True Story: I’m an Identical Twin

Yes, that’s what they really look like. And they’re so nice/smart/funny you can’t even hate them for looking like Bond girls! I lived with Carrie (the twin in the foreground of the picture – I think) my junior year of college. Despite seeing her every day, I’d regularly confuse Carrie with her sister Diana when I saw her around campus. Eventually, I just took to addressing them both by their last name. Clever one, me.
Do twins run in your family?I guess my great uncles on my mom’s side were twins, but no, not necessarily. However, for whatever biological reason, apparently women age 35+ are more likely to have twins (my mom was 35 when she had us).How frequently do people confuse your for your sister?
That depends. Though we do have somewhat separate lives if, for instance, Diana shows up at the restaurant where I work (most people there know I have a twin) and people don’t know she’s coming, they say ‘Hey Carrie!’ and try to start a conversation until she informs them that she’s not me.

How similar are your personalities?
That’s a hard one because to us, of course, we are two completely different people. But we do notice how similar we are sometimes. If I listen to a voicemail that I left on her phone- it freaks me out how much I sound like her. From inside my head, I sound different, but apparently from the outside we are quite similar.

Sometimes when we’re having a conversation with someone, we’ll laugh or respond in the exact same tone at the exact same time. A lot of times the person we’re talking to doesn’t notice because it sounds like only one of us responded. To each of us, it just sounds like stereo inside our own head. We usually look over at each other and check to see if both of us had actually spoken or laughed.

My mother says that starting from when we were in our cribs across the room, we’ve always had synchronized body language. That when we’re near each other we subconsciously move similarly, shift our weight at about the same time, cross/uncross our arms at the same time, look the same direction. We also started having “abbreviated conversations” at a very young age. Both parents claim that we had extensive conversations in our own language in the back seat of the car together, long before we could ever speak English or communicate with anyone else.Over the years, I’ve had to remind myself to insert major details into stories I’m telling to people other than Diana. Maybe it’s because we’ve shared so many experiences or because we’re constantly thinking along the same lines, but we can cover a lot of ground without saying much. I remember sitting in a restaurant with a bunch of people and I heard music we might recognize playing in the background. I caught her attention, looked up, looked back at her with a questioning look, and she nodded. That equated to “Do we know this music and is it from that one soundtrack?”…”Yes it is and we have it at home.”

Have you ever switched to confuse your teachers, parents, friends?
Not very often. We did switch classes twice in middle school. Once for Home Ec – not very exciting. But it was amusing to watch it spread around the classroom as some of the other students figured it out told each other. The other time was for English and I remember going to Diana’s class and the teacher saying “Goodbye Diana!” as I walked out the door at the end of the period. I walked out into the hall, did a u-turn, came back in the room and she said “Hi Carrie!”

This is slightly cruel, but I guess the only thing we still do is if we happen to be together and either of our parents calls one of our phones, the other twin will answer it and see how long it takes for that parent to figure it out. I think Dad noticed something about how we each answer the phone or our initial voice fluctuations, but we can still keep Mom going for a little while sometimes. 🙂

How do people react to you when you’re out together?
Blonde twins? At the cost of sounding completely vain: they stare. It’s like the normal rules of courtesy don’t apply and because we’re somehow intriguing- they can just stare!

However, when I see another set of twins I stare as well! It’s fascinating to see the similar movements and mannerisms of another set of people (and pick out the differences). Which I suppose is what everyone stares at Diana and I for as well. Also, when I see another set of twins I always feel compelled to go up and let them know that I, too, am a twin. And compare stories and experiences etc. When a twin or twin sees us, they usually come up and do the same.

Have you ever had any of those ‘she gets hurt and I feel it experiences’?
Maybe, though not strongly. A few months ago when Diana was going through a particularly stressful situation in her life, I would get these persistent headaches. I was drinking enough water, getting enough sleep, exercising, no PMS- nothing to explain it other than her stress. So I would call and tease her to stop stressing out so much!

Have you ever wished you weren’t a twin? Or wanted to alter your appearance so we didn’t look so similar?I do remember going through a phase in high school where I didn’t want us to look the same all the time. Of course it never helped when we’d each get dressed in our separate rooms not seeing each other, and come out into the hall between our rooms wearing the same thing anyway. What to do?

We’ve became masters at sharing and cooperating because we’ve had to. It was and always is nice to have my best friend built right into my life (painfully cliche, but so true). Our teachers attempted to “socialize” us by always placing us in separate home rooms (I suppose they wanted to be able to tell us apart as well). That might’ve helped, to a degree, but we never HAD to make friends because except for those few hours of school, we were always with the one person we shared the most preferences, abilities, and life experiences with anyway.

Are any of you a twin? Do you know any twins? Questions for Carrie?

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  1. Emy Jo

    The hubs is a twin. I don't know the first thing about growing up with a sibling, let alone a TWIN sibling, so I am constantly asking questions about twin-dom. This was a really interesting True Story and surprisingly different-yet-similar than the version I hear.

    Questions for Carrie: was it, or has it been, harder to date because of having an identical twin? Do you two live together now?

  2. agoraphob

    I'm a twin! Identical. We live in separate states now and although we are similiar in many ways, we are completely opposite in other ways. I miss seeing her as often as I used to, but it has helped us develop our own individuality.

    My husband, who best friends are also twins, always says…twins are sooo weird.

  3. Helen

    I think I'd hate to have a twin. Maybe it's because I'm an only child so I tend to be a quite fiercely independant anyway but still…no ta.

    Did you ever go through the phase of dressing exactly the same? Or rebelling and trying to dress as differently as possible? See, I know one set of female twins, and everything is such a huge competition between them! Do you two ever feel the need to out do each other like that?

  4. Jen

    Carrie's answers sound just like my two older cousins who are twins. They totally have their own language, feel each other's pain in a unique way, have a special bond and are each other's best friend. It's been particularly interesting in the last two years as their lives have become profoundly different. The older twin is a high school Spanish teacher living with her boyfriend not far from home. The younger got married a year and a half ago, moved to Florida and just had a baby two months ago!

    I've known many twins: two sets of my mom's siblings are twins, my cousins above, a set of girls a babysat for, a set of boys I babysat for. I'm surrounded by them, but that's ok because I find them fascinating! I hope to have twins when I finally have children.

  5. stephanie

    that is so cool 🙂 i've known a couple sets of twins, but they are all soooo different from each other.

    when i first read the subject line i thought OMG sarah von has a TWIN???

  6. courtney jo

    so, this may sound completely odd and unreal, but my best friend and i, who i met just a year ago, call each other "twin" and after reading this True Story, my mind is blown. although lisa and i have only known each other for a short amount of time, we have become literally inseparable, we share thoughts, feelings, have our own abbreviated language, the whole nine yards. reading this interview kinda creeped me out seeing as I related to every single statement, besides not being identical to my "twin."

    now, i know what you're probably thinking. people become best friends for a reason– because they have so much in common and they relate so well. well, let me tell you, i've had plenty of great/wonderful/best friends in my life and nothing has been the same as the twinship of lisa and i.

    yes it's weird, yes, it doesn't make sense, but could it be possible to have a soul twin?

  7. Heidi Rose

    The last part of this article really made me happy. I can relate to not needing to make friends because my best friends are already my siblings.

  8. Marie

    My dad has a twin brother and although they are not identical, there were a lot of things they did similarly. I specifically remember one time when my uncle visited and was sleeping on the couch. I walked right up to him thinking it was my dad because it was the same way my dad sleeps on the couch.

  9. Young Werther

    Twin = 24/7 Competition
    Don't think I'll be happy with that!

  10. Shiying!

    I had a friend who was a twin in grade school. Unfortunately, her identical sister didn't like me so much. Conversations usually went one of two ways:

    1) "Hey!" "Hey!"
    2) "Hey!" "Don't talk to me"

    After a while, I just let her start our conversations…

  11. Cathryn

    I liked this one, twins are so fascinating. That sounds a bit strange I guess. I've always wanted a twin though (because I was obsessed with the Sweet Valley books as a kid).

  12. Sarah Von Bargen

    Shiying! ahahahaha! When ever I'd encounter one of the twins around campus, I'd be all "Poehler!? Hey!"

    And then they'd usually be "I'm Carrie, Sarah."


  13. Melissa

    I'm an identical twin! It's not really like having 24/7 competition, because you do develop your own personalities and goals. (Though sometimes the fact that we are so similary annoys me.)

    People ask what it's like being a twin, and I really don't know how to respond. We don't have any other siblings that we grew up with, so we don't really have anything to compare our experience to. But we do usually know more or less what the other is thinking.

    I think other people see mostly the similarities in twins, but we notice the differences before the similarities. 🙂


    • Ruth

      I'm an identical twin. We don't know who's the eldest, at home birth mess up, but we "feel" like my sisters the eldest although I was raised the eldest. At 26 years old it doesn't matter anymore but as a child mom always needed the eldest to keep the youngest kids in check. Anyway I grew up quite competitive but somehow my sister found a way to deter me. She ignored my every challenge. She HATES competition! She loves the twin questions though. As young children we started calling Non twins singlets"

    • Ruth

      The singlets ask us what it's like to be twins. Our only answer I guess then makes singlets realize just how dumb their question is. We answer "what is it like being a singlet?" it's true. As soon as someone can tell me what it's truely like to be a singlet then I'll tell you what it truely feels like being a twin. 🙂

  14. Lynda G.

    Ohhhh…listen to this!
    I am a twin! I have a twin sister. Our younger brothers are also twins! My parents had twins twice NATURALLY! In fact, they had NO idea they were having twins with my sister and I because that was before they did ultrasounds!
    Not only am I a twin sister and a sister of twins, I am an auntie of twins and a cousin of twins! I have had two children but (very thankfully!) I am not the mother of twins! Adorable YES, hard work YES! 😀

  15. longblackveil

    Nice! I'm not a twin, but my sister and I are a year apart, and a lot of the twin things work for us. Nowhere as close as a twin-connection of course. But we had our abbreviated language, could read each other's minds, crack jokes that only we'd get while our friends looked on confused etc. Much much fun. Also much, much annoying as we grew up. 🙂
    Really nice read.

  16. Lissy

    I'm an identical twin and what I'm most interested in is the sexuality component.
    My sister is gay and I am not, I was just wondering if anyone else had this situation as it seems to be unique to us at the moment?

    It definitely gives great debate about the nature vs nurture argument…

  17. Anonymous


    I'm a fraternal twin and my sister and I are very close. Our other siblings said that we act as if we are only children.

    We are very different, but yet close.

    We live on opposite sides of the town due to jobs.

    I do miss her though….

  18. Anonymous

    My mom and aunt are identical twins. We lost my father, uncle and my cousin (Aunt's husband and son) in a car accident when I was two. Since that tragedy, my aunt lived with us. From two broken families we formed one new one. So since then I always felt like I had twin moms.
    They got along ok before the accident but it was amazing how much closer they got afterwards.
    They do a lot together and still get the same haircuts, buy similar clothing, say similar things on the phone and like almost the same stuff etc, so it was difficult for me to tell them apart when I was young.
    Living with them though I noticed differences between them as I got older.
    It can be rough, two moms equalled double the attention since I they said was the only man left in their lives.
    So needless to say it was hard having two identical nagging mothers.
    Still, I love them both very much and to me, they're both my darling mothers.

  19. Brian

    My brother Randy and I are identical twins but we always behave and dress differently.Both of us always try to be individual and different.No one seems to have any trouble telling us apart either.

  20. Ruth Barrett

    I'm an identical twin. My sister and I can be either exactly the same or complete opposite. It all depends on the situation. Even between who's the more shy is always different. Depends on the people around us. Sometimes she's assertive and completely in control or vis versa. One thing that will never change…. I don't think she shops for cloths unless it's in the wonderful world of Ruth's closet. WE DON'T EVEN LIVE TOGETHER ANYMORE!Lol. We are 26 and just moved out of our apt to different apts. her idea. 🙁 we've been separated so many times usually between separated parents or what not. It's been hard. Her and I have always had long bf relationships lasting min 4 years each. Yet we both have problems communicating with the men and both of us feel pulled apart from each other due to them. I have met, I swear, all the adult twins in my community all by accident. Some identical some fraternal.I think there's about 6 other sets. Only 1 set lives away from their twin. All the others are in the same apts by choice. Wish I had advice on that topic. We have other younger sibs. 2 sisters and 2 brothers. Only 1 sis grew up with us. She feels like an only child. We get the twin questions and I'll give you a few of the answers we've come up with over the years. 3 most popular questions with our original answers.What's it like being a twin?: "what's it like being a singlet? (singlet- our made up word for non twin) Can you read each others minds?: "No. Just imagine looking at an old couple. They been together so long that they learn body language and habits to the point of being able to anticipate eachothers reactions and what not. We're a couple in a scence but related and still sexy!" ;p
    Can you feel each others pain?: "if you hit my sister in any way I'll beat the cr@p out of you. Then she'll join and well both feel the same. But as the qleche way no. I think being twins makes you more seseptable to emotions. " Like in the story she can feel her sisters stress. I get the same way. Even as children if my sister was mad or in trouble she never really showed the emotion. I on the other hand could be in a completely different room and start crying! There's also intuitive dreaming. I hate it. She's stressed and I get nightmares. We're Piseces so I don't know if that kicks our intuition in the butt and overpowers everything. We have a tendency to feel strong emotions from others too. We have our own body language. We worked at a gas station together on same shifts for 5 years. I was supposed to be temp at her job while they found a replacement. I understood that. Boss just loved how we worked together that he just never said my time was up. We prevented SO MANY beer runs!!!!! That's when people run out with unpaid beer. She would see someone come in, or vis versa, and she'd look at me. No facial expression change whether she was smiling, laughing, or not. I knew to "take a walk". I'd go "straighten" shelves near the beer while she did something else near the exit. My boss has seen us on the cameras every day and has no idea how we work like this and no talking.To this day if I'm near her and I havent laughed in some time she feels it and for some uncontrolable reason shell start laughing. That gets me going for no reason. Soon enough were both red faced and crying! No reason. No one understands. Even as a twin I find twins to be the most fascinating creature in thr world. I love it! I want twins so much! I can't understand singlets so well. I could bond with my twins and Id understand where they are coming from on so many levels.


    My husband is an identical twin, and I mean really identical, you cannot tell them apart. We have a gay son (second son) Shaun. My husbands identical twin has just found out his second son (Craig) is also gay. (He married later than us). So what are the chances its genetic? Its puzzling to me, but its brought such real happiness into my life. My son Shaun has been with his partner Alex for 14 years, and I adore him, he's my adopted son and I hug and kiss him and he calls us mom and dad. I would not have it any other way.


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