Louise McCreesh | Contributing Writer | Saturday, 24 January 2015

Things You Only Know If You're An Identical Twin

The Debrief: For starters, we're telepathic. For real...

Identical twins are somewhat of an enigma; an indecipherable code to be long mulled over, but never quite cracked by those people who have never shared a womb. From Mary Kate and Ashley to the Veronicas, twins are always in, and people are generally interested in what it’s like to have a double. That’s right. I’m an identical twin. There is a person in the world who shares the exact same genetic material as me. I’ve never known different, so for me being a twin is just the most natural thing in the world. But here are a few things you probably only know if you spent the first nine months of your existence sharing a womb with someone else... 

Identical twins aren’t identical. (I blame Lohan for this one...)

Yes, we share the same DNA. No, that doesn’t mean we are clones. We are however mirror twins, which means we’re identical twins with opposite features. I’m left-handed but my twin is right-handed. My eyes are bluey/green, hers are greeny blue. I have dry skin, hers is oily. My twin is straight up and down whereas I’m more of a pear shape (potentially kiwi if you catch me right after Christmas). And the piece de resistance is that she has four grey hairs and I have none. Thank YOU genetic lottery. 

Telepathy? 100 per cent real 

‘Warning: Red Tsunami coming for you tomorrow my friend. It’s going to be a bad one.’ That’s the typical text I’ll receive from my twin on a 23-28 day basis. Yep. The night before each other’s menstrual flow begins, we always get telepathic stomach aches for the other twin. It’s a really weird telepathic connection to have, but it’s happened way too many times to be a coincidence, and given that we currently live a good five hours apart, there’s really no other logical explanation. We also sometimes say the same thing at the exact same time, or burst into an unwarranted Cheeky Girls hit simultaneously – but they really might just be coincidences. The period thing is definitely legit, though. 

We don’t wear matching clothes

OK we used to when we were little, but even then it would be more co-ordinating than matching. If she had horizontal stripes, I would have vertical. Nowadays, we don’t even suit the same types of clothes. I wear colours, jumpers, and hi-tops. She wears cream (sometimes beige if she’s feeling particularly wild), cardigans and pumps.

Womb-mates and room mates 

We have to share everything. Birthdays, a room, even a car seat when we’re pinched for space. It isn’t all bad though. It makes you a rocking housemate, because you don’t mind sharing your stuff with all your roomies. Plus, we had the most all-out sleepovers when we were younger, because we would insist on inviting both our friendship groups (yes, all 16 of us). Every birthday was like something out of Princess Diaries 2 – bar the mattress surfing and Julie Andrews.

My twin doesn’t know everything about me

In fact, there’s quite a lot she doesn’t know about me, and I’m sure it works both ways. I have secrets from her. Things I’ve always wanted to tell her but somehow couldn’t. I care about my twin’s opinion of me more than anything else, and some things I simply couldn’t tell her because I don’t want her to see me in a different way. There’s a lot of things she knows about me that no one else does, but the idea that twins share everything is definitely a myth. 

We don’t talk about boys, or love interests. Ever. 

It’s just never discussed. It’s kind of an unspoken agreement that we would never ask questions about each other’s romantic lives. I don’t know if it’s the same for other twins, but the thought of talking about our love lives feels more uncomfortable than watching Game of Thrones with your grandparents. On a not unrelated note, I never feel pressure to date. I’m more than willing to wait for ‘the one’, because I already have a life partner locked down. 

I’m the evil twin

There’s always an alpha/beta, evil/good, Jekyll/Hyde with twins. It’s the only way a two-person relationship can function. I was born first, so I gladly took on the alpha role. I’m borderline dictatorial in our twinship, but never with other people. Frankly, I don’t think I’d have any friends.  

You learn how to take a hit

Being a twin is kind of like being in fight club – not because you can’t talk about it, but because you’re constantly fighting. My twin and I have had fisticuffs at dawn and have had to be pulled apart on numerous occasions – mainly because we have absolutely no boundaries with each other (and sometimes she is just a complete a-hole). The plus side is, I’ve learned how to take a punch, so I feel like more of a bad-ass now.  

Being a twin is the ultimate USP 

Growing up, my twin and I were somewhat local celebrities in our hometown newspapers (bitch, we were the Kardashians on The Daily Mail sidebar.) Every minor achievement we made ended up in local news. It’s not that we were particularly amazing, but we didn’t have to be. Being twins was our USP. 

You have a life-coach/counsellor/personal cheerleader/proofreader on standby 24/7 

One of the best things about being a twin is that you always have someone to go to even with the most minute of crises, and they will always help. I can tell you for a fact that my twin will have read this for her seal of approval before it was published. It comes in really handy with uni work, confidence crises, severe PMT, etc. The hard part will be convincing her to read my 10,000 word dissertation... but I know she’ll do it.

You wonder what life would be like without them... 

But it just wouldn’t be as good. I know for a fact I would be a completely different person, but I honestly wouldn’t feel complete. When you’re an identical twin, you are literally two halves of a whole (because the original egg split in half and all that). So I may occasionally want to throw her into the path of the oncoming number 16 bus, but for the most part being an identical twin is incredibly awesome. 

In memory of Geraldine McCreesh, for whom having twins wasn't always so awesome (but she loved it anyway).

Liked this? You might also be interested in: 

Things You Only Know If You’re A Jewish Girl Dating Online

Things You Only Know If You’re A Hot Male Teacher At An All-Girls School 

Things You Know If You’re Dating An Older Man 

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Picture: Lukasz Wierzbowski

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