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The Blue Twin

This blog used to be called ‘Cyberpunk and Blue Twin.’ The last bit is named after Tamie because she’s an identical twin. Her twin is the Red Twin. It’s an easy way for people to tell them apart! Here are Tamie’s twin FAQ answers.

Do twins run in your family?

Fraternal twins (non-identical) are genetic but no one knows why identical twins happen. Unlike fraternal twins where two eggs are released (and subsequently fertilised), identical twins come from the one fertilised egg that splits. The technical term is ‘mutant’!

Do you feel each other’s pain?

While Red Twin was overseas, I’d feel pain like I’d been injured at the gym when I hadn’t done anything to myself – but she had! When we were little, one of us would complain of the symptoms of being sick but the other one actually would be sick. But I don’t want to overplay this. Weird things happen to twins but it might just be a coincidence because their bodies react the same way to environmental factors.

Do you ever swap or play tricks on people?

Very rarely. Most of the time we’re interested in people knowing who we are. And that takes quite a bit of effort! So we don’t want to ruin that trust by playing tricks on people.

Don’t you get bored of wearing the same colour?

No! For a start, there’s so much range in blue (and red/pink for my twin!) Wearing blue is built into who I am: when I wear red, I look like Red Twin, not like me! And I like people knowing who I am and being able to tell us apart. That’s why we chose the colours when we were little girls!

I used to think you looked really similar but now you’ve changed and look really different.

Actually, we haven’t changed – your perception has! You’ve grown accustomed to the variations in our faces and/or personalities and so you can more easily distinguish between us. Everyone has a different capacity for this: some people look for a person’s features to recognise them. They generally find it tougher to tell twins apart. Others see the features but look for the configuration of them. These people are more likely to see the subtleties in twins’ faces.

One of you has a thinner face. I thought twins were meant to look exactly the same.

Identical twins are called that because they have the same genes, not because they look exactly the same. There are lots of environmental factors that can change how a person looks: exposure to the sun, exercise, life stress, etc. Most twins have one twin with a thinner face because she was head down in the mum’s pelvis, while the other one had more room to grow. Most of the time, it’s the tell-tale sign of the older twin.

Which one is older?

I am. Red Twin was in the position to be born first but we ended up being born by emergency C-section so I came out first. Please save yourself the embarrassment of saying that you could tell that I was older.

Why is one of you left handed and the other right handed?

There are two types of identical twins: carbon copy and mirror twins. It depends on when the egg splits. We were a very late split, hence we’re quite pronounced mirror twins. So my mirror image is the same as Red Twin’s face (and vice versa). Hence the left/right handed thing. It doesn’t have anything to do with organs or being left/right brained but it affects almost everything else. Our teeth fell out in mirror image; our genetic freckles are on opposite sides of our bodies; our glasses are the same prescription in opposite eyes; the right side of my body is strong and the left side weak (just ask my gym instructors!) and the opposite for Red Twin.

Who is the evil twin? Who is the dominant / musical / smart twin?

You have clearly read too many Sweet Valley High books! Red Twin are I have remarkably similar tastes and attitudes to things. We’d prefer that you get to know us individually rather than comparing us to each other.


And two questions Arthur gets asked:

Can you tell Tamie and Red Twin apart? Do you ever get confused?

I got to know Tamie and Red Twin separately, so perhaps it was easier for me to spot the differences from the beginning. In any case, I can tell them apart easily because I’ve spent plenty of time with them, and I also notice more subtle differences: although they ‘sound the same’, they have different tones of voice, and so on. Occasionally, I can get momentarily mixed up when those differences are obscured, like on the phone. But I’ve got to know Tamie and Red Twin as two persons, not one, and there’s nothing confusing about that!

Is being married to Tamie like being married to two people?

No — I only married one! But Tamie’s relationship with Red Twin is uniquely special and a basic part of who Tamie is. Along with Tamie, I want to honour this. But my marriage to Tamie is also a unique relationship, and not something that Red Twin just walks into.

2 replies

  1. Hey Tamie,

    The “older twin” question is interesting, as the point of conception is exactly the same. I find myself sometimes thinking in terms of older/younger twin, but then going, hang on, they spent the first week of life as one, they are exactly the same age, regardless of who comes out first.

    My lower twin has her bum in my pelvis so I guess she will have a thin(ner) bum!

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