Double trouble with twins

by Annie Beltran, Staff Writer

The night before I began middle school I had to have a serious conversation with my mother.  I was a 12-year-old who had very concerning issues my mother needed to address at that very moment.

I knew there was a possibility of breaking her heart, but the first day of my adult life was literally 12 hours away.  Something had to be done about her actions — she was holding us back, and if I didn’t make a move my identical twin sister and I were doomed.

This was the moment I had to become my own person, and it was going to start in that shower.

“Mom, I need to talk to you.”

Once gaining her full attention, I took a breath to prepare myself for the life-bomb I was about to drop on her heart: “Tonight I’m going to shave my legs and tomorrow I don’t want to dress like Abbie anymore.”

Every set of twins I’ve met has spent some years dressed exactly like their twin sibling. Twins are so cute. It’s absolutely unavoidable for parents not to dress them in the same clothes.

Identical twins, especially as children, can hardly walk for 20 minutes in public without people staring at the look-alikes. Often times people would start reminiscing with us about some twin relatives who were nowhere near the situation but also look exactly alike.

My childhood identity isn’t a story about the life Annie, because I started life in an un-detachable relationship with Abbie. She is the only person who has ever shared amniotic fluid with me. She is my womb-mate.

Our childhood identities were so connected to each other, that we were a single persona without even the slightest millisecond of pause between our two names.

No one said Annie and Abbie, they said ‘AnnieAbbie’ or ‘AbbieAnnie’, or chanted the two names back and forth depending on how cute they thought my sister and I were as we stood in front of them.

We had all the classic twin traits people talk about “twin baby language” and early symptoms of separation anxiety.

For 6-year-old Abbie, separation anxiety was the worst when it came to public restrooms.

This situation used to annoy me to no recoverable end. Not only were we two adorable 6-year-old twin girls who were dressed alike, now Abbie put us in the cutest possible situation for any adult to witness in a public restroom.

Two small 6-year-old identical twin girls, dressed in matching jellybean tights and pink Winnie the Pooh shirts, arguing in the same restroom stall without any regard for what others were hearing.

We would flush the toilet, open the stall door, lock hands, then walk over to the sinks into a sea of gawks, comments and questions.

Yes, lady, we are twins. She’s scared of being in the damn stall alone and my mother is an enabler of this nonsense because the amount of cuteness has clouded her better judgment.

You see, as we flash back to that day before I started middle school, when I decided to separate my sense of self from my co-identity, I knew the situation meant more than an inevitable separation of our bunk beds.

For my mother, this separation was an end to her life with ‘AnnieAbbie’ and the beginning of a new life with her adolescent twins who were each simultaneously seeking individual personalities.