The Truth About Twins

Kelsey Pereira, Journalism Contributor

At the weekly newspaper meeting, I sit there with Ms. Copeland, opening up to my latest endeavor.

“So, my sister–”I begin, but am interrupted.

“You have a sister? What’s her name?” she asks, curious to know if she had her as a past student.

I tell her and watch as Ms. Copeland furrows her brow, searching her mind.

“I don’t think I know her,” she concludes.

“You wouldn’t,” I inform her. “She’s a freshman like me. We’re twins.”

Yes, I am a twin.  It may sound uncommon, but really the rate of twins has gradually climbed higher.  A poll by the CDC in 2009 revealed that 1 in every 30 babies born in the United States was a twin, compared with the poll in 1980 – where 1 in every 53 was granted a life-long companion.  Today, there are about 100 million twins worldwide and besides myself, I know at least 5 other sets of twins that go to SBRHS.

Research shows that twins have better relationships with each other at a young age.  Our mother fondly remembers putting us to bed and having to tuck us in side by side in order for us to fall asleep.  She also recalls that when one of us was in distressful tears, the other was calm and quiet.   “You definitely had a sense of each other,” she tells us as we sit in the backseat of the car.

The unavoidable and sometimes annoying part of being a twin is the endless and tired questions I’m always asked every time I drop the “twin bomb”.

Are you identical?  Who’s older?  If I pinched your twin, would you feel it?  Can you read each other’s minds?  Do you get along with each other?  Who’s the good twin and who’s the evil twin?  Do you do everything together?  What’s it like to be a twin?

It’s quite obvious that you are all secretly dying to find out the answers, so here they are, straight from a twin girl.

My sister and I are not identical twins.  Rather, we’re fraternal twins, meaning that we don’t look alike and can be of opposite gender.  Many are shocked to learn that we are in fact not identical, while others debate if we even look remotely related.

Many are also surprised to know that I am in fact 11 minutes older than my assertive sister, which is actually an average amount of time.

One of the most strange and rather foolish questions I have ever been asked was “If I pinched your twin, would you feel it?” First of all, why would you ask a question like that?  I don’t have people inflict pain on my sister just to see if I can feel it too, but if you’re still inquiring the answer, it is no.  It seems that my sister and I do not have any links when it comes to physical pain, though the same cannot be said for emotions.

The question of “twin telepathy” is a mystery in itself, although there are a couple of things that my sister and I do that suggest telepathy does exist.  For example, we can carry on a conversation that includes very few spoken words.  I can completely understand what my sister means even if she says something like: “Are they like…”- which would completely leave other people hanging.   It’s as if we have a deeper understanding with what each other is thinking or saying and can almost stay on each other’s “brain waves” to understand what was said.  Also, we can feel each other’s emotions.  Whenever my sister is upset or when something is bothering her, I get a vibe from her that tells me what it is she’s feeling.

My sister and I get along with each other 99.9% of the time.  We rarely fight and when we do, the tension and anger lasts for less than an hour.  The same cannot be said for most other twins, as some barely speak to and have a terrible dislike for one another.

Another unusual and uncommon question I’ve been asked is “Who’s the good twin and who’s the evil twin?”  At this odd inquiry, my sister and I shared a surprised glance.  We have absolutely no idea how to answer this question.  I seriously wonder where people ever got the idea of warring twins. ABC Family’s show “The Lying Game”, maybe?

My sister and I spend most of our time together since we share a room and have all the same friends, but we do participate in completely different activities.  My sister is taking part in this year’s school musical and is a member of the SBRHS’ winter colorguard, while I am a figure-skater and take part in the school newspaper.

The last and more general question – “What’s it like to be a twin?” is a very difficult question to answer, simply because I don’t know what it’s like to NOT be a twin.  I think that everyone’s opinion of being a twin is different.  For me, being a twin is like having your best friend by your side 24/7.  You’re never alone and you’re never without a friend.  It’s one of the things that I am most thankful to have – someone who will never walk away from me, through the good and the bad.