Why My Twin Is Not My Best Friend

The odds of having twins in the United States is 3 in 100 (3-5 in 1,000 for identical twins). Maybe that’s why I have pretty good luck. I am a fraternal twin, and let me tell you, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. Sharing birthdays, friends (thankfully not clothes) and classes aren’t ideal. Luckily Katherine and I are “night and day,” though people still mix up our names somehow. When I tell people I’m a twin, I’m usually met with “You don’t look like twin!” follow by “I’m so jealous! You have a built-in best friend!” But my twin is not my best friend.

That might sound harsh, but it’s true. Katherine even agrees with me. It’s difficult to explain, the relationship between twins. We love each other because we’re family, but we don’t always like each other, especially when we both need to use the shower at the same time. When you’ve shared practically your entire life with another person, it’s impossible to be best friends. You see each other at your worst, you know almost everything about each other and sometimes you think you know what’s best for them. Intentional or not, you’re constantly competing with each other, whether that’s on the sports field or in the classroom. You seem to always be compared to each other (either by friends, family or yourself), and you can hurt each other in ways only someone who knows you better than yourself can.

But that stuff doesn’t always seem so bad. Being a twin means you will always know at least one person at social events. You always have someone to talk to at awkward family gatherings, a permanent “let’s do something” buddy and a brutally honest shopping companion (which is highly underrated). There is always a room to go charging into no matter what the hour when you have a problem, and someone to have your back. Plus, we get to have this thing called “twin telepathy.” It doesn’t always work, but occasionally we say, think or even sing the same things (it’s freaky).

I shudder to think of the person I would be today without my twin sister. Whether we like to admit it or not, we’ve had a profound effect on the people we’ve turned out to be. We annoy each other, tease each other and probably should be nicer to each other, but we wouldn’t trade being twins for anything. Because being twins means we will always have someone. Best friends are nice, but they aren’t forever. So no, Katherine is not my best friend. She is much more than that: she’s my twin.

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