Seeing Double

My mom is an identical twin. My mom’s mom was also an identical twin.

There were at least two other sets of twins in my family when I was growing up; one identical, the other fraternal. So, growing up around people who looked exactly like each other seemed perfectly normal to me.

However, the rest of the world seems mesmerized by this fairly common gift from nature.

Wikipedia indicates that out of every 1,000 births in America, about 33 are twins.

The most common are fraternal (children who are not identical), with a boy/girl combination happening more than two boys or two girls.

For obvious reasons, identical twins get the most attention, as is the case with my mom and aunt.

People have asked me some pretty silly questions about my mother and her twin sister. My personal favorite is, “How can you tell them apart?”

As if I only vaguely know my own mother.

In talking with other folks who have twins in their family, I’m told that they’ve also received some pretty goofy questions. The best one being, “Are they identical?” when referring to boy/girl twins.

When I was about 10, my mom worked for a savings and loan downtown. In the same building, but just around the corner, her twin sister worked for the Revenue Office. The Revenue Office in Arkansas is where you go to get your drivers license.

More than once, my mom and her sister would tell the story of someone who came into the savings and loan to withdraw money, and then went around the corner to renew their drivers license.

“Hey, weren’t you just in the bank next door giving me my money?” they’d ask my aunt.

Though both retired now, the two never seem to tire of telling that story.

The names that parents give their twins almost always seem to be as similar as their offspring. My mom and aunt are Mary Lou and Sarah Sue. Their mom and her twin were Leona and Viola.

I have identical twin cousins named, Arlene and Darlene.

Can you tell we’re from the South?

Everything you’ve ever heard about twins being close is true. I’ve witnessed it my entire life. My mom and her sister think alike. They are completely in tune with each other. If something is wrong with one of them, innately, the other one seems to sense it.

Call it what you will, but it’s real. I’ll vouch for it.

There are many celebrities who have twins, but most folks don’t know about them. Actors Marilu Henner, Billy Dee Williams, Ashton Kutcher, Kiefer Sutherland, and Linda Hamilton have twin siblings.

And twins certainly aren’t a new thing. Isaac from The Bible had Jacob and Esau.

But my favorite celebrity identical twins are our grandsons. They turn 4 soon. We’ll be there for their birthday party.

And yes, I can tell them apart.


©2016 John Moore

For more of John’s musings, visit

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