Seeing double: life as a twin

Twins hear it all, from "I like your twin better than you," to "If I pinch you, does your twin feel it?"

Seeing double: life as a twin

photography by Bailey Langton

Junior Twins Melanie & Mark

Once a rare phenomenon, now about one in 30 babies born in the United States are twins. That means that statistically, Manchester High School should have around 27 sets of twins.

Melanie & Mark

I happen to be a twin myself. My brother Mark and I often disagree, but I would not change being his twin. Mark is the person I have been with since day 1, someone who is constantly by my side whether I want him there or not.

We are fraternal twins — as all boy and girl twins are — and so we are often faced with the same question when people discover we’re twins: “But why don’t you look alike?”

Identical twins share the same DNA because they were created in the same egg, while fraternal twins do not necessarily look alike because they are the product of two separately fertilized eggs. Despite the clear differences between Mark and me, it becomes evident once you get to know us that we share many similarities.

Since we don’t look very similar, people often don’t recognize we’re related at first.

When we get mad, upset, or angry with each other…it’s important to realize that at the end of the day, we’re family.”

“People say, ‘I would have never guessed that you guys are twins, you don’t look alike at all! and people don’t realize that not all twins are carbon copies of each other,” Mark said. “[We’re] not. We’re different genders so you can’t necessarily compare our hair or cheekbones.”

Although the two of us are very supportive of one another, there is always an element of competition common among twins. We both play the same sport, and so usually we’re trying to be better than the other.

“I don’t like the constant need to feel like you have to outdo the other twin,” Mark said.

As twins, it is easier to brush it off and move on when we get mad, upset, or angry with each other. When something strikes between us, it’s important to realize that at the end of the day, we’re family.

Manchester High School is also full of sets of twins throughout the grades, with a wide range of personalities and differences.

resized-twin-picture-2Janna & Kelsey

Junior twins Kelsey and Janna Blackstone are involved in a variety of activities together, from the musical, orchestra, chamber orchestra, Sock n’ Buskin, swimming and even National Junior Honor Society. Asking this set of twins “Are you close?” is often comedy to the two.

“We’re in five classes together this year, so sometimes it’s hard because we feel like we are constantly being compared to one another, but Kelsey is still one of my biggest supporters,” Janna said.

For the two of them, it’s often easy to get sick of each other because of how close they are. Throughout the years, the twins learned the difficulties of their sisterhood, because they have the same friends and do a lot of the same activities.

“Everyone always tries to point out things that are similar, physical or not. And some people claim that we can have ‘twin telepathy,’ ” Janna said. Kelsey added, “Sometimes we have a conversation without even speaking…usually I know what Janna’s thinking before she says it.”

Differences are what make each half their own individual, unique person. Kelsey said that she and Janna have different senses of humor and different strengths.

Mangans-CopyCarly & Hayley

Carly and Hayley Magan are another close and determined set of twins at MHS. Like other sets of twins, they’re often compared.

“Being a twin means that people ask who’s better in school, or swimming, or dance,” Hayley said. “People compare who is prettier or say who they like better.”

Another disadvantage of being a identical twin is how alike they look. Carly said, “I think the only negative thing about being a twin is that people get us mixed up regardless the fact that we don’t look exactly the same.”

The two have reached new heights in their Irish step dance careers, each pushing the other to her limit. Dancing has brought them so much closer, and they will most likely attend the same college so they can continue dancing.

Alexandra-Jessie-Cropped-2

Ally & Jessie

Sophomore twins Ally and Jessie Chalifoux are two out of their five other siblings in their family. Ally disagrees with “twin telepathy” theory: “Twin telepathy does not exist and we cannot feel each other’s pain.”

But at the end of the day, Jessie said, “as much as I hate to admit it, we’re pretty much the same.”