I find identical twins fascinating and a little unsettling. The amount of mischief you could get up to with an alibi like that — the mind boggles.
I knew a girl who had an identical twin and didn't tell anyone until her twin showed up in class and pretended to be her for five minutes. They thought this was hilarious.
They thought this was hilarious. A few years ago, they showed up on a short-lived reality show about strangers sharing a beach house, and pulled the same trick on their housemates.
That's when I realized this was going to be the most boring reality show ever filmed. Ladies! Some imagination, please! Have you never heard of the long con?
I want someone to write a fantasy series, which is then turned into a series of movies (a long-running television show would also be acceptable), about a world of twins, in which everyone has an identical twin. Would physical appearance be less or more important in constructing identity in such a world? What would happen to you if your twin died? Would twins be kept together or separated in a culture like that? If your twinship was considered the most important relationship in your life, how would that affect your friendships and romantic relationships? Would sets of twins marry each other and spawn sibling-cousins?
The twin world is a rich field to mine, and could make the right writer a wheelbarrow full of money. It could even be — dare I say it? — another million-dollar idea. And I'm just giving it to you! One stipulation: when they start casting for the movie, I want only real sets of identical twins to be used.
Consider it my gift to all the out-of-work child actors out there. Also, I've never really understood how a split-screen works and I don't want to analyze wig-work every time two people hug.
Famous identical twins: Dear Abby and Ann Landers, who famously hated each other.
The feud was supposedly because one stole the other's idea for an advice column, but the roots had to have gone deeper than that, right? Note to self: possible plotline for novels about world of twins: one steals another's idea about advice column, but the roots go deeper than that. Right?
Fraternal twinships seem so much less fraught, don't you think?
Once you're out of school, it's just like having a regular sibling who happens to have horned in on your birthday.
In fact, they are so much less fraught that I can't think of any same-sex fraternal twins off the top of my head. Supposedly the Olsen twins are fraternal, but I don't really buy that.
Okay, I thought of a pair: Clytemnestra and Helen of Troy. That counts, right?
I mean, fraught, yeesh. Imagine: not only are you hatched out of an egg, but your twin sister happens to be the most beautiful woman in the world, and you are subject to all sorts of invidious comparisons. Then, when she finally goes ahead and mucks up the geopolitical situation but good, your husband, in his rush to go fight in the Trojan War, sacrifices your daughter to whip up some nice sailing winds, then comes home after the war with a new concubine (Cassandra, who had her own sibling problems), and gets himself murdered by you, then your son Orestes commits matricide on you, because apparently it's not cool to avenge your own daughter on your horrible husband.
So, yeah, I think Clytemnestra probably had some complicated feelings about Helen.
Oh wait, didn't they hatch from different eggs, because they had different fathers? So are they even twins? And why did Leda have two eggs when presumably her husband never took the form of a swan? Greek mythology doesn't always hold together super-coherently. Which is part of why we love it. It's not Harry Potter — hundreds of people had hundreds of versions of every story.
Oral traditions — love them. Are there any left?
I leave you, dear readers, with a song that sums up my feelings on the subject of twins.
All photos by Claire Loeb!