13 November 2008

Too much connessione?

Last night, some students told me about a pair of twins at Tufts who have the same name. I thought they were girls, and they may be, but here is the only article I came across that mentioned same-named twins. Anyway, this shows that at least one set of parents chose to do this to their children.

The female twins mentioned supposedly live together, are inseparable, applied to college with a 'take us both or we're not coming' ultimatum, and both want to go to dental school. And they share an email account and chat as one person. Now, I've seen twins who live together and spend a lot of time together, but sharing an email account? Wow.

Going back to my research on fairy tales (because I'm interested in writing children's fiction), I once read that a child's biggest fear was being left all alone in the world, and that's why their favorite ending is 'And they lived happily ever after.' Not he or she, but they. So, these twins are born with someone who potentially understands them (no small feat) and who can be their best friend for life. In a way, they are born with 'they lived happily ever after.' Why go out and find new friends if you already have a super awesome best friend right at home? Why go look for a soul mate if you've been born with one whose loyalty you don't have to question?

Which begs the question: if you share email and do everything as one unit, wouldn't dating be a little awkward? (I'm ignoring the salacious smiles.) And of course, why do some twins make a concerted effort to differentiate themselves while others relish in every possibility of twinhood?

We talked last night about how the twins might not learn much from spending time together if they were so similar, that a complementary partner might be more enlightening from a yin-yang perspective. But what if they just want to be comfortable? And understood? I can see the temptation. Many people choose mates who are very similar to themselves, and I can see the argument, 'We're so often misunderstood; you do what you can to find someone who will understand you.'

Some twins are even physical mirror images of each other, I learned last night, where one's heart will be on the left side, and the other's will be on the right side. Here is an LA Times article on this and a mother's blog about her mirror-twin sons.

Being a twin must be incredible in so many ways, but it also affords the luxury of having an incredibly high standard of intimacy. How could a new friend compete? How would a potential dating partner ever stack up? I guess, as with all things, it just takes time.

I used to wish I had a twin for the sole purpose of being able to pull off incredible pranks. As I got older, though, I got over this and valued being an individual. Did you ever wish you were a twin? Would you want to be one now, knowing everything you know?

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