I spent most of my growing up years with my sister somewhere near me; to the point that everyone I knew was fully aware I had a twin. Then halfway through our junior year in high school we moved, to a new state and a large city with its huge high school.
Then one day it happened. A friend in PE commented I’d changed since that morning. After clarifying she meant what I was wearing before dressing down for PE wasn’t the same clothes I’d had on when she’d seen me before school started, I had her describe what I’d been wearing, which of course was what my sister was wearing that day.
The whole conversation was funny, and has brought me much enjoyment over the years, but her question on learning I was a twin was logical. She asked how to tell us apart.
Logical, but hard to answer. After all, we are identical.
Since then I’ve had dozens of occasions when people I knew learned I was a twin. Now I understand people asking me questions about my sister. I also understand saying you’re a twin doesn’t give anyone much information beyond the fact your mother had two kids in her womb at the same time and you were one of them.
So while I can understand the questions about my sister the usual gamut of them is perplexing me.
To illustrate my point is my most recent encounter with someone learning I’m a twin. Granted this is someone I’d just met. But in the course of our conversation sisters came up and I mentioned mine− well, at least the one.
I’ve had this conversation enough that I rarely just say, “I’m a twin,” because it doesn’t give any real information. I generally say, “I have an identical twin sister.” And if I don’t, I manage to slip that uniquely definable word into the conversation somewhere, mostly because it should answer a lot of questions.
You see one of the first questions I’m asked is what my sister looks like. My co-worker asked to see a picture of her.
I don’t carry hers around. I wouldn’t think it’s necessary.
The mere definition of the word identical should make it obvious that seeing one of us means you have a pretty good idea what the other one looks like.
As I mentioned in my last post, it has happened, and on more than one occasion, where someone I didn’t know called me by name simply because they knew my sister, and knew she was a twin and she couldn’t be where we were; and correctly assumed I was her double. Then there are all the times we were mistaken for each other.
So why do people ask what she looks like or ask to see her picture?
Seriously? What don’t you understand about identical?