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On Being a Twin
by Shannon Baker
(courtesy of the author)
Did you ever wonder what it would be like to have someone born the same day as you, looked like you, and shared a lot with you? In this essay, I would like to share with you about being a twin. As you may have guessed, I'm a twin. I like being a twin....MOST of the time.

First let me start by telling you what twins are. Twins are two people that are born at the same time. The term "twins" actually comes from the ancient German word twin or twine meaning "two together. There are identical twins. (Which I happen to be), and fraternal twins. (My mother is actually a fraternal twin with my uncle). Statistics show that mothers who is a fraternal twin have a much greater chance of having twins. There are a lot of twins that run in my family, all of them live in New Mexico so I haven't had the chance to meet a lot of them.

Out of all the questions that me and my twin sister get asked, these are the three popular questions that are asked almost everyday of our life, and these are the answers to them. (Keep in mind that they are usually asked one after the other in this order).

  1. Yes we are born on the same day
  2. Yes, that does mean we have the same birthday
  3. Yes, that means we both are the exact same age. As funny as it may sound those are the questions that I get asked at least a couple times a week.

Another question that is asked is: Do we feel each other's pain? As weird as this may sound in my sister's and my experience, yes it's true. It happened all the time when me and Shauna were younger. It still happens now but unlike when we were younger it's not over minor cuts and bruises anymore. I'll tell you about one incident. Last winter, me and Shauna were ski-doing, we split up and I was up the mountain with one of my friends. All of a sudden my nose started to hurt really bad, like it was broken. I stopped the ski-doo and I knew that Shauna hurt herself... (see me and Shauna get a feeling in the pit of our stomach that there is something wrong with the other twin). For some odd reason I knew where she was, and headed to where we don't usually ski-doo. And of course when we get there, there is Shauna's ski-doo still running and a blood trail leading to my Aunty's house. Me and my friend saw Shauna walking with our other friend and Shauna of course was holding her nose. We found out later that she almost broke her nose.

Speaking of feeling each other's pain. We also used to be in each other's dreams. Of course when we were little we used to think that everybody, just like in real life, would meet each other in their dreams and be able to be in a fantasy world. But as we grew older we found out that was strange. So when people asked us if we had the same dreams, we defensively said "Just because were twins it doesn't mean we dream the same thing, were not weirdo's!"

Many twins are said to have their own language. When Shauna and I were babies we used to have our own language too, as we were told by our family. As we grew into toddlers and we were about 2 and 3 years old we used to speak our language to each other and English to our family. Although the two of us don't remember the language we had as babies we still have the annoying habit of doing what the stereotypical nerdy twins do on TV--we finish each others sentences off way too often. It's crazy! I guess it's because identical twins exhibit almost identical brain wave patterns.

Lots of people have also asked us if we have ever switched places. I'm not saying that I have done this recently. But I have done a few of her math and English tests for her. We also got away with Shauna using my driver's licence when she didn't have hers. People wonder why I respond to Shauna's name, but I do it because people everyday call me Shauna, just like people call her Shannon.

There are a couple of bad things about being twins. The fact that people think that we are totally the same. Because were not. First of all I am an inch taller than her and a minute older. Another bad thing about being a twin is that guys usually like both me and my sister at the same time. One guy will ask me out and I'll say no, then they'll ask her out..(and vice versa). We both have the same tastes in guys so it's kind of pointless.

Many people ask who is the evil twin and the nice twin. I think that twins just pick out the evil twin and the nice twin to show how much they are apart. I know this because I have four sets of friends who are twins. Actually one of the set happens to be both my sister and my best friends. A question that I am frequently asked is "Why do we have names that are similar" I do not know. Seriously I do not know what my parents were thinking when they named us Shannon and Shauna. Not only do we have similar names, but we have similar clothes. All of our clothes were the same, except for the color. I was dressed in pink, and Shauna was dressed in blue. We still have a lot of clothes that are the same, but I think it's because we have the same taste in clothes.

Finally, I have been asked "how does it feel like being a twin?" We usually answer "How does it feel being a person without a twin?" No matter how much we fight and argue I don't think that I could picture being without her. In that way I think everybody should have a twin, because having a twin is having a best friend.


About the Author:
Shannon Baker is a student in Canada. She and her twin sister, Shauna, like to play basketball, paint, ski-doo and talk on the phone. She can be reached at this email address.

Other Essays for Adult and Young Twins

The Types and Census Numbers of Twins
How to Determine Name Order
Identical or Fraternal? Zygosity Testing Information
Quarternary Marriages
Twin Powers: A Twin Remembers the Twin Towers
Astrology and Twins
The Biology of Mirror Image Twins
Which Twin Wants to be a Millionaire?
Should You Separate Your Twins in School?
On Being a Twin (You're here now)
Good Twin, Bad Twin
Myths of Twins Dispelled
A Halloween Costume Guide for Twins
'Twas the Night Before Christmas, Twins-Style