When I go to social events and talk about my professional obsession with twins, an aha moment inevitably accompanies my explanation about my work and research: “Wow, I never thought about that. That is so interesting.” It seems that most people know a twin, know someone who has twins, or went to school with a twin. For me, the moment is gratifying and surprising at the same time. It is validating because it underscores the ongoing societal perception of idealized twinship connections. The notion that being a twin might involve some hint of difficulty or stress is met with astonishment and perhaps an “I thought it was too good to be true” sense of smugness. Nevertheless, people are almost always interested in learning about why some twins encounter emotional dilemmas that result from the twinship.
Does this stereotypical reaction from others sound familiar?