Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Twin B (It's a Twin Thing)
When Teri and I filled out our Domestic Partnership paperwork, the form has a space for "Partner A" and "Partner B" (romantic, eh?) and being an eldest, I assumed that she would want to be "Partner A"--mostly to balance out the karma of having been "Twin B" on the day of her birth. In reality, Teri staunchly wanted to be "Partner B" because of the fact that she has always been "Twin B." Okay, I obviously still have a ways to go on understanding this twin thing.
Because Teri and her sister really are quite different, and because they are geographically distant, I sometimes forget about the closeness and the connection. Because I expected identical twins to be sweet and clairvoyant and simpatico, I am only just now beginning to get the dynamic between Teri and her sister, which is sometimes some of those things, but often very not those things. There are other realities to being partnered with an identical twin, however, that I have started to become quite comfortable with...
Having shared her life with someone else since before birth, Teri has a high capacity for intimacy and togetherness. While she enjoys time alone, she has no problem carving out space amidst chaos and just sharing (mostly.) I can be a bit more territorial. Being a twin and being the youngest in a large family, she has developed different social and coping skills than I have being the eldest of three. Teri gets as frustrated at my tendency to dig my heels in and resist forced group participation as I get with her willingness to just go along and get along. Even though we both know it is a little more complicated, sometimes we just chalk it up to an eldest thing or a twin thing since neither one of us will really know what it was/is like for the other.
Because Teri has had her sister for over forty years, she hasn't felt compelled to make lasting, bosom friends. She marvels at the fact that I have some good friends that have been in my life for decades and she doesn't really understand how I can differentiate between various spheres of friends (there are those who are acquaintances, those who are colleagues or circumstantial and those who are more intimate and lasting--for her, there is her sister and then everyone else.) She also doesn't always comprehend how I can want a break from socializing or want more control over who I hang out with. The differences make things interesting!
So, I make no claim to understanding Teri completely after two and a half years and I definitely haven't got the whole twin thing down yet. Fortunately I hopefully have years to explore the fascinating and ever-changing reality of Twin B who is also now Partner B...