Story: Guess–Who Never Confuses Identical Twins?

This week’s video story: 


I’m talking about One and the Same: My Life as an Identical Twin and What I’ve Learned about Everyone’s Struggle to Be Singular by my friend Abigail Pogrebin. I’ve always been fascinated (and a little envious) about the relationship between identical twins.

If you want to learn more about the book, check out the book trailer (made by the same person who makes my videos, Maria Giacchino.)

Do you ever think about what it would be like to be an identical twin?

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  • Goosebumps!

    I’ve always been obsessed with/freaked out by identical twins.

    • gretchenrubin


  • Natalie

    My identical twin died when we were 4 months old. I think about her a lot, and I am so jealous of anyone who has a twin. Or even a sister.

    • peninith1

      My older son had an identical twin who was stillborn. He is 38. I still look at him sometimes and wonder how his life would have been with that twin by his side. Happily, he does have a younger brother with whom he has a close relationship.
      I’m sorry for that hole in your heart–and I hope that you can find a friend as close as any sister. I have two brothers but no sister, and I have always had a few very close girlfriends who have truly been sisters to me over many years.

      • gretchenrubin

        The loss of a twin seems to cut particularly close…

    • Ava Gunn Kinsey

      My identical twin died when we were 4 days old after being born 3 months prematurely. I didn’t find about her until I was 6 years old, and I was devastated. I have always wanted to have twin girls. I have one little girl (who wants a baby sister!), and, since I’m 41, I don’t know if I will get to have twins or even one more baby.

      • gretchenrubin

        I’m so sorry, that must have been so rough.

  • Pamela

    I am a twin – I think we’re identical, but I’m not 100% sure of that. Anyway, I *love* being a twin and wouldn’t change it for the world, but I do wonder what it’s like to be a single child. I mean, what’s it like to have a birthday to yourself?? My twin and I have a great relationship that I do think is stronger perhaps than other sibling relationships, and sometimes we do weird things like show up to the same event in identical outfits (even though that wasn’t planned and we each came from our respective houses). Our husbands have never mixed us up, though (fortunately – that would make me really mad!!!).

  • Oriane

    My boyfriend has an identical twin, they have really close tastes and they also show up at some parties with similar outfits. His brother’s girlfriend and me tend to have similar tastes as well, buying and showing up with very similar clothes. It’s rather funny, we just need to check what we’ll be wearing before going to a big event 😉

  • Veronica Honer

    I wonder–do dogs get them confused?

    • gretchenrubin

      Good question!

      I’m thinking of the scene in the original Parent Trap…where the dog knows that the girls have switched places.

  • Jamie

    Absolutely true. My mother is an identical twin, and my Aunt (her twin sister) has always been as close as a mother to me, but I have never mistaken them. I can also tell their voices apart on the phone- we often do three-party phone calls, and I just found out recently that neither of them realized I could tell their voices apart on the phone (I’m 33, by the way). The only exception- sometimes I can’t tell them apart in their childhood photographs, especially photographs of them younger than five or so. I can usually tell them apart in photos as teenagers, about 80% of the time. I also dated an identical twin in college, and briefly lived with him and his brother. I never confused the two, before dating or while dating, though it turned out I really couldn’t stand his brother. I also dated a fraternal twin, but that’s neither here nor there…

  • Andrea C.

    Just added this book to my to-read list. I taught identical twins in 6th grade last year and found them so interesting. And right now I’m reading Sisterland, a novel by Curtis Sittenfeld where twins are the main characters (the novel focuses on one of the twins in particular). It’s excellent, and I recommend it as a good read, especially if you’re intrigued by twins!

    • gretchenrubin

      Thanks for the suggestion!

  • ellavanw

    This is so shallow but all I could think about while watching that trailer was the obvious role of genetics in body type. Surely all those twin pairs do not consume identical quantities of food or exercise for identical amounts of time.

  • sue

    This story is just beautiful! Children are so perceptive, but I think sometimes we overlook just how sensitive they really are. Thanks for showcasing their deep ability to love in such a great way with this video story.