Monday, April 28, 2008

I Can't Hurt My Twin

It's true. I'm not afraid of blood or scrapes or anything like that. But when Baby A needs someone to tend to a wound, it usually isn't me.

For background, our wounds come from us being clutzy. We trip, we fall, we run into things that are in plain sight, etc. Seriously, grace was not a feature given to us.

Take last night, for instance. A certain other twin decided to go and get into a bike accident. Baby A swears her bicycle malfunctioned, something about her front fender that was loose catching her tire and sending her flying. She's fine, no broken bones, no concussion, no things of that nature. Just a small bit of road rash on her side, and a couple of bruises, and a twisted fender that is now sitting in our room. I WAS NOT WITH HER. (You see what happens when you let your twin out of your sight? She goes and falls off her bike).

So she gets home and she is limping and has a slightly funny look on her face.
Baby B: "What's wrong?"
Baby A: "There may or may not have been a bike accident..."
And she proceeds to tell me that I need to help her clean up.
I run and get our friend, who was with Baby A when she went ahead and crashed her bike.
Baby B: "You need to clean Baby A's road rash for me. I can't do it."
Friend 1: "Why?"
Baby B: "Because I can't hurt her. It makes me feel like my soul is ripping in half."
(That's a pretty painful sounding thing, right? 'CAUSE IT IS).

And it's true. Mom always had to take care of the other one's wounds for us.

And there was this one time on the track, it was epic. Baby A tripped and slid across the finish line (and still got 3rd) in a race. I couldn't watch the med people pick the gravel out of her shoulder.

Be safe,
Baby B

Friday, April 25, 2008

Twin Arguments

Sometimes we argue about our room. OK, so that's mainly why we argue. I can live in a messy room for a while, especially when I'm busy (midterms, projects, endless college tedium). Baby A, on the other hand, might smother me in my sleep at any point when the room hits a certain level of hovel-ness.
Baby A: (very serious tone) "I'm cleaning the room so I don't have to kill you."
Baby B: "I appreciate that."

I can't focus on cleaning when there are pressing academic things to be done (and iTunes to fiddle with and the interwebs to read and adventures to be had, but those are different stories). Baby B can't focus on academic matters when there is cleaning to be done.
Baby A: "Baby B, you need to do the laundry and pick up your crap."
Baby B: (snarls) "I'm busy studying for chemistry!"

Arguments sometimes arise from random things, like what is the best way to go about something or stress or something like that. When these types of fights occur, they usually end like this-
Baby B: "Whatever."
Baby A: "I'm over it."
And then everything goes back to normal.

One pretty spectacular miscommunication was when Baby A was deciding between two universities, the one I had my heart set on and the one she originally had her heart set on. She ended up deciding to go to school with me, due to my school having a more prestigious reputation (that's not being snobbish, that's being honest) and offering her a hell of a lot more money.
Baby B: (sobbing) "You-u don't want to roooom with meee!" (continues sobbing)
Baby A: "Wait, what?"
Baby B: "You don't want to be my roommate!"
Baby A: "Of course I want to room with you!"
Baby B: "Then why aren't we rooming together?"
Baby A: "I thought Mom and Dad wanted us to room separately!"
Baby B: "Me too!"
Dad: "I never said that! I just want you girls to be happy."
(Baby A and B look at each other)
Mom to Baby B: "Just don't drive your sister nuts. She's been cleaning up after you for 18 years [that's not entirely true]."

You should reread the previous arguments to see how well I have been following Mom's advice.

Baby B

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Tegan and Sara, Pt. II

The Tegan and Sara show was AMAZING.

Their opening act, An Horse from Australia, was really great. They played wonderful music and interacted with the audience super well. Very funny people! The people we went with were all very pleasantly surprised. We all agreed they were one of the best opening bands we had ever seen. When An Horse comes back to America, I'll go to a show with Baby A.

Tegan and Sara. Basically, the music was fantastic and their anecdotes were hilarious. Of course, Baby A and I really like Tegan and Sara , so we thought it was awesome. We have been to many, many concerts before and this one ranks up there in the "all-time favorites" category. My boyfriend happens to have never been to a "real" concert before (not including orchestra and band performances), and he thought it was great. And he was expecting to not have any fun. So there you go.

It was interesting to see, in person, some identical twins that are older than us. It's nice to see they still look alike. (You may laugh, but Baby A and I never saw any older identical twins together growing up. We used to wonder if we would still be twins when we grew up). Seeing them was really fascinating, because they look alike yet unalike at the same time. But I usually have that feeling when I see other identicals. Because I am a twin, the "sameness" doesn't throw me off, and I can immediately see differences.

Next time: some argumentative twin dialogue. Stay tuned.

Baby B

Monday, April 21, 2008

10 Twin Questions I Will Go Ahead and Answer for You

1. No, we cannot read each other's minds.

2. Yes, I can usually make an educated guess as to what Baby A is thinking. I am so good at it because I know her very well and we often have similar thoughts about things.

3. If you poke her, I cannot feel it.

4. Yes, I have somehow felt something was wrong when something bad happened to Baby A. Coincidence, connection? Maybe, I don't know.

5. There is not a "smarter twin." We have somewhat different strengths, but we have the same "nature" and very similar "nurture."

6. There is not a "better twin." Or "evil twin." Or anything like that.

7. Yes, we fight. Not very often, and fights usually don't last very long. (It's not worth it to keep a grudge going).

8. No, we don't like all the same foods. For example, Baby A looooves chocolate, and I immensely dislike it. I loooove eggplant in all its forms, and Baby A avoids it like the plague. We have similar feelings on shellfish (we're allergic to shrimp, so it's all kind of out for us), coffee (manna), good bread (gift from heaven), bell peppers (which are the devil's work), and many other foods.

9. No, we don't like the same boys. We think a lot of the same celebrities are attractive human beings, but we date completely different "types."

10. Yes, it's awesome having a twin.

TEGAN AND SARA TONIGHT! I will blog tomorrow about the show, even though that is loosely related to being a twin. Well, I am going with my twin to see twins in a band perform, so I won't lose sleep over it.

Hasta luego,
Baby B

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Tegan and Sara

Baby A and I are going to a concert tomorrow: Tegan and Sara. I am mentioning this because Tegan and Sara are indentical twin musicians.

I have read/seen a lot about the Quins' ideas about being twins. I know all twins can relate to this, as put by Tegan in an ABC News interview up on youtube: "It's sometimes easier to be around Sara than it is to be around the rest of the band, because I can't abuse the band the same way that I can abuse Sara... She can come in and be in a bad mood and I can be in a bad mood back to her." Twins do not need a filter up all the time, because the other one is going to stick around no matter how cranky, rude, or otherwise obnoxious you are being. Sara says, "We'll just be honest." Tegan replies, "Yeah, we'll just be rude to each other, and be like 'Eh, this sucks, I hate you, it's your fault.' 'No, it's your fault,' and then we're just, like, over it." The thing that is different between twins compared to between significant others or friends is a fight between twins is going to be over, it's not the end of the world, everything calms down in matter of time, and life goes back to normal. Fights in other relationships can end them.

There was one interview that I did not know what to make of at first. It was an interview from MTV's Subterranean, Tegan and Sara discuss how "terrifying" identical twins are. Sara says, "I hate twins so much."
Tegan agrees, "They are terrifying!"
"They are so scary!"
"Especially when they look alike."
"And when they're look at you, like they're both looking at you at the same time, I am just like 'Oh, we're gross.' That's why we really live 3,000 miles apart."

At first, I was "Well, that's strange." For me, seeing other twins is exciting. I don't see very many of them around, especially now in a university (some twins choose to go to separate schools. How, I do not know). It's nice to talk about being twins with other people that "get it." Baby A and I field a lot of questions from singletons, but other identical twins just confirm that we are not weird.

But, when Sara talks about why they live so far apart, I understood. Twins can be intimidating. Twins are already a complete unit, so trying to find a significant other while being around your twin can be hard. There have been people that stopped being friends with us because they couldn't handle the twin connection. It made them feel excluded. That's a true story. We NEVER meant to make anyone feel excluded, but some people need the kind of attachment that a twin just can't give them, because that attachment already belongs to someone else. (We have been very lucky to find friends that not only don't mind the twinship, but applaud it).

Tomorrow night should be very exciting! We are looking forward to a great show.

Baby B

Friday, April 18, 2008

The Dreaded Same Haircut of Terror

So awhile back, I donated over 11 inches of hair to the charity Locks of Love. I have had short hair (above shoulder length) since then. Baby B's has been growing long all the while. Even before my donation, we had different hair lengths for many years. The other day, I decided my layered bob, which had grown out a little awkwardly, needed to be cut again. Surprise! Baby A was ready to cut hers!

At the salon, I told the very nice stylist what I wanted. Then Baby A stepped up and said, "After your done with hers, I want it just the same."

It didn't quite work that way, in a good way. When Baby A sat down, she found out she had enough to donate to Pantene's Beautiful Lengths, so the stylist slid up the ponytail holders up a bit and took a little extra to ensure some nice ponytails for donation. So the way some people could tell us apart is gone: I now have slightly longer hair than Baby A, as opposed to before when Baby A had dramatically longer hair.

It was very shocking for many people. Lots of questions, usually "WHY??"

Here are some statistics:
1. Number of people who honestly tried and couldn't tell us apart at all (at first): 5
2. Number of people from 1. who have adapted at this point: 2
3. Number of good friends who had trouble: 0
4. Number of times people have caught their mistake: 3
5. Number of people who asked us if it would bother us if he/she tried to guess who was who: 1 (How considerate :])
This is all very unscientific. I won't even attempt to remember the number of comments and the number of questions.

So, this post is titled "The Dreaded Same Haircut of Terror" because that is the reaction we got. Plenty of people made it clear the hair was the only way they could tell us apart.

EASY ways to tell us apart:
1. glasses
2. distinguishing marks (moles, etc.)
3. height
4. voice (we are told they are easily distinguishable)
5. backpack (I don't use hers and she doesn't use mine)
There are many more. People just latched onto the hair for seven months and didn't bother to try to actually learn to tell us apart. Now their crutch is gone (gone, on its merry way to Wisconsin), and they have till summer to play catch up.

Baby B

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Review: The Dreamers (2003)

The Dreamers is Bernardo Bertolucci's somewhat nostalgic look back at the turbulent year 1968 in France. It is based on material from three novels, The Holy Innocents, The Dreamers, and Buenas Noches, Buenos Aires. The film focuses on Matthew, an American student (Michael Pitt), and the Parisian friends he meets, fraternal twins Isabelle and Theo (Eva Green and Louis Garrel). The beginning of the film is focused on the closing of La Cinémathèque Française and the dismissal of its director Henri Langlois. The trio are all "cinephiles." Theo and Isabelle wonder about the new, silent boy who has been coming to all the screenings, just as Matthew wonders who those "cool" people are.

*Spoiler Alert*

*Spoiler Alert*

The twins have an incestuous relationship. The final version of the film does not have any sexual contact between Theo and Isabelle (though they are intimately involved in each other's sex lives and have no boundaries). However, incestuous scenes were shot but ended up on the cutting room floor. Incestuous but not... I may be confusing you. There are a couple of graphic scenes, one each where one twin has to pay "the forfeit" for not correctly naming a movie (cinephiles, remember?) Both times, the forfeit is of a sexual nature. As the movie progresses, Isabelle and Matthew get romantically involved, as Theo watches from afar. Sexual scenes between Theo and Matthew were cut from the final version.

The Dreamers was extremely hard for Baby A and myself to watch at times. I had this analogy for my professor (I had to watch this movie for a class): Parents are sacred. It is usually nearly impossible to see our parents as sexual creatures. If you have a twin, your twin is more sacred than your parents. (Note: this is my personal opinion. Some twins can discuss sexual encounters, deep feelings for significant others, etc. Baby A and I prefer not to. We have open dialogue, but not that open. We each talk about our boyfriends, but not in excess. And not anything detailed.)
The twins' absolute involvement in the other one's sexuality was deeply disturbing.

Some of the dialogue from the twins about being twins was very truthful, though taken to the extreme. I found out after the fact, from my professor, that in one of the novels (all written by Gilbert Adair, who also wrote the screenplay), it is one androgynous character with whom Matthew becomes involved with, not fraternal twins. This explains why Adair wrote the twins to be so dependent on each other and to describe themselves as being one person. Twins know that a part of your identity is being your twin's twin, so I could relate to some of what Isabelle and Theo said. The twin bond is intense, though I doubt that anyone would disagree with me saying that Theo and Isabelle's relationship was a lot too intense.

One scene that made me feel conflicted was the end, when Isabelle chooses Theo the violent revolutionary over Matthew the ideological pacifist. Of course, the scene was sad, but I think it would have upset me more if she had abandoned her twin, despite the fact that their relationship upset me very much.

On a side note, I guess it was weird seeing such fervent declarations come from fraternal boy-girl twins, but only because the fraternals I have known personally are more like singleton siblings. I do not have anything negative or condescending to say about the fraternal twin bond. That has only been my own experience. I have met one pair of female fraternals who were very close.

I think that is all I have to say about The Dreamers. I felt a little shell shocked after watching it. But I suppose that's what some people feel defines a good movie.

Till next time,
Baby B

Monday, April 14, 2008

Inaugural Post

Blogs, I have read them for quite some time now.
But do it myself? Naw. How could I possibly step up into the virtual realm of my heroes of the interwebs? But then I changed my mind...

Alas. There just doesn't seem to be many twin blogs out there. (Sorry if you have your own twin blog. You should leave a comment so I can find you). I like blogs. I'm a twin. Other twins might like reading blogs too. QED.

Why the blog title "Letters for Multiples" and why am I calling myself "Baby B"?
When a mommy and a daddy love each other very much, or at least tolerate each other enough, and make a baby, sometimes more babies come along for the ride. When the doctor finds plural progeny, they start lettering them "A," "B," "C," and so on. I am writing this blog about being a twin and the "twin experience" or whatever you want to call it. Hopefully other multiples will be able to relate, hence "Letters for Multiples." And as we all know, we were lettered in utero.

Baby B

PS: Singletons should read this blog too. I am intensely curious about what it is like to be a singleton, and given the number of times I have had to try and answer "What is it like to be a twin?", it seems singletons are curious about us too.