Silly questions people ask twins
13-year-old Montreal twins share some annoying things people have said to them over the years
13-year-old twins Sophie and Alex Hillcoat
Photo by Marcie Richstone
People often ask us, “What is it like being a twin?” We have absolutely no idea how to answer that – we have nothing to compare it to. It would be the same if we asked someone, “What is it like not having a twin?”
The reality is that we are individuals with separate likes and dislikes, different personalities, strengths and weaknesses. We like it when people around us respect that and we please ask that you call us “Sophie” and “Alex” and not refer to us as “the twins.”
It strikes us as strange how twins are often treated as one person. Over the years, we’ve occasionally received single birthday presents to share, or were allocated one shared “turn” in a playground game. Our own little sister, Maya, once told us that she would choose a TV show to watch and then “we” would get to choose one. Um, no.
Like many twins, we probably are closer than most siblings. Our parents tell us that when we learned to talk as toddlers, we called each other "friend-sister" and that remains a pretty good description of our relationship.
Although we understand that people are intrigued by twins, we do feel that we’ve had our fair share of silly questions asked of us over the years. Here are some of them:
“Who is the evil twin and who is the good twin?”
We don't know where the premise of good versus evil twins ever got started — soap operas or maybe murder mysteries? But we do know that it's really annoying.
"Do you guys fight?"
No, never! Wrong, oh, so wrong! We may not fight with each other as much as we fight with our little sister, but we have our fair share of bickering.
"Do you guys do everything together?"
We suspect people who ask this question spend way too much time watching The Learning Channel. The truth is that sometimes we try to avoid being around each other. For example, our twin is the last person we want to be partners with for a school project, simply because we're sisters and we need our space.
"How do I tell you guys apart?"
When someone asks us this question, we usually look to our friends to help describe our differences. But please don’t stare; we don’t enjoy close scrutiny as you try to figure out which of us has the fuller cheeks or a pointier chin.
"If I pinched her, would you feel it too?”
We can’t speak for all twins but this type of thing has never happened to us. And we are kind of happy that we don’t feel each other’s physical pain!
"Who's the smarter one?"
What kind of question is THAT? Comparing children is always a big no-no but this is especially true with twins. It's hard not to feel competitive with someone who looks exactly like you, is the same age, and your closest friend. And it is even worse when people ask our parents that question, right in front of us!
"Are you twins?"
Hmmm… don’t mean to be cheeky but isn’t it kind of obvious?
"How come your names don't rhyme like Molly and Polly?"
Because that’s a really bad idea and fortunately our parents didn’t do this to us. Or maybe Sophie was right when she was 3 and thought, because Alex’s full name is Alexandra, that her full name must be Sophiexandra.
“You are so lucky to have a built-in best friend!”
This is one of the nicest things we get to hear, an acknowledgement of our special relationship. Even though we have lots of great friends, we have had a very special bond that we believe will last a lifetime. And for that, we feel doubly blessed!
Now that you know what twins don't want to hear....click here to read our article about what NOT to say their parents!