We’re twins, not aliens!
Being a twin has not been easy for me, especially living in Pakistan. We’ve been stopped at restaurants, airports and even in the middle of the road by well-intentioned but annoying strangers.
Some would ask us if we were twins (as if it wasn’t obvious) and would marvel at our likeness when we confirmed it while others preferred to waste our time by playing ‘spot-the-difference’ and bombarding us with irrational, overly-personal and clichéd questions.
At the passport and driving licence offices, our National Identity Cards (NIC) have even been locked repeatedly because the computer detected one of us as a ‘suspect forging another identity’. Of course, that should have been expected since the National Database and Registration Authority’s (NADRA) inefficiency never lets anyone down.
While growing up, I have come across so many senseless questions that I often end up laughing at how unintelligent people can be. Here are a few of the most common and irritating questions and comments I have been subjected to so far.
1. Are you two twins? (I am asked this question at least three times a day).
Nah, she’s just my stunt double.
2. If I punch you, will she feel it?
No, but if I punch you, you’ll definitely feel it.
3. Can you read each other’s minds? Can you tell what she’s thinking? Oh my God, are you guys telepathic?
Ummm… no, calm down.
4. If I had a twin, I would…
No, you probably wouldn’t, trust me. So, don’t even bother thinking about it.
5. Who’s the evil one? Who’s the smart one? Who’s the prettier one?
I cannot begin to tell you how much these questions annoys me. On the one hand, people can’t stop gushing over how identical we are or how much our personalities match but when it comes to being smart, pretty or clever, they expect us to be complete opposites.
I really don’t know where these stereotypes of ‘good versus evil’, ‘smart versus dumb’ and ‘pretty versus ugly’ came. Maybe it has something to do with the media’s portrayal of twins. You know… Cody is smart, Zack is stupid or Cody is reserved, Zack is outgoing. Even Mary Kate and Ashley are apparently polar opposites.
But people need to understand that not all twins are opposites.
6. Do you complete each other’s sentences?
In the last 18 years of my life, I have never completed a single sentence of my sister’s. Although I love JK Rowling, the image of twins she’s portrayed through Fred and George is simply wrong!
7. Why do you even need a mirror? Just look at your twin.
I have now stopped even trying to control myself from rolling my eyes at this one. I mean, really? You’ve got to be kidding me!
8. Can your parents tell you apart?
No, we wear name tags at home so that they know which one they are talking to! Any other stupid questions you need answers to?
9. Do you ever forget which one you are? Do you ever think you’re your twin?
Yes, very often I wake up with no knowledge of who I am and then, I to look at myself in the mirror and try very hard to figure out if I’m myself or my twin.
10. Who is older, you or her? How many minutes apart were you born?
Does it really matter?
11. Will you marry twins?
Yes, because that’s what twins do. They marry other twins and that’s how the phenomenon of ‘twinhood’ continues in this world. How illogical can you be?
12. If you do marry twins, you’ll both have identical kids. They’ll be cousins but twins. Twin cousins! Imagine that!
Please, please read a biology book.
13. Are you like Mary Kate and Ashley? Or like Fred and George? How about Zack and Cody?
Um no, we’re not. Not even close. We’re us.
14. Which one are you again?
15. Do you get sick at the same time? Will you die at the same time?
16. Where’s your sister?
How would I know? We don’t have a natural GPS system installed inside us.
17. Why don’t you dress the same way? If I were a twin, I would always dress the same way.
No, you probably won’t; not unless you are four-years-old or something.
18. Wait, don’t move. Let me spot the difference.
Yeah sure because I have nothing better to do.
19. How do I know you’re taking your exam and not your twin’s? How do I tell you apart?
This was asked by an exam invigilator and believe me, it took a lot of self control not to scream at him because we were in the middle of an exam.
20. Why don’t your names rhyme?
Please, please ask my parents.
21. Isn’t it annoying when people keep asking you questions about being twins?
This is the one question that actually does make sense but even this is asked with such repetition that it’s enough to make me run away screaming.
I understand that seeing twins is a novelty in Pakistan. But people need to realise that even twins are individuals with their own separate characteristics and personalities, just like it is with siblings who aren’t twins.
So the next time you meet twins, try not to ask them silly questions or push them to the verge of irritation.
They are people. Just like you.
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.