by Marinka on January 13, 2013

I’m not sure how to bring this up in a politically correct manner, but I’ve noticed something kind of disturbing. It’s the whole Twins Rights Movement and I think it’s threatening our American way of life. If you haven’t heard about it, let me fill you in. There are people, otherwise normal people, who seem to believe that each twin is a separate and distinct person, as opposed to half of a whole. I know it’s madness, don’t strangle the messenger.

I’ll tell you the whole thing from the beginning, so that you can revel in my wisdom.

As you probably know, Young Ladrinka is a big baseball fan. He watches baseball, he plays baseball. Er, that’s it, right? There are no other baseball activities that I should be including in order to convince you that he’s a baseballphile, correct?

So last year he was on a baseball team and met some new kids. Something about “teammates” and “friends” — who the hell knows with kids these days, it’s like they have their own language. And one of these boys invited him to his Bar Mitzvah, which is a joyous celebration of a boy (or a girl for Bat Mitzvah!) coming of age and being able to understand the Torah, and be held accountable for his actions. Up until that point, at least according to the teachings of Grand Rebbe Wikipedia, the child’s parents are responsible for the child’s actions. I don’t know what the hell that means, but I can certainly see how the Bar/Bat Mitzvah must come as a relief to the parents who can basically relax after it’s all over and proclaim their job done.

Back to our story.

Young Ladrinka’s friend invites him to his bar mitzvah and of course we rejoice and dance the hora because who doesn’t like a good party? But then we learn that Young Ladrinka’s friend has a twin sister and she will be having her Bat Mitzvah on the very same day because of the Theory of Kill Two Birds With One Stone.

And then those of us who are named Marinka go into full panic mode, because WHAT DO WE DO ABOUT THE GIFTS? Do we give one gift or two? Do we give identical gifts to our friend and the person with whom he shared the womb? What are the rules?!

I asked a few friends and this is where I ran into a, shall we say, problem. Because according to some Chosen Friends in the Know, you are suppose to give gifts in multiples of $18, because apparently each Hebrew letter corresponds to a number and Chai, which means Life and also overpriced Starbucks drink is numerologically equivalent to 18.

This is one of those answers that raises more questions than I can comfortably deal with, because now in addition to all my other problems, I have to do math. And not only do I have to do math, but I also don’t know if I’m responsible for both twins or just the twin that my kid is friends with. I ask a few people and get very adamant “of course you have to get a separate gift for each!” as though I were suggesting a gift for one and euthanasia for another, and then to add insult to mathematical injury, this one woman says “they’re different people, you know.”

Of course I know that. But also not really. Because you and I, for example, are different people. Totally different. Two peas from different pods. Twins, however: eh. Two peas, same pod. Practically pea soup. So it’s a little less clear, scientifically speaking, that is.

And then, as I’m talking to this woman, I remember that she herself has an identical twin, so obviously she’s biased, because she has her own Twin Rights agenda. I don’t want to point this out to her, because you know how sensitive half-people can get, but I make a mental note of it, nevertheless.

And share that mental note with you. So you can be on the lookout for it. Seriously, look around. You’ll see twins everywhere. Don’t be afraid to ask them if they consider themselves two different people. The answers will surprise you.

One year ago ...

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

January 13, 2013 at 6:30 pm

There were so many funny lines in this piece that I had to stop myself from flying to New York to steal your brain.


Nicole January 13, 2013 at 8:39 pm

Oh my. And you’re right, there really are twins everywhere now. Growing up, I knew one set, and my family moved a lot. Now? I can’t even tell you how many I know.


C Smith January 13, 2013 at 11:09 pm

It’s obviously a ploy to receive two gifts when they know they should only get one. At the most you should only have to get two $9 gifts.


anymommy January 14, 2013 at 12:53 am

I laughed so much. Also, my addition to chai (both life and the overpriced starbucks drink) is now explained.

But, what did you do about the gifts in the end? I must know.


Tinne from Tantrums and Tomatoes January 14, 2013 at 9:18 am

Just be gratefull you are not dealing with triplets.


January 14, 2013 at 7:12 pm

Math , Science AND religion… UGH!


Stefanie January 14, 2013 at 7:47 pm

First of all as a mom of twins I’m offended –and here’s where I was going to do some kind of misdirect and then pay it off with a lot of humor but I’m kind of tired so just forget it, I’m not offended. Yes, you are expected to get two gifts. But if I go to your child’s party with both of my twins, I’m only expected to bring one. I don’t know why this is. But trust me on it.


Heather January 16, 2013 at 12:36 am



January 14, 2013 at 7:54 pm

I’m the twin mom who brings TWO gifts to every party – one from each of my girls, if they are both invited. My Jewish Grandma taught me that a guest is expected to at least cover the cost of their plate (of course she couldn’t imagine what insane NYC parents spend on a birthday party for 3 year olds.) But, honestly – you do NOT have to get a gift for the twin your child isn’t friends with. Especially at a giant B’Nai Mitzvah (B’nai for two – now you’ll sound extra smart. You’re welcome) But, if you do, you’ll look like a real mensch.


January 14, 2013 at 8:04 pm

Damned half-people. Who do they think they are, anyway? PS I’m having my twins’ AND son’s birthday parties together this year, as I did last year. They’re not even half kids. They’re, like, thirds.


Monica January 14, 2013 at 8:16 pm

I have boy/girl twins in separate kindergarten classes. I had a joint 6th birthday party and each child invited their own friends.

Some of the parents brought two gifts, some brought one. Some of the parents didn’t know there was a twin. Personally, I expected only one gift from the friend of the child. It’s nice that some parents brought two, but definitely not the expectation.

Also, when both of mine are invited to a party, we bring two gifts. 2 guests = 2 gifts.


Gayle January 14, 2013 at 9:04 pm

I am that annoying twin mom who only brings one (admittedly larger) gift from my girls when we go to a birthday party. Some people bring one present for their birthday parties, some people bring two. I think for a bar mitz you should bring one for each kid that your son has an actual relationship with.


Marie January 14, 2013 at 9:50 pm

I’m also a mom of twins and I’d only bring a gift for the kid you know.

If both my boys got invited to a party they would each bring a gift, mainly because they were sick of sharing everything and wanted to at least be able to bring their own damn present already. (That *may* have been a quote from a seven year old. Oops.)


Holly January 15, 2013 at 10:22 am

I’m grappling with this right now. My b/g twins want a birthday party next month. What do I write on the invite? No presents? But if you feel compelled to bring a present anyway (because people ALWAYS ignore my no gifts directive) if you have a boy get a gift for the boy twin, if girl get a gift for girl twin etc? There’s no easy way to word that. I don’t know what to do.


joeinvegas January 15, 2013 at 11:37 am

Sorry, gift for each. But the poor kids – probably tired of being treated as halves, and even now when being declared ‘grown up’ they have to share a celebration. Bah.


the mama bird diaries
January 15, 2013 at 9:48 pm

I think of my twins has one person… because i refuse to think of myself as someone who could actually have 5 kids.

This is a tough one because your son isn’t friends with the other twin. I would say two gifts… a better gift for the twin your son is friends with. But what did you do?!!!


Anna See January 15, 2013 at 11:16 pm

this was hilarious! I’m not one to give gift advice bc I am the world’s worst gift giver. I come from a long line of crappy gifters. Could explain why my social calendar is wide open.


Heather January 16, 2013 at 12:38 am

Twins are creepy.

Now I know why my mom never wanted to throw us birthday parties.


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