I am an identical twin. And being a twin is the best thing in the world, in my experience. However, I have smiled, laughed and nodded through countless awkward situations of people saying “stand side by side, OMG” followed by “no, I swear it’s their eyes.” The end of the world? No. But I do have a few suggestions for non-twins. Let this serve as a PSA to non-twins and a relatable dissertation to my fellow community of twins.
First, ask me my name if you are not sure. I cannot express the number of times I’ve had a conversation with someone and I can tell that they do not know which twin I am. There is a certain fear and blankness in the eyes any twin could spot and it is a stressful experience for both parties. I know because I’ve been on both ends. Do not do this. Going through a conversation knowing that the other party has no idea if I am Chloe or Karina is significantly worse than receiving the question ‘are you Chloe or Karina,’ which non-twins seem to think is the most offensive inquiry in the world.
Secondly, there is nothing twins dread more than the phrase “guys, stand side by side,” followed by “okay, okay. I’ve got it. No, I have definitely got it now.” Ten seconds of staring at us are not going to change the fact that you have not been able to tell us apart for seven years. Sorry if that is a hard pill to swallow.
On a related note, somehow people think they have made a groundbreaking realization with the phrase, “It is not that I can’t see the difference, it’s just that I don’t know which twin is which.” Well that’s helpful, isn’t it?
Another one of my favorites is the unbelievable overreaction we get when we respond to the same question at the same time. I am not referring to the word-by-word, sentence-long response that happens from time to time. But non-twins would be shocked at the number of dialogues that follow this exact structure:
“How are you both?”
And at the same time we reply: “Good.”
“How old are you guys?”
And again in unison: “Seventeen.”
And just like that, an absolute eruption. Like. Let’s rewind.
In conclusion, to non-twins: you are blissfully unaware that your “twin” banter is our “twin” anthem. And while I hope everyone reading this will take my advice with a grain of salt, I know that I will be subject to many, many more years of standing side by side or back to back with Karina. I’ll never get it, but it’s like giving candy to a baby.