Mix-up Madness: tales of twin confusion

 If you are an identical twin, you have probably been called the wrong name at least once.  You may have even had people do what my cousin Keith did and just start lovingly referring to you both as ‘Twin’ because they can’t ever seem to get it straight.  (Don’t worry, we love you Keith and would be disappointed if you called us anything else). I don’t have much in the way of tips for helping people get it right (outside of maybe different haircuts), but I do have quite a few funny stories about mix ups and silly questions. 

The silliest question we ever heard was from a girl in high school.  Courtney was walking towards me down senior hall and the girl walking next to her said, ‘Oh my gosh, whenever you see your sister walking towards you, do you ever think oh my gosh is that me?’.  Courtney about fell over laughing and said ‘Um, NO, do you get confused when you look in a mirror?’  When they got to me and I heard the story, I couldn’t help but laugh as well.  Thankfully we are aware enough of our bodies that seeing our twin across the room doesn’t confuse me every time. 

There was also this really nice and really cute guy in high school that constantly struggled to get us straight. But it was honestly more than a struggle. It was almost as if he didn’t know I existed because he never said ‘Hey Crystal’.  Instead, quite often I would get met with a ‘Hey Courtney, how are you today’? Usually I would correct him and he would apologize for the mistake. One morning however I was too tired to correct him. I just told him I was fine and carried on a short conversation as if I was actually Courtney.  Later, I laughed and told her about it and she was really upset because I probably wasn’t friendly enough or said something wrong. I guess I did impersonate her.

Another time on the basketball court the ref was paying attention to our face instead of our number and gave me my sister’s foul. The only problem is that I was on the bench and that would have been my 6th foul of the game.  After a long moment of confusion, they got it straight. 

As we moved onto college, the confusion decreased substantially because we were 6 hours apart.  But whenever we would visit one another everyone would get confused.  Some of our acquaintances would just start looking back and forth at us. We would start to chuckle because we could see the confusion on their face.   And one time about a week after my sister had visited, one of my friends stopped me on campus to ask if something was wrong because I hadn’t even waved back at her last week.  When I asked her more about it, I realized that she had seen my sister, not me!

Another time, in pharmacy school, my sister had a long weekend and attended Friday’s classes with me.  All my classmates knew that Courtney was my twin and not in pharmacy school, but the teacher didn’t. I don’t really remember why my sister, Sandy, and I decided to walk out, but the teacher was a wee bit flustered when 3 people quietly started heading out the door at once. Poor Courtney was the last one in line, and as we were almost to the door the teacher said, “why does everyone think they can leave my class today”.  Courtney’s eyes got big and responded, “I don’t even go here.” As the door shut behind us, we heard laughter, but we didn’t dare go back in.

Then there was the night of my pharmacy graduation party.  The whole class of 2012 went out to a club in Spokane, WA along with numerous people from the class of 2013-2015.  Part way through the party I went into the bathroom and was met with dirty stares and tears from some of Farmer’s classmates (class of 2013). When I asked them what was wrong, they asked why I broke up with Farmer. I said, ‘I didn’t, why?’ To which one of them wailed, ‘Then why were you kissing Bryce?’.  I started laughing so hard, because apparently, they hadn’t noticed that my sister was wearing a black shirt and I was wearing white. All they saw was my face kissing someone other than their beloved classmate. Boy did we all get a good chuckle with that one.

But, the funniest mix-up of all is this one. After graduating from college Farmer, my boyfriend at the time/now husband, and I had moved to a little 2-bedroom apartment.  Shortly after moving in, my sister was relocating to the Portland area and I told her to move in with us for a bit.  The morning after she moved in, I got her dressed in my suit and was doing her hair and make-up to get her ready for a big job interview.  Farmer, still half-groggy and on his way out the door for rotations stepped right past me in the doorway to the bathroom and was about one step away from laying a big kiss on my sister.  Suddenly, his eyes got wide and he stopped as he said ‘WHOA! That was weird’. Then in his puzzled/alarmed state he walked right past me on his way out the door. Thankfully, he was much more cautious moving forward!

What are some of your funniest mix-ups? Share them here. 

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