I have always loved being a twin: Helen in Heels

Through blogging (don’t forget that L!) I have met some way cool people. Some I have had the opportunity to meet in real life (hi Fleur! hi Nikki!) and others I continue to love online in the hope of meeting them one day soon. One of those peeps is Housewife in Heels. My friend Sarah over at Slapdash Mama introduced me to the HiH blog my first week of blogging, and I was hooked. She is a gorgeous classy lady, only trumping that with her piss funny humour, and is the one responsible for that week when I left society and fell down the rabbit hole that was googling about “grey gardens”. Intriguing stuff, clear your diary and press “I’m feeling lucky Google”.

Housewife in Heels knows way more than I do about twins. Given that, well, she is one and has a twin sister. I learn heaps from the snippets she tells me about growing up with a twin sister. I asked her if she would be interested in writing something for Sit Down Mummy on being a twin. Given that many of the Sit Down Mummy readers are mummas of twins, but not twins themselves. Helen has come to the party (in heels of course)… check out her fabulous writing below:

I was born 5 minutes before my twin sister. Those 5 minutes meant I was the middle child of three girls- my 18 month older sister, and my twin who was 5 minutes younger. It may sound strange, but as much as identify with being a twin, I also consider myself to be the middle child- with all of the responsibilities of a ‘big sister’.

At least half of my childhood memories involve my twin. We were shy growing up. The kindergarten teacher was concerned that we never played with anyone but each other. When we did make friends, they were always mutual friends. We shared best friends from 4 years old, and to this day continue to share best friends. In year 2, a decision was made for my sister and I to be placed in separate classes. I don’t remember if this upset me at the time, but retrospectively I think it was good decision, to give us independence.

I have always loved being a twin. I always had a playmate and a confidante. We were never competitive. I have always been happy for her achievements, and she has been happy for mine. We fought a lot – pulling hair, biting, pinching each other – but it was always short-lived, and would be resolved by the ‘victim’ deciding how many punches the other needed for retribution.

There was also the ‘twin things’. I’m not much of a believer in paranormal, but there has always been an element of telepathy with my sister. Perhaps it’s because we have spent so much time together. But I actually believe it’s more than that. For example, we used to play games guessing the number that the other was thinking – and we would guess the same number much more often than we should have. Also, there are so many coincidences such as buying the exact same pair of shoes and bag on the same day with no prior discussion about the items/ shopping. There are countless examples such as this. There may be nothing more than coincidence to these examples, but I like to think that there’s something else going on.

There are some downsides to being a twin. Growing up, outsiders (and sometimes even our family) often lumped us together as “the twins”. We hated being referred to as ‘the twins’. We were individuals. Imagine if everyone always referred to you by your last name –e.g. “the Smiths”. The comparisons were also difficult. Imagine being told at age 12, that you were the ‘fat one, but don’t worry because you’re more social’ by a classmate.

It’s also a little awkward when you’re confused for your twin in public. It still happens. Even yesterday, a mother of a classmate of my twin mistook me for her. In the back of your mind, you’re asking yourself, am I meant to know you, or are you mistaking me for my twin?

We are similar in many ways, including our looks, voices, and personalities. But there is one major difference. She is gay. Even though we are genetically identical, I don’t believe it’s a choice for her. Anyway, she is getting married in March next year, and I am so happy for her. I love her and can’t imagine life without her.

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