Twins dis­agree over plan to go their sep­a­rate ways

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - RELIGION / FEATURES - Abi­gail Van Buren Dear Abby is writ­ten by Abi­gail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Con­tact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los An­ge­les, CA 90069. To or­der “How to Write Let­ters for

DEAR ABBY: My twin sis­ter and I are ju­niors in high school and start­ing to plan to ap­ply to col­leges. It has al­ways been as­sumed that we would go to the same col­lege and be room­mates. My sis­ter still wants it this way. I, how­ever, think it’s fi­nally time for some sep­a­ra­tion. We’ve been “room­mates” our whole lives and shared a bed un­til we were 14, when Mom fi­nally let us get twin beds for our room.

My sis­ter was hurt and up­set when I told her I pre­fer that we go to sep­a­rate col­leges, and she took it per­son­ally. It is noth­ing per­sonal. I love her with all my heart. I would just like to fi­nally be an in­di­vid­ual af­ter us hav­ing al­ways be­ing known as “the twins.”

Our mom agrees with my sis­ter and tells me stories about friends of hers whose kids ended up with “room­mates from hell.” She says we have al­ways got­ten along beau­ti­fully shar­ing a room, so why ar­gue with suc­cess? Well, I’m will­ing to take my chances. If I get a room­mate I don’t like, I’ll find a way to deal with it.

Please give me your opin­ion. Also, please give me ad­vice on how to make my sis­ter un­der­stand that this is noth­ing against her. — TWIN SIS­TER

DEAR TWIN SIS­TER: My mother and my aunt were iden­ti­cal twins. Like you, they shared a room and slept in the same bed for many years. Their par­ents dressed them alike and gave them names that were mir­ror im­ages (Pauline Es­ther and Es­ther Pauline). Like you, my aunt yearned to be an in­di­vid­ual. My mother loved the at­ten­tion that be­ing a twin brought. This cre­ated se­ri­ous con­flict for them later in life.

You de­serve the chance to spread your wings and be your own per­son. If you do, you will grow from the ex­pe­ri­ence, and so will your sis­ter. You should not have to “sell” her on this, but ex­plain it to your sis­ter that way. Your mother should be GLAD that you are in­de­pen­dent.

DEAR ABBY: I strongly feel this is an is­sue many women be­sides me strug­gle with. Maybe you can of­fer some insight.

My hus­band and I have been try­ing to con­ceive with­out suc­cess for sev­eral years. I don’t want to re­veal our strug­gles to friends or fam­ily, but how do you han­dle ques­tions like “Why don’t you have a baby yet?” and “When are you giv­ing me grand­kids?”

The older we get, the more pointed th­ese ques­tions be­come. I don’t know how to re­spond. What should I say? I feel like ei­ther ly­ing and say­ing I’m not ready yet, or telling the truth about the pos­si­bil­ity of never hav­ing chil­dren, al­though I’m sure the ques­tioner doesn’t in­tend to go down the path of “Let’s dis­cuss my fer­til­ity.” — STRUG­GLING IN WEST VIR­GINIA

DEAR STRUG­GLING: I’m sure many of the ques­tion­ers have no idea they are delv­ing into a sub­ject that is painful and frus­trat­ing for you. Per­haps the most di­plo­matic an­swer would be to say, “If I’m lucky enough to be ex­pect­ing, I will let you know.” It shows you are open to the pos­si­bil­ity, and it’s ei­ther go­ing to hap­pen or it won’t.

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