Thursday, April 21, 2011

Boys, Boys, Boys

The male obsession with twins. We’ve all heard about it before. Bri and I personally don’t understand it. What is the big deal about being with twins?
I would really love to have this question answered, but this blog isn’t about the workings of the male brain; it’s about questions I’ve been commonly asked about being a twin.  The question I’m talking about this week is actually similar to the male love of twins. Do twin girls want to date twin boys?

(Is this the future we hope for? Well, minus the very terrifying style choices?)

It’s an odd question that I’ve never really thought about before, so I decided to ask Brianna what she thought about it. I love her, but her response was somewhat terrifying to me.
In a nutshell, she thinks that it would be awesome to date and even marry twins, but only if they were also identical twins. This way, when we had children one day, they would look like each other. Her idea was that she could trade them if her baby was harder to handle than mine and that I would never notice because the babies would look the same. I’m pretty sure she was joking, (Hopefully! She has an odd sense of humor sometimes!) but I do wonder if our children would look really similar. Hmm…
Anyways, are twin girls always on the lookout for twin boys? I would honestly say I can’t give a yes or no answer to this question. For one, we have never met any identical twin boys, so I don’t know if we’d be attracted to them. Second, I’ve never been out on a hunt looking for twin boys. So, I would probably say no to this question. I feel like we would just go after the boys we like regardless of whether they were twins or not. Honestly, I don’t know! I’ve never met any…yet.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

What Interests You?

Some people like math, some people like reading, some like shopping, and some like playing sports. Everyone has their own unique interests and find things fascinating that others don’t. Is this true for twins? Or do twins have the have the same interests as each other?



Brianna and I really like a lot of the same things. For instance, if you look in our closet, it is obvious that we both share an obsession for shoes. (There may be around 100 pairs in there!) We also share a love for shopping, going out with our friends, going to the beach, and even the Chicago Blackhawks. We love our Chicago sports teams! For the most part, we share a lot of interests as each other.
Since we live together and practically do everything together (well not everything, that would be really weird), shouldn’t we have all the same likes and interests? Nope! There are lots of things that I enjoy doing that Brianna doesn’t or vice versa. For instance, I like to read, but Brianna loves it. She can sit down and read an entire book in one day whereas I’ll get distracted halfway through the book and find something else to do. I love making scrapbooks and making things, like posters and projects, “cute.” Brianna, on the other hand, always says she lacks in the creative department and I always end up helping her decorate things.  Also, I have a preference to the color pink and Bri likes purple. Oh, and my favorite number is 5, hers is 8.
Ok, so these aren’t major differences or anything like that, but we do have our own individual likes and interests that make us different from each other. (Hey, it’s something!) It’s just these little things that make us feel different from each other, even if they don’t seem too different to everyone else!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Hey Friend!


Sure, twins have the same genetic makeup and look almost completely identical. Even the clothes we wear most of the same are also practically the same. With all of these similarities, does that mean that twins also have the exact same friends?

For Brianna and me, sharing has always been a common occurrence. We shared a room for most of our lives, we share all of our clothes and shoes, and we have always been given gifts to share. With all of this sharing going on, it only makes sense that we would share friends as well, right?
Bri or I will bring a new person out with us to go shopping or just hang out. Even if they only knew one of us at first, eventually they will become friends with both of us. It’s probably because we do pretty much everything together!
We even share the same best friend, Dominique, a girl we’ve known since kindergarten!
I really don’t mind sharing all of these friends though. You would think that it would make our social circle smaller because we have pretty much all of the same friends, but this is not the case at all! It might be because we meet new people all the time and introduce them to each other. Or maybe asking if we’re twins is a nice conversation starter? I really don’t know to be honest, but it’s really nice having a large group of friends to just hang out with. :)
So, to answer the question, I believe that most twins really do have the same friends. I know we do!
image from:http://bp2.blogger.com/_TWJL8dEo1yU/R1MdE0WOu5I/AAAAAAAAAB4/Bgw052yqsd4/s1600-R/bigstockphoto_Three_Girl_Friends_Celebrating_212140.jpg

Friday, March 25, 2011

Do All Twins Dress the Same??

It’s always fun to dress like your friends isn’t it?! Well, not really…but Bri and I tend to dress almost identical whether we like it or not. Even when we don’t have to dress exactly the same, we usually do!

Well, maybe the picture above isn’t the best representation (it was THON weekend after all), but we run into matching outfit situations like this on a daily basis. Bri and I share a lot of our clothes with each other pretty much every single day. It is really great having a double closet, don’t get me wrong, but a lot of the outfits we have are exactly the same or just different colors. This usually wouldn’t really be a major problem. I mean, we just have to make sure that we don’t wear the same thing, right? Nope! A problem always arises because Bri and I have classes at different times. She starts class earlier than me on some days and I don’t see her before she goes to class. (I can barely wake up on time for my own class, yet alone wake up early just to check out her outfit!) When we meet up later for lunch, there are times when we look exactly the same and it just makes us laugh! I mean IDENTICAL. Even our hair will be pulled the exact same way and we’ll have the same shoes on. It’s really weird! This doesn’t always happen, but a lot of the time if we don’t match entirely, we’ll have the same headband, pair of jeans, or same color shirt on.  I guess that’s what we get for liking the same things!
Like most twins, when we were babies and little kids, my mom would dress us in the same outfits. Apparently at age 3, however, we began to refuse to wear matching outfits. We would settle for matching colors sometimes, but that was it! We went through this stage for many years, even in High School. We just wanted to look different, to be different people. Now, we just find it funny when we have the same outfit on. It has led to many interesting conversations and reactions. Plus, sometimes it’s just fun to confuse other people!



Friday, March 18, 2011

Some Friendly Competition...

So, who really is the “better” twin? At least once a day, it seems like Bri and I are put up against each other and compared. I guess it’s bound to happen. Maybe people are just curious about who has better grades or who is better at playing sports? The questions don’t really bother us too much because we’re really a lot alike.
However, some of the comparisons made between us are actually somewhat offensive. Instead of referring to Brianna and I by our names, some people will say “You know, the prettier twin,” “the smarter twin,” and even “the fatter twin.” It’s not like Bri and I look the same or anything like that…
With all of these comparisons, are Bri and I always in competition with each other?
A little sibling rivalry is pretty normal for every family and a little competition never hurt anyone. With that said, Bri and I also engage in little competitions between one another. However, these competitions are very subtle. It’s like we only know about these competitions because we keep them to ourselves. When we’re in the same classes as one another, we secretly hope that we’ll get the same grade as one another because then one of us is not “smarter” than the other one. It really is no fun coming in second place to your twin, especially when other people point it out. I know other siblings are compared against each other, but when people say, “Oh I thought you two were supposed to be the same,” it feels like you are not being who you are supposed to be.
In high school, for instance, I sat next to a boy who referred to Brianna as the Alpha twin. He would make comments about how Bri was the better twin and that I was inferior to her. This was all because she got one point higher on a psych test! Comments like these can really get to your self-esteem!
So, Bri and I are actually in competition with each other even if we’re not the ones who want to be compared against one another. It’s mostly the influence of other people!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Good Question...

I was out with my some of my friends last night and, once again, the topic of twins came up. There were the typical guessing name games and the surprised faces people we met gave us when they found out we were twins. We had heard the typical array of questions once again (not that we minded), but then my friend Tami asked a question that I’ve always wondered about as well: do twins have the same fingerprints?

I really didn’t know how to answer her question. I know that identical twins share the same DNA and look practically the same, but genetically, would everything be identical? Could two people really have the exact same fingerprints?
When I got home, I decided to research twin fingerprints myself to see if Bri and I had the same ones or not.  I assumed that there was a great possibility that our fingerprints would be exact copies. I mean, we have the same DNA, why not fingerprints?
It turns out that this is not the case. According to EarthSky.org, although identical twins have similar fingerprints, they are not exactly identical. However, the fingerprints of twins are more similar than two people who are not related to each other. (Well that makes sense!)
Why would Bri and I have the same DNA, but not the exact same fingerprints? According to forensic-evidence.com, there are two reasons why identical twins have varying fingerprints. For one, genes determine only the general characteristics of the pattern that develops on the tip of the fingers. Because they are general characteristics, they vary from person to person, including twins. Also, when babies are still in the uterus, the skin on their fingertips is in contact with amniotic fluid. They also touch other parts of the uterus, themselves, and the other fetus. Because of this, the cells on their fingertips are in flux which creates different patterns on the fingers. Thus, different fingerprints!
I guess everything about identical twins really isn’t exactly the same. (I’ve been telling people Bri and I are different for years!) Even though it’s not a distinguishable way to tell us apart, it shows that we really are different. So, to answer the question, no, identical twins do not have identical fingerprints.


Resources: 

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Secret Speak

Do you have a secret language with your best friend that only both of you can understand? Many of us, it seems, can give our friends certain looks and show gestures to suggest what we’re thinking and feeling. These friends are able to pick up and comprehend these gestures and looks. However, do you have a secret dialect that you share with someone else? Me neither. How cool would that be though?


A lot of the time I am asked whether Bri and I have a certain language which we just have with each other. As much as I would like to say yes (I think it’d be pretty cool to talk about the cute guy across the room without anyone else knowing what we’re talking about!), we speak the same language as pretty much everyone in the United States: English. Boring, I know.
I’ve always thought these secret twin languages were really interesting, but I didn’t know anything about these languages and why they exist. How do they develop? Why do they develop? What do the languages really sound like? Is it good or bad for the twins involved? Armed with these questions, I decided to research what secret twin languages really are.
According to HowStuffWorks.com, this language shared between only twins is known by many terms such as twin language, idioglossia, and cryptophasia. Many twins, however, have delayed or poor speech development. This can occur in one twin or both and their speech and interactions between one another are misinterpreted as a secret language. It basically sounds like baby babbling when they speak to one another.
Many researchers believe that this delayed development in speech, and according to this website, is caused by a low birth rate and prematurity. This happens to occur in 60% of twins. Some researchers also believe that this type of development happens because twins spend more one-on-one time with each other, not their parents. This interaction can influence their language development.
So, do secret twin languages not exist? Although most of the time there is language development problems involved, according to the article, there are still twins that make up their own secret languages to communicate. Secret twin speak, although rare, is not a myth. Pretty cool, huh?

References:

Friday, February 18, 2011

You Both Can't Be Smart!

Do twins really have the same intelligence? Many people seem to believe that this is not true, that one of us has to be the “dumb” twin.



Although many people hold this misconception, this is not true for Bri and me. It’s actually freakishly weird how similar in intelligence we are. Our similar intelligence caused a lot of problems for us throughout grade school, middle school, and even high school. We were usually in the same classes, but sometimes we just had these classes at different times with the same teacher. We would have similar assignments and many of our papers were similar even if we never even read each other’s before! Because of this, many teachers assumed we were writing papers for each other and cheating, but this wasn’t true at all. I guess we just think a lot alike. It wasn’t our fault that the school scheduled us for the same classes!
It was even worse when they believed we cheated on quizzes and tests…from across the room. How ridiculous is that? One teacher even went as far as putting us in separate rooms to take a test. The results were pretty much identical and we got the same answers wrong. Surprising? I think not. She was pretty blown away but the results though, especially since she thought she could catch us cheating. She just didn’t understand how we could get the same answers right and wrong in different rooms. She even questioned telepathy as our way to communicate throughout tests. She was…different. My mom got calls home about these issues every single year. She had the same question that we had, “How could they cheat from across the room?” And no, it is really not telepathy!
Maybe the teachers should have realized that we study together for tests. If we’re focusing on the same information, we’re more likely to remember the same things. However, during Freshman year of high school, we had one English teacher who was convinced we had to be cheating. She took random points off from papers that she thought were too similar. She even went as far as saying we weren’t allowed to study together! It was a little ridiculous.
I guess some people just don’t understand how we can think so much alike. Anyone who has been in a psych class knows that children who have the exact same genetics and live in the same exact environment develop similarly. Why would intelligence be any different?

Friday, February 11, 2011

Sinner vs. Saint?

We’ve heard this one a million times. “Since you’re twins, who’s the bad one and who’s the good one?”



To be honest, we’ve never fallen into the good vs. evil stereotype.  I actually think it’s quite silly. Who says that one twin has to be good all the time and the other one has to be bad? That seems a little crazy. I wonder if that is really possible. Can one person really be good all the time? Can they be bad?
When Bri and I are asked this question, we always give each other the same look and say, “Well one of us really isn’t bad.” We’re not lying either. If we ever do anything bad (which really wouldn’t be considered bad by many people’s standards), we both usually do it. I mean my idea of doing something crazy is going out past 10:00 pm when I have class the next day or just missing class during the week. To some people this isn’t a big deal, but Bri and I rarely do this and it is actually very out of character for us.
I’m not saying that we’re both good 100% of the time. Everyone has done something they are not particularly proud of or have just been unnecessarily mean to someone else. The reciprocal is also true. We’re not bad 100% of the time. Like everyone else, we’re not perfect and have personalities that are a mix between the two. Just because Bri and I are twins doesn’t mean that one of us is necessarily nicer than the other.
For instance, there are times when Brianna will drive away in the morning when I’m taking too long to leave for school or I will throw her clothes all over the floor, but there are also times when I’ll help her figure out math problems she doesn’t understand or she’ll proofread my work. We can both be really nice or even mean to each other depending on the day. In a way, we’re both the “good” and “bad” twin.
So, in our case, there is no such thing as the good or bad twin. Depending on the day, we both display characteristics of the evil twin or the good twin (even though it’s usually good). J





Thursday, February 3, 2011

Attached at the Hip

Do twins really do everything together? Why yes, we really do. I mean, not everything.  That would be pretty weird. However, at least 99% of the things that I do, Brianna does. If I go out to dinner or to the gym, Brianna comes too.  I mean, we live together, have almost all of the same classes, we go to the same events, we have the same friends, and we’re even in the same sorority. The list goes on and on!
(We were even voted Dynamic Duo in our sorority)

There really never is a time when Brianna and I aren’t together. Every once and a while one of us will go out a date or work on school projects with a group of people, but that’s pretty much it. Tonight, however, was an exception to our typical “attached at the hip” status.
It might seem weird that Bri and I are together almost 24/7, but to us, it feels even stranger when we’re apart.  Tonight, for instance, I had an anatomy test that I had to take which I was not excited about.  Brianna, on the other hand, went to ribboning in for our sorority. She got to get all dressed up to go to a ceremony to welcome all of the new pledges. I got stuck studying all the bones on the body.
This was the first event that Bri went to that I couldn’t. It may not seem like a big deal, but it felt very weird. It’s really an indescribable feeling and I really don’t know how to explain it to anyone else. It’s really not a bad feeling though. I think it’s good to get a sense of independence from each other sometimes, even if it is only for a few hours. I think some people forget that we’re separate people since we spend so much time together doing the same things. We don’t mind being referred to as “the twins,” as most people call us, but it’s nice to know that there are people realize we are not the same. So, it might have been a good step to do different things this evening. Maybe we’ll gain some sense of independence. I mean, we can’t live and do everything together forever!
Seeing Brianna and I separated is really a rare occurrence. So, do twins really do everything together? Besides the slight breaks we have from each other, we truly are “attached at the hip.”

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Two Peas in a Pod

Bri and I are always asked if there is a trick to telling us apart or if we have any distinct features that make us look different from each other. I think the answer is actually pretty simple: we don’t look alike. I was talking to Brianna about this the other day because everyone at work is having trouble telling us apart since we have to wear the same uniform. I think she explained it best when she said, “When I look into the mirror, I don’t see Britt staring back at me. I see myself. “
So the question is, do identical twins look exactly the same? I personally don’t think so. Like Brianna said, I always see myself when I look at pictures or in the mirror, not Bri. When we tell anyone that we don’t think that we look alike at all, they usually look at us like we’re crazy.  I guess we just see ourselves differently than everybody else does.
I personally think that as we’ve gotten older, we don’t look very similar anymore. When we were little, it was a different story. We looked almost exactly the same and even I can’t tell us apart in some of the pictures!  (My Mom can’t either!) I guess my family would paint our nails different colors so they wouldn’t get confused and mistake Bri for me or vice versa. We also had t-shirts with our names on them that said, “I’m Brittany. That’s my twin sister Brianna.” I think it’s pretty silly, but I guess it worked for them!
Now that we’re older, I think it’s funny that people can’t tell us apart. Sometimes other students will start talking to me about a test or quiz and I have no idea what they are talking about.  After staring at them dumbfounded for quite some time, I usually realize that they think I’m Bri. Recently we’ve both resorted to saying hi to people we don’t know to avoid explaining that we are twins and to also spare the feelings of the people we’ve ignored because we didn’t know them. Life seems much easier that way!
However, when I talk to my friends, they say that when they first met us we looked completely identical, but now they can tell us apart.  They say that it’s easy now and they don’t know why they couldn’t tell before. I’ve noticed that when I’ve know someone for a long time, they can easily tell us apart. I’m not sure why this happens, but it is very common.
To answer the question, to other people we look exactly the same. However, to Brianna and I, we feel as though we look like completely different people.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Switch It Up

Anytime someone discovers that Brianna and I are twins, it is almost always guaranteed that a person will ask, “So, do you two ever switch places and play pranks on other people?” It is a question that I’ve been asked frequently and I really do wonder why so many people think that this is a common practice for twins to do.  I always question, “Do I look like I would do something like that? Or is it something a lot of people just assume about identical twins?”

I wish I had an interesting story to tell, like Brianna going out on a date with a past boyfriend of mine to see if he would notice the difference or I took a math test for Brianna because she wasn’t doing very good in the class, but I don’t. To tell the truth, Bri and I have never really thought about switching places.  However, when we were five years old, there was an exception. What we did was, in reality, pretty cruel.
When we were little, my great-grandma, who I called Nonny, used to take care of us when my mom went to work.  Bri and I would wear the same outfit every day in different colors and my mom would tell my Nonny who was wearing which color in the morning when she dropped us off. Bri and I were not known to misbehave, but one day we decided that it would be a good idea to switch our shirts without my Nonny’s knowledge. After she fell for it the first time, Bri and I got a kick out of tricking my great-grandma. I do not remember this since we were five at the time, but I’ve been told countless times that Bri and I really found it funny to confuse my Nonny and we continued to do so until my mom found out. We were in A LOT of trouble then and soon stopped. That was the last time Bri and I have ever switched places.
To answer the question, yes, I have switched places with my twin. However, it was for a very short period of time and we have not tried it since. I don’t know if we ever will. It might be pretty entertaining to try sometime, but I really can’t picture us doing that again. I can’t speak for other twins, but in my experience, switching places really wasn’t for me.

Hello Everyone!

My name is Brittany and I’ve had the greatest best friend for 19 years. She is Brianna, my identical twin sister. This blog is all about us, but more importantly the variety of questions we’ve been asked about being twins over the years. These questions range from interesting to downright ridiculous. Also, I have heard many different ideas that people have about twins. I’m going to address some of these questions and perceptions based on the experiences that I have personally had being a twin. Enjoy!