I always wanted a twin. I wanted us to dress in identical outfits and play tricks on our teachers. I wanted to have a crazy psychic bond and a secret language, and I wanted to feel pain when my twin got hurt. I wanted to be Mary-Kate and Ashley and have a best friend that looked and acted exactly like me; and for many years I was convinced that as long as I waited patiently, my twin would somehow find me. After years and years of waiting I realized that this was never going to happen and finally got over my weird twin obsession. I decided that it would be horrible to have another me always around, and that twins that wear the same outfits past the age of seven are a bit odd. I figured that the twin novelty wore off fairly quickly and was not surprised that most of the twins I knew went out of their way to be different from one another. That is, every set of twins I knew before I met the Schoppe twins.
Known by most people on campus simply as “the weird twins that are always together,” Jennifer and Christine do everything together. Roommates in a small Mathey quad, these Texan engineers take all the same classes (save one precept) and are in all the same clubs. “We should just have one facebook,” jokes Jennifer, “all our interests are the same.” And it’s true: from musical taste to academic interest, Jennifer and Christine are indistinguishable.
The two girls sit across from me in the small common room of their quad, and for about thirty minutes I am unable to figure out who is who. The fact that both girls are wearing the exact same outfit doesn’t help. Both twins wear identical gray softball t-shirts, red long-sleeve underarmor, blue jeans, and gray sneakers. The only thing that convinces me I am actually talking to two people is that the twin on the left is wearing white socks. While the girls do not usually wear identical outfits, they tend to wear the clothes in inverse colors. In every picture of the girls Christine is the one in black while her twin sister wears the same outfit in white. Christine jokingly chalks this up to “the good and evil twin thing.”
Even in high school the twins did everything together. In a class of 500-some kids, it was a struggle not to be completely anonymous, but Jennifer and Christine were always the Schoppe twins. “It gave us something more…everyone knew who we were that way.” Jennifer simply states. The very thing that has always made them unique is that they are not unique, and this became even more important to them as they made the big move to college. “Everyone at Princeton does something amazing,” says Christine Schoppe, “I feel like if I didn’t have her, then I would just be a regular person.” “It’s what makes us special,” agrees her twin sister Jennifer.
As I learned more about Jennifer and Christine, I began to wonder, are they freaky psychic twins, or are they clever like a fox (or like a Jessica Simpson)? And at a place where one of the most notable graduates is a schizophrenic math genius, maybe the freaky twin thing is actually the way to go.
If I were told that I had the option of being roommates with my best friend who just happens to be the most compatible study buddy and lab partner that the world has to offer, I would sign up right now. It would never matter if I went to class, for as long as my twin went, in all appearances, I would have been there too! And think of all the time I would save talking to people. Whenever I say ‘hi’ to Jennifer and Christine, only one of them talks for both of them, because as Jennifer says “I feel like if one of us does something, then the other is off duty.” And even more importantly, because they are always together, the Schoppe twins instantly have double the odds of winning anything they do. What used to be sibling competition has turned into a game of us versus Princeton. Jennifer explains that, “If one Schoppe wins, then we both win. If Christine gets a better score than a really smart girl in our class, then we both do.” I mean could life actually get any better?
So it seems to me that the odd and unusual are remembered, and so while some of you twins are desperately trying to create your own identities, I will be with the Schoppe twins dressing in matching outfits.