I have an identical twin brother. He currently lives in Japan, so most new people I meet have no idea until it comes up in conversation, at which point they usually think I’m bulllshitting them. I’m not. Here’s proof.
Right now I can hear the questions brewing on your lips. I get them all the time – you could say I am frequently asked questions. These questions usually follow the same pattern.
Are you guys brothers?
Are you guys twins?
Are you identical?
Of course the above questions are only asked by people spotting us together. I’ve noticed that if you preempt any of these questions it makes them feel uncomfortable, so I usually let them play out their little game.
What’s it like being a twin?
People are often confused when I can’t answer this one, so I usually respond with a question of my own – what’s it like not being a twin? Huh? Cat got your tongue? Exactly. The best answer I can give is that having a twin brother is exactly like having a normal brother only you share the same birthday. Also, people tend to ask you lots of stupid questions.
How can I tell who is who?
He’s Ryan, I’m Daniel, it’s that simple. After getting to know one of us you’ll wonder how you ever thought we looked the same.
How do you tell each other apart?
Yes, I have actually been asked this question.
Do you guys ever dress the same?
Hell no! We go out of our way to distinguish ourselves. Most of the time Ryan wears glasses while I do not, despite having the same minor shortsightedness. Those twins you see on TV shows who dress the same, talk the same and who strive to be as identical as possible are freaks who just want attention. If you happen to be a parent of young twins, please get them different sets of clothes.
Do you guys ever switch around and play pranks on people?
We did this a bit when we were little, swapping classes, pretending I was Ryan, but it gets old after a while. Everyone who knows you will be able to tell straight away. Everyone who doesn’t know you treats you like you are the same person anyway, so they don’t get the punchline. If there is any negative to being a twin, that is the crux of it – some people do not view you as an individual. Using “the twins” in place of our names is particularly infuriating.
Have you guys ever swapped girlfriends?
That’s just wrong on sooooo many levels.
Are you guys psychic? Can you read each other’s thoughts?
I used to hate this question. I used to see it coming a mile away and groan on its arrival. Then something changed all that – my brother came up with the best punchline ever.
We were at a pub with some workmates of his. It was a job he hated, with a boss he didn’t get along with. It was this boss who asked him the question, at a point in the night where Ryan was clearly intoxicated. Without hesitation my brother said:
“Yes I am psychic, I can tell what he is thinking. Right now he is thinking that you are an idiot.”
He was right.