never felt that bond that twin’s are supposed to share. I distanced myself.
As grown women we have completely different lives, and you know what. I’m glad.
I respect her as another woman. Perhaps we were meant to have our fights. They made me a lot stronger. We’re closer now than we’ve ever been in our lives. It feels like we’re in a good place, and maybe we just went about things a bit more backward. At 28 we’ve probably also done a bit of growing up.
If you’re a twin and experienced this, or the strong unbreakable bond I would love to hear from you! Did you feel this way?