While quickly catching up on FB and preparing to start my day and go over scheduling, client meetings and a trip to the gym with my twin, I found a post from our twin friends the Twyce Victorious friends regarding other non twins trying to separate twins.
I stopped what I was doing to address the post and agree that while twins may not understand why others try to come between them- it happens all of the time.
For the better part of our lives we were bullied because we were twins and in the 60’s, multiples were rare and not the norm. Since we weren’t from an affluent family, we also didn’t have the “cool clothes” or other things that kids had like a mother. I’m being serious about that “mother part.”
Being bullied because you don’t have a mother is one of the stupidest things I’ve ever heard of- but it happened anyway.
My childhood stutter and speech or “special learning” classes didn’t help my situation either. I was an ugly duckling and luckily, a twin! My sister spoke for me and when other children made fun of me, my sister protected me.
Buck teeth & a stutter? What a blessing! Some of you may be wondering why having everything wrong with me was a blessing and my answer will surprise you-being bullied made me stronger, it made me more resilient and it made me more determined. Being ugly also made me more compassionate.
That’s right the surprising truth was that the only thing I had going for me was a twin that would love me unconditionally, a person who would pick me up when I felt down and who even spoke for me when I was unable to do for myself because no one had the patience to wait for me to spit out what I was trying to say. Usually someone trying to listen to me got mad because I couldn’t talk without stuttering as if I was doing it on purpose! The idiots.
I spent years of my childhood silent but I didn’t have to talk to my sister who knew my facial expressions and feelings without speaking to her. I rarely smiled as a child because my teeth were so terrible. I’ve never “gotten over” being called so ugly my mother left me in 5th grade.
Things would “turn around” for me later in life…
One day while taking on a dare from my brother to roller skate across a coffee table, another blessing occured when I knocked out my front teeth! I look at my glass as half full rather than half empty and those horrible knocked out teeth were replaced when my dad bought me a retainer! I still stuttered but at least I looked like other kids. The “best gift” my dad ever gave me was a piece of plastic with fake teeth. I LOVED MY RETAINER!
When I could afford to veneer my teeth in my 20’s I did and again in my 40’s for those of you who have never had bad teeth, you won’t ever “get it.” Unless you’ve experienced bad teeth-you have no compassion for the folks who have to live with the problem because they cannot afford to change it. I do- I’ve been there.
Maryssa has perfectly straight teeth while Makenna didn’t until we bought her braces. My son had braces 3 times and my niece Leigh Ann had them twice. Braces are expensive and our families “went without” to give a gift to the kids that we knew would keep on giving. A smile is a window to the soul!
Teaching our children and grandchildren about being compassionate and caring was very important to my sister and I because we were Hellbent on taking what we had experienced as children being bullied and worked hard to keep our own children and grandchildren from being bullied too while instilling in them the importance of compassion. Compassion should he taught in school but it isn’t.
Being different can “make you” or “break you.” Kids can be so mean but we’ve raised ours to be compassionate because it was very important to us that they understood the challenges of other children who might be “different” like we were.
I honestly believe that if we had been spoiled or enjoyed a “traditional family” like the bullies who berated us that we wouldn’t be the people we are today!
A few years ago, we took our GrandTwins to an NH08 Campaign in Dallas, Texas. For those of you who don’t know what NOH8 is or does, the initials stand for No Hate. Our children have been raised in an LBGT friendly environment (due to my businesses & friends) because we wanted them to know what we have learned along our journey–Families ARE Families! They may not look like your family but that doesn’t mean they aren’t a family. We didn’t have a mother but that didn’t mean WE WEREN’T A FAMILY.
Twins often look alike and act completely different. Maryssa is social and not nearly as focused on school work as Makenna. Makenna isn’t social and is focused on over achieving at school.
We reinforce the importance of having a built in best friend to the twins everyday. Since everyone asks “when we are going to start dressing then differently?” I’m going to tell you that it’s the twins and not us who enjoy dressing alike. Why others pry into what our kids wear gives you the “what’s up” regarding non twins and “their ideas.”
The twins argue about clothing choices all of the time because Makenna hates uncomfortable clothes and Maryssa loves to “glam it up!” Maryssa loves make up-Makenna hates it!
My twin sister is a self professed hillbilly who talks with a Texas Twang and in not. Years of speech therapy robbed me of an accent and being married to Steve has given Cindy (whether she realizes it or not) a “country” accent. We are compensating personality twins like many of our Twin Friends worldwide. What this means is–I’m good at things Cindy isn’t & vice versa. Effectively, two halves make a whole.
When I went into modeling in my 20’s, other models who were quite cruel told me I didn’t have a “great body.” I didn’t, scoliosis had twisted part of my back and it was painful learning to walk on rocks to keep proper posture but I did! Not having the best body didn’t slow me down either. I had the best smile and was able to talk to anyone from buyers to other models who would never guess my past haunted me. I didn’t want them to know my insecurities- modeling is the “meanest industry in the world.”
Going to the trouble or to “create” a wonderful childhood when asked about my mom, I became fairly creative about what a wonderful person she was and her many accomplishments that I knew nothing about? Why? Self defense.
I can’t tell you how many times the other models did horrible things to me for outselling them but will give you two examples- itching powder sprinkled on my rack of clothes at a style show, and superglue on my false eyelashes at a car show. I made it through the many setbacks those dipshits tried to set up. That’s right- I said DIPSHITS!
I met mean people during my childhood and meaner people as an adult. I’m not going to glamorize cruel imbecilles who would go to any length to ruin my ability to earn a living as a divorced mother! I needed those commissions to support my son.
If those other models knew I had a childhood stutter, background of bullying or grew up without a mother- they’d have found ways to hurt me. I outsold all of those idiots- they never knew how or why I was “so good at it.” I exuded a confidence that I didn’t really have for years. “Who is smiling now?” I am. I’m a survivor.
I didn’t have to have “the best body” to be successful because I had the best soul. Cindy and I were successful in every field of work because we valued clients. We valued their trading with us and we took the time to send flowers or a thank you note when others wouldn’t as they dashed off to cash that commission check. We treated clients & prospects like family- we were capable of doing something our competition wasn’t willing to do & it paid off.
Being ugly and different changed my life. Years later when I won the Kim Dawson Million Dollar Sales/Most Attractive Model Award, I finally realized that I wasn’t ugly anymore. It was a “milestone” for this buck tooth stuttering twin that no one (among my competition) knew about in that industry except me.
I stopped trying to be like everyone else in my 20’s along with my sister. We realized that being like mean people wasn’t worth it. We decided to be for others what we had never had for ourselves. We treat everyone with the same respect and dignity we would want them to treat us with.
When I realized the gaping hole of consumers who couldn’t afford a wedding ceremony or photos existed-I called my sister to “bounce an idea” around regarding low cost services and ceremonies. My “vision” was to create an affordable option for families. Texas Twins Events was based on people over profit. Many thought I was crazy & the clients didn’t exist. I knew what they didn’t. If I couldn’t afford a wedding dresses, venue, cake & flowers or even photography-I WASN’T ALONE. These families were out there we just “had to find them!” Over 700 families later, we are busier than ever because I knew those families existed.
When I’m asked why I would go into business with my twin sister, I always answer “because we enjoy each other’s company!” I also started Texas Twins Events because I have never had a church wedding or white wedding dress or any of the things that I provide or loan to clients at The Pawning Planners including Wedding Photos.
Why? Because my family and I are committed to giving others an important Life Event that they will always remember and treasure that we’ve never had for ourselves. We actually are “different” because we set out to “change the wedding & events industry one family at a time and we did!” More importantly- we give families the one thing we’ve never had-a beautiful and affordable wedding or event.
Twinning with two sets of twins is rare in the US. We have many friends abroad that are twins and marry twins for entire families of twins.
Cindy’s daughters, Leigh Ann & Stephaney were pretty much raised with my son Robert. This isn’t unusual for twins. The nieces and nephews of twins are often far closer than traditional cousins.
My son has yet to have children because he is most likely “up for twins” and wants to plan accordingly.
Accepting twins as a team for non twins isn’t without complications. Often friends or spouses of twins may never accept the close relationship that they cannot understand.
Twins usually skip a generation. Our grandfather was a twin. The Little Pawners parents (Stephaney Mahaney & Michael Scherer) had twins on both sides. The “odds” of one of our children or grandchildren having twins are quite high.
Cindy and I both divorced husbands who tried to separate us & never looked back. A husband is replaceable- a twin isn’t. Jealousy over your husband or wife’s twin is ridiculous but it happened to both of us.
I am lucky to have a twin and our twins are lucky to have a best friend. We celebrate our differences while rejoicing in our twinned life.
Wendy M Wortham