“Andrew Whalan speaking”.
“Are you David Whalan?”
“No, I’m Andrew Whalan. David is my brother.”
The caller nearly ended the call as he thought he was talking to David.
But we sorted that out. Yes he knows I have a brother called David. He doesn’t know that David is my twin brother. Not entirely a unique situation but unique enough.
It usually happens when we’re together and somebody asks, “Are you brothers?”
Our reply, (not delivered in unison by the way) is, “No we’re twins.”
Still if I was paid every time I was asked that question I’d be rich. I’d have to split the winnings with him. But we’d still be rich.
Our story isn’t the two exactly alike. Nor is it the two exactly unalike. It’s a confluence of sorts.
We were in the same class in primary school. Then in different classes in secondary school.
We chose different subjects for the last two years of high school. Then we chose different degrees and different career paths.
And that’s been the pattern of it. We were brought up as individuals and pursued individual goals. But our paths of course crossed as we found that we had more in common than we expected.
When we played sport, we both loved cricket. He was a batsman who could bowl. I was a bowler who could bat a little. Again we both had different strengths and weaknesses. One of them was that people assumed that as twins we could read each other’s mind. Not quite.
We were encouraged to play tricks on people. The only one I recalled was we swapped places in class. None of our fellow students were helpful at all. They kept saying, “Sir, David looks really different today.” The teacher either ignored them, didn’t notice the swap or didn’t care.
We didn’t even play tricks on our girlfriends. The nearest incident occurred when I was dropped off for a party by David and his date. She said later to me that she didn’t know who she was going out with that night. In truth, I don’t think we tricked her at all as she was too smart, much too smart for that.
We’ve worked together several times. The first time, I was a software developer, then later system administrator and David was hired as an accountant. As we had quite different specialities we were never seen together at work. It wasn’t until the company Christmas party, that the Managing Director realised he had employed two of a kind.
The second time, David was a fellow director of the charity Volunteer Funders being focussed on the accounting and financial aspects. Again we had different specialities but a common purpose.
My sense of being a twin is that I’m an individual. I am someone who has a brother with whom I have much in common. But I’m not the same. I’m not a clone or replica. I’m not opposite by the way. I’m complementary. And for parents and siblings alike, that makes for an interesting and educational upbringing!