What it’s Like to be a Twin
They always say two is better than one, and boy, are they right. Double the trouble, double the noise, double the mess, just double everything. When one thinks of twins, some first thoughts may be that they finish each other’s sentences, read each other’s minds, and even dress in coordinating outfits. But beyond the surface of similar features and mannerisms lies many other characteristics that aren’t displayed straight out of the gate.
To those who grew up with large age gaps in between siblings, twins are born with a built in playmate. Michael Pearson, senior communication major and a twin, said, “I was never bored growing up, because my brother was always around. We didn’t have to play video games all the time because there was always someone to play catch with or play sports against. Also, my brother and I were always on a team against our parents during arguments, so it was good to have backup,” he said.
A common question asked of twins is, “Do you ever get bothered by being associated with each other?” Josh Lewis, senior business major, said, “When I was growing up, I went through periods of time when I hated being associated with my twin, Ben. I always tried to be independent and never liked being referred to as one of ‘the twins.’ Now though, I don’t mind it.” Lewis also said that since both his brother and himself have gone to college, they have actually grown closer than they were before.
Sharon Smith, Employee Benefits Administrator in Human Resources, said that she never gets tired of being associated with her twin either, and that they still have a very strong connection.
Who doesn’t find it fascinating to ask the mundane question that if one twin gets hurt, does the other feel it? Smith said, “Through the years we have ‘sensed’ when something is not right and have immediately called to find out what was going on.”
A similar instance occurred to Lewis. “Some of the connotations of being a twin are that people think we can feel each other’s pain. I’ve even had friends test this theory. When I was in Israel a few summers ago, my friends made me call my twin and they punched me to see if he would feel the pain. He felt nothing,” Lewis said. But on other occasions he said, “Sometimes we do think about the same thing at the same time. Like we will call each other around the same time and have the same thought.”
“Being a twin is excellent once you master telepathy,” said Steven DeCarlo, senior Economics major.
What intrigues people the most is finding out that some twins are opposites in the sense that they have completely different tendencies and humors. Smith said, “She [my twin] is left-handed and I am right-handed. She always excelled in spelling and I was terrible. However, I was a much better athlete. She loves to knit and makes beautiful blankets and sweaters for all the babies in our family. I have never knitted anything.”
Lewis said, “Ben and I are pretty different once you get to know us. We do look different, yet people still get us confused. He is more shy and passive, I am more outgoing and aggressive.”
Not all twins are super different, though. DeCarlo said, “We enjoy the same movies, music and cuisine. There aren’t a lot of differences besides, seemingly, our attitudes toward peopleunfortunately I tend to be less friendly than he is.”
When one is a twin, there is always someone there for support if one is in a tight pickle or just needs someone to talk to. DeCarlo said, “I probably feel closest to Francis when I’m doing something that does not involve any kind of dialogue like music, reading, or writing. When we’re playing or writing music, our imaginative ideas come to the surface and it is definitely a bonding experience. It’s an acquired skill to be perfectly understood without having to say a word. Music affords this opportunity to Fran and I.”
Once someone is able to look past the identical or fraternal faces, twins emerge to be just like everyone else. They just happen to conveniently have a lookalike brother or sister. Lewis said, “Having a twin is more like having a best friend that you grew up with and had most of your best memories with throughout your life. It is pretty cool.”
PHOTO COURTESY of Josh Lewis