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What It's Like To Be A Twin

A Patch local editor shares his thoughts on being an identical twin. The Twinsburg Twins Days Festival begins this Friday.

When you are a twin, there are things people expect of you.

They want you to dress the same. They expect one half to complete the other half’s sentences. You must, at some point, switch classes in school to baffle the teachers. Everyone wants to believe twins share some extra-sensory power, like ESP or something.

I’m an identical twin (and the Patch Editor in neighboring Solon) so I figured I would use the opportunity of the annual  festival to share my perspective on what being a twin is like.

This is a difficult thing to do. I can’t imagine what it’s like to not be a twin, just the way singletons (that’s the twin word for all of you non-multiples out there) can’t imagine what it’s like to have a twin.

So I’ll do it by telling stories and anecdotes:

My brother’s name is Bryan. I’m older (and wiser) than him by one minute, I guess only because the doctor grabbed me first (we were born by C-section). Thus, I am the crown prince and he is the party prince.  With great power comes great responsibility.

I will never live down the fact that, while in the womb, I hogged all the room and the nutrients, while he had to fight and claw for real estate. People say that experience basically made us who we are today. I am a writer and my brother is a Secret Service agent. Make of it what you will.

Our poor mother. 

The most “Twilight Zone” twin thing that ever happened to us: We both played football in college. During training camp, we both tore a ligament in our right knees. Both injuries happened only a few days apart. Spooky.

Being a twin is knowing my brother always has my back, and I’ll always have his.  

My brother and I don’t fight. We’ve never felt the need. Even as kids, we almost always got along and rarely tried to beat each other up. Except for this one time: I don’t remember how old we were or why were mad at each other, but we decided we would settle things with a boxing match. We grabbed some puffy winter gloves and went outside and duked it out. I won, of course.

We played paintball during my bachelor party. At the end, the guys running the game decided it would be a good idea to have a “bachelor run” where all my idiot friends lined up and shot at me as I ran in front of them. My brother, my best man, ran it with me and said he would go first. He took the worst of it for me. You can see why the Secret Service wanted to hire him.

We don’t see each other as much as we should. We live in different cities. We’re both busy. We both have time-consuming jobs, and we’re both married. But when we do get together, we never miss a beat.

We went to different colleges. After our freshman year, my brother transferred to my school. We always joke that he came because he missed his big brother. He never denies it. 

And I'm glad he came.

Joe Strailey August 01, 2012 at 03:40 PM
Great story, Chris! Thanks for sharing!

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