What is it Like to Be a Twin?

Being an identical twin is a remarkably unique experience that goes way beyond sharing the same genes.

Identical twins possess an extraordinary connection and camaraderie, unlike any other sibling relationship.

As most of you know, the two women who started Housewives of Frederick County – Pam and I -are identical twins. 

Obviously, being an identical twin is no big deal to Pam and me – we were born with each other and never knew any different. 

But, to many people that we’ve met in our lives, being a twin is fascinating! 

We have been asked, for as long as we can remember, many questions about what it’s like being a twin. 

Many of these questions are the same questions over and over from different people.

Housewives of Frederick County Photo Shoot

What Is It Like To Be An Identical Twin?

So, I decided to write a little post on what it’s like to be a twin, and to incorporate some of the common questions that Pam and I have gotten over the years. 

So, here goes:

Is it fun being a twin? 

The answer to this question is – hell yeah!  First of all, we have gotten extra special attention all of our lives simply because we look alike (our brothers would argue that we are spoiled – no way :)).

  • Especially when we were younger, and looked more alike, people who we didn’t know (like in a store, for example) would automatically smile at us.  We just thought that everyone was so nice all of the time!
  • Our mom dressed us alike until we finally realized that we could actually dress like individuals.
  • We ALWAYS had a partner in crime and a best friend by our sides at all times!
  • We had lots of fun tricking our teachers (most of the time they put us in different classes), friends, and even now can trick our husbands on the phone (our voices sound SO much alike)!
  • We dated a set of twin guys when we were in our 20’s – talk about lots of looks from stangers 🙂
  • If one of us had to make a phone call that we didn’t want to have to make, the other one “stood in” and made it for her.
  • We shared a fake ID to get into bars when we were underage (shhh – don’t tell anyone!)

Do Your Names Rhyme? 

Well no, they don’t – mine is Terri and hers is Pam, BUT we have heard our share of nicknames for us!

  • Pete and Repeat
  • Frick and Frack
  • Pammy and Tammy
  • Tammy and Perry (this usually occurs during a late night out – ha!)
  • Thing 1 and Thing 2
  • The Bobsy Twins
  • The Doublemint Twins
  • Twinny Pops (this is a nickname from our dad)
  • the list goes on…..pic of pam and i at grandma's

When One Twin Feels Pain, Does the Other? 

Sorry to disappoint, but that doesn’t happen with us.  But, I can tell you, though, that when one of us is hurting emotionally it affects the other one of us tremendously.  There have been several times in my life when I have been depressed because Pam is depressed.  Also, we ALWAYS know when something is wrong with the other one, even if the other one is trying hard not to show it.

pic of pam and I on ride

Were You Switched At Birth?

This is a great question – anything is possible!

Are Identical Twins EXACTLY Alike? 

Well, in so many ways we are exactly alike.  But, in so many ways we are different too.  I wonder if our differences formed from wanting to be individuals vs “the twins”.  The funny thing is, we have discovered in like the last 10 years that our differences point to the fact that we may be “mirror image” twins!  Some of our differences are:

  • When we are singing to a song together, Pam mostly hears the low part of the song, and I mostly hear the higher part of the song – so we end up harmonizing!
  • There are lots of activities that Pam does mostly with her right hand that I happen to do left-handed.  We are both somewhat ambidextrous, but ultimately we consider ourselves left hand dominant.
  • We have noticed that a few of our “marks” – like moles (ew) or more noticeable freckles are in the exact same place but opposite sides of our bodies.
  • We both have different talents and things that we’re better at.  We joke with each other that together we are the perfect person – LOL!
pic of Pam and I as doublemint twins

Which one of you is older? 

That would be me (Terri)!  I am 12 minutes older and don’t you forget it – I must say that I am SO much more mature than Pam – tee hee!

Do your kids look alike? 

Both Pam and I have boys (I have 2 and she has 1).  Many people have told us that they do resemble each other.  The funny thing is, her son resembles me and one of my sons resembles her.  I know that sounds funny because we are twins, but there are certain physical differences between us and these difference have shown up in the opposite twin’s child!

Did your parents raise you to be very much alike or did they stress individuality? 

My mom absolutely LOVED raising twins and took full advantage of being able to dress us alike!  So, I would say that we were raised to be very much alike.  We grew up sharing a lot of things too, even up to our first car.  We shared an orange, Volkswagon Beetle.  At the time, it got to be aggravating to have to share a car – especially as we began to develop our own interests, but looking back – those were some of the best times of our lives!

pam and i uscs graduation

Do people still mistaken one of you for the other?

On a regular basis 🙂  We actually look quite different now, compared to when we were growing up.  Pam’s hair is darker and longer, and a little bit of a different style.  Pam got Lasik eye surgery so she doesn’t wear glasses, and I do.  I weigh more than Pam does (boo).  I am about an inch shorter than Pam.  BUT, we obviously still look alike.  Since we live within about 10 miles from each other, we often run into people when we are by ourselves who mistaken one of us for the other one.  So, for example, I may be shopping and someone I’ve never seen before looks at me and smiles and begins to come up to me.  The first thing I usually say is, “You must know my twin sister Pam!”  It’s so funny, but both Pam and I have experienced this so many times that it’s no big deal.  Our biggest hope is that the person isn’t embarrassed 🙂

How do your husbands feel about being married to a twin? 

Well, I guarantee that they have compared notes in regard to each of our ideosyncrasies (yes I had to look that word up to spell it correctly)!  Both of them have told us that it can be tough to get through our bond.  They both feel, as much as we have tried to not make them feel this way, that I “rank” higher with Pam than her husband does and vice versa.  There are some cons, though, to our close bond.  We have often said to each other that if anything happened to the other one, that the surviving twin would have to be put in a rubber room!

So, those are a few answers to what it’s like to be a twin.  Both Pam and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.  Even though we sometimes feel like a “freak show” when people look at us or are amazed by how much we sound alike, the pro’s SO outweigh the con’s!  We are sisters, twins, best friends, allies, protectors, biggest fans, motivators and the list goes on.  How lucky are we to have been blessed with this gift?

For more twin posts, click on over to:

You Might Be An Identical Twin – Jeff Foxworthy Style

A Real Life Evil Twins Story

14 thoughts on “What is it Like to Be a Twin?”

  1. Thank you for writing this. I am a twin mom of 7 year olds – boy – girl.

    What was the hardest part of being split up in different classes in school?

    Did you have your own bedrooms?

    Any words of wisdom for parents of twins?

    • Hi Kris!

      So awesome that you have a boy and a girl! For me, the hardest part about being split up in different classes was the fact that I was very shy and I relied a lot on my sister for meeting new friends. However, it was good for me because it forced me to overcome my shyness somewhat.

      We shared a bedroom until we were 11 years old. We had moved and could each have our own bedrooms. Although at first it was an adjustment, it was good for each of us to have our own personal space and independence.

      Words of wisdom:
      Love each of them for their individual strengths.
      Don’t compare them (people do this naturally all the time).
      Encourage them to always have each other’s back.
      Don’t call them ‘the twins’- it’s the quickest way to make them feel like they’re not each a very special person.
      At the same time, celebrate the fact that they’re twins. It’s such a special bond that not many people get to have!

      If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask!


  2. I loved reading this! I am also an identical twin. As I was reading this I could relate to all your answers. My twin and I live many miles apart but still when someone yells out “Jennifer” I will automatically look from being called her name for many years. I totally enjoyed this!

  3. This was one of my favorite articles; I love the touge-in-cheek stuff you threw in too. I’ve known you since you were born and still learned alot by reading this. It was great!

  4. Loved the article – reminded me lots of my mom and her twin. By the way – i will become a grandmommy this june – and my daughter is having twins 🙂

  5. I think this is my fave post so far! Thanks for the inside scoop on the life of a twin. U guys r so lucky and i am lucky to have u guys as friends! Luv u gals.

    PS i thought Kenny and Chuck were twins 🙂


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