It’s a ‘Twin Thing’

It’s true what they say. We are never happy with the hand we are dealt. We constantly look over the shoulders of others and wish we had what they had. It’s a fact of life. On this particular occasion I’m talking about siblings. People who have them wish they didn’t (although deep down they don’t mean it) and people who don’t kinda wish they did. I guess to the lonely children who wish they had siblings I have quite a good set up. One older brother and a twin sister (gasp, shock, ooooh twins!) However most of my life I have imagined what it would have been like to a) have an older or younger sister (not one the exact same age) and b) be an only child. Point made right?

I don’t really have a problem with admitting that by nature I’m quite a selfish person. Not in a show off way, more in the sense that I like all the things in my own little world to be, well, mine. I’m fiercely protective and sentimental over things that I feel belong to me. So perhaps being an only child would have suited me down to the ground. On the other hand as a child I was painfully shy and I don’t know how I would of gotten through certain situations without my confident twin.

Loren on the left, me on the right. Just so ya know.

For people who aren’t a twin themselves or for those who don’t personally know a twin being one is a total novelty. I swear to god normal folk hold twins in the same esteem as unicorns, and I just don’t get it. There is this massive stereotype surrounding twins which states that your twin sibling HAS to be your best friend ALL THE TIME. You have to go everywhere together, do everything together and still love each other while being in each others faces 24/7. Bullshit.

Did you ever watch that program on Nickelodeon called Sister Sister? No? Well it was about two identical twin sisters Tia and Tamera who had this amazingly close relationship. They were constantly getting themselves into crazy situations and no matter what, they were always the best of friends. Completely unrealistic. I have yet to meet a set of twins that get along every minute of the day. Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen also have a lot to answer for. Go behind the scenes and I bet my bottom dollar that Mary Kate and Ashley can bitch each other out with the best of them. In reality this idea of the perfect paring just isn’t true. At least not all the time. Any twin who tells you that they never fight with their sibling is a big fat liar. Yes, thats right. I said a big fat liar.

It was all a lie and I knew it.

It was these girls who flogged the stereotypical 'Twin Thing' horse to death.

As far as twin stereotypes go the powers that be cocked up big time when creating me and my twin Loren. We couldn’t be more different.I am the older twin by seven minutes (once, as kids, Loren convinced me that I was going to die seven minutes before her.) Half the time you’d be hard pressed to believe that we were even friends, never mind twins. To start with we are unidentical. I have straight brown hair, she has curly auburn. I have green eyes, she has brown. I’m taller, she’s shorter. I’m left handed, she’s right. It’s not just physical attributes, the same goes for our personalities too. We have different opinions, beliefs, interests and styles. We hardly ever agree and we argue alot.

Loren (left) & me (right) We are different see?

The good things about being a twin are:

1. It’s a novelty.

2. You always have someone to rely on.

3. The enemy is always out numbered.

4. They always have your back.

5. You have an affinity with other twins.

6. No one will ever know them better or have spent as much time with your twin as you have.

7. Being different.

8. You have someone to watch Glee with.

Now let me explain. I know I said the whole novelty thing was a pain in the arse and it is. But it’s also the thing that kind of sets twins apart. Just don’t go overboard on it ok?

The fact that you always have someone to rely on came in useful for me at school. I was always the shy quiet one and Loren the gobby confident one. When the teacher called my name in the register Loren use to answer for me. It was always nice to know that Loren was there to step in when my own confidence failed me. Even when I got to uni and found the first year being away from home difficult it was nice to know Loren was only a couple of student flats away. In fact I spent more time in Loren’s flat than I did in my own. Now, as far as the confidence goes I don’t do a bad job in holding my own. But if I needed her she’d be there.

rare moment of sisterly love, ooooh about 14 years ago.

Word of friendly advice: Dont pick on a twin. There is two of them, and only one of you. The odds will never be stacked in your favour. See?

Leading on from this, your twin will always have your back. They will always fight your corner. Even if they don’t agree with what your fighting for they will stick up for you anyway. Thats because twins can argue with each other, however, it’s not acceptable for anyone else to argue with your twin.

When you are a twin, you have an affinity with other twins as they are the only ones who really understand what it’s like to have a sibling born on the same day, at the same time as you. They are also the only ones who understand just how badly said sibling can get on your nerves 🙂 We (myself and my sister) are best friends with another set of twin girls Kathryn and Alicia. They were born on the same day at the same time as us so technically we have been BFF’s since birth. We hold this relationship because we are twins and when we get together we always have a good moan about it.

Kathryn, Loren, Alicia and me. When we were kids (obvs) Together we are the quads.

No matter who you meet, how well you know them and for how long, there is no one else on this entire planet that knows you better or has known you longer than your twin. Not even your own mother has known you as long as your twin has, as, lets face it, no one else had to spend nine months in the womb with you. I have known my sister for 21 years and 9 months. Everyone else has just known her for 21 years.

With me and my sister I like the fact that we are different. Perhaps when people meet us they are a little disappointed that we are not carbon copy’s of each other. It diminishes the novelty slightly. However I see our differences as our own two fingered gesture to the stereotype.

I don’t think I need to explain point 8 as it’s pretty self explanatory. A random point, but a valid non the less.

The bad things about being a twin are:

1. People get you confused.

2. You kind of loose your own identity a little.

3. People believing you have the ‘Twin Thing’.

4. People asking dumb ass questions.

5. They are sort of always in your face.

6. Sharing a birthday.

7. Sounding schizophrenic when I talk/write.

8. Up until you reach the point of being able to dress yourself and choose your own clothes your mother will ALWAYS dress you EXACTLY the same.

Getting twins confused isn’t mutually exclusive to identical ones. Oh no. You’d think it would be pretty difficult to get unidentical twins mixed up, but our parents still manage it.

Being a twin automatically makes you one half of a whole. People refer to you as ‘The Twins’ or ‘The Girls’ (if you are girls obvs, change that to Boys if you are male.) When speaking about you both in conversation people rarely refer to you by your separate names. It’s god damn annoying. I hate it when people say to me ” Where’s your other half?” or “Where’s the other one?” as if I’m only half a person without Loren by my side. I have my own identity. There is so much more to me than just being a twin. So please, if you know any twins learn their names, and use them.

Jemma, Loren. Please use our correct names. Ok?

People expect you to be able to feel each others pain, finish each others sentences and read each others minds, this is more commonly referred to as: ‘The Twin Thing.’ I am sure that some twins do possess this, however the majority probably don’t. Picturing your faces as you just read that line makes me feel like I  just slew the unicorn, I’m sorry. My sister and I do not feel each others pain and we cannot read each others minds but we do occasionally finish each others sentences and say the same thing at the same time. One of the most annoying things I have had to deal with was a person who expected me to know where my sister was, who she was with, what she was doing and what she would do next at any given time. This person would incessantly pepper me with questions and expect me to tap into my twin telepathy to provide the answers. IT. DOESN”T. WORK. LIKE. THAT.

Rare moment when we were actually in sync.

Twins everywhere will agree with the fact that they have been asked some stupid questions in their time. My favourite one comes from someone who knew me and my sister were twins and asked this question in all seriousness. They said to me “When’s your birthday?” “11th August” I replied. They then turned to my sister and asked “When’s yours?” Sweet baby Jesus. You loose the will to live sometimes.

Another bad thing about being a twin is that they are always in your face. Inevitably, because you were in the same year at school, college, and uni (and possibly the same classes) you share the same friends. This means that whenever you want a bit of space and a moan you can’t turn to your friends to do it.

Another thing that I resent is sharing a birthday. Now I know that this is kind of important when you are a twin, but I have never heard anyone sing ‘Happy Birthday to Jemma’ without ‘and Loren’ attached to the end of it. And for once it would be nice to have 1 day out of the entire year that was just about you.

Sounding like you have split personalities when expressing yourself is never good. When I speak and when I write I always refer to ‘our’ or ‘we’ when what I really mean is ‘I’ or ‘me.’ I can’t help this. My whole entire life I have been a ‘we’ instead of a ‘me.’ I’m not crazy. Honest.

Once again point 8 pretty much explains itself. As do these photos:

Why mother, why?

Now that I have broken it down I guess my sibling set up isn’t so bad. But the next time she pisses me off I will still wish I was an only child. Or that she was a boy, which is worse.

Back to my original point of never being happy with what you’ve got: what do you think friends and extended family are for? Make your best friend your sister or brother. Adopt a cousin. I did. I now have a new brother, Shaun. For those that wish they were only children the situation is a bit more problematic, as sadly there is just no getting rid of these pesky siblings. My advice would be to grudgingly accept them. There is nothing else you can do I’m afraid my dears. So while you might not have been dealt the most amazing hand get on and play the game anyway. 🙂

You know that saying about how you can choose your friends but not your family? Its true. But whether you get along with your siblings or whether you don’t the fact remains that they were there long before and will still be there long after your friends have come and gone.

Mirror image. Get it?

At the end of the day I think with Loren and I it is a case of having to agree to disagree. We will always be different. We will fight like twins aren’t suppose too. She will piss me off, get on my nerves and make me wish I was an only child. And me, her, likewise.  But when push comes to shove I know that Loren will always shove back on my behalf. And me, her, likewise.


Jemm xoxo

P.s Screw the world cup, the X Factor auditions started this week! It’s baaaaaaack!


1 Comment

Filed under Personal

One response to “It’s a ‘Twin Thing’

  1. theresa

    How lovely that you have documented your thoughts on the ‘Twin Thing’. In my defence on the identical dressing i would say that when making a choice of clothes the thing that was chosen was the first choice so anything after that would be second best. My beautiful twin daughters only ever deserved first choice hence the same clothes until you expressed your own likes and dislikes. Hope you understand now or mabe if the day dawns when YOU have twins you will. !!!! 🙂

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