"A lot of people ask, 'What is it like sharing the same physical attributes?' I always look at my brother and I think that's what people think of me. We'll be going out, and I'll be, like, 'Are you really going to wear that?' I'll ask, 'Are you really going to wear your hair like that?' I feel like people look at him, and they judge me also by the way he looks. And not even the way he looks, but by the way he acts," said Drew Hauryluck.
Drew's identical twin brother Dean said, "People obviously see us as the same person. If they see him as a dork, I think that's how people will be seeing me, so I want to help him not be a dork."
Monozygotic, or identical, twins occur when a fertilized egg splits, creating halves who share identical genes. The chance of having identical twins is about 0.4 percent, or 1 in 250. A quarter of identical twins are "mirror twins," who share similar attributes but on the opposite sides of the body.
Janna and Nancy Sipes, in their book Dancing Naked in Front of the Fridge: And Other Lessons from Twins, say, "The creation of identical twins is truly a mystery. For some unknown reason, a fertilized egg basically loses its mind during its inner division and decides to split in two. The reasons for this decision still elude the greatest scientific minds. Identical twins cannot be predicted or induced through any method of man-made fertilization. Whether they look exactly alike or not, they are identical twins forever."
Drew and Dean Hauryluck
Drew and Dean are 23 and grew up in Canon City, Colorado. They graduated from the University of Colorado before moving to North County, where they are roommates. Both plan to study either optometry or dentistry. For now, they work at Banana Republic in Del Mar. I spoke with them separately.
Drew: "My brother and I are Filipino and Italian. Our parents met in the military. We're five nine. About 165 pounds. Pretty dark complexion. Dark eyes, dark hair."
Do you look exactly alike?
Drew: "I don't think that we look exactly alike. I definitely know that there are physical differences. When people first look at us, they go, 'Oh, my God. You guys look exactly the same.' After they get to know us, like maybe a week, they go, 'You know, you guys look totally different.' We look the same, but there are small things about us, like he's got a rounder face -- I have a more defined jawline, where his is more rounded. It's small things like that that you start noticing. It's kind of funny. Our things are opposite. He has a cowlick on the back of his head, like on the back right, behind his ear. Mine is on my left side."
Dean: "I don't think we look exactly alike, but that only comes from the fact that people tell me we don't look alike. Obviously, when I look at him, I see myself, so I would say I think we look alike. There are small differences, like maybe weight. People tell me that my face is wider than his. People say that his eyes are closer together, stuff like that. I don't really see it, but other people do. We have, like, a beard. I think on the left side of his face the hair grows in a spiral on his cheek and mine does it on the opposite side of my face."
How would you rate your parents as parents of twins?
Dean: "On a scale from one to ten I would say they did about a six. Our mom didn't really individualize us when we were growing up. She treated us like the same person. She'd buy us the same stuff, even if we liked different stuff, which was very rare. Drew and I like a lot of the same things. But she would buy us, let's say, clothing, same thing, different colors. She never really let us develop into two different people, and I think that explains why Drew and I are so close now, that we live together, that kind of thing.
"I don't know if Drew told you that we were adopted. Our parents knew they were getting twins. And our natural mom knew she was having twins as well. It's actually a really long story. Drew and I were adopted by our biological grandmother. She didn't want us to go up for adoption and live with another family, so she adopted us herself. She knew what she was getting into. She is the woman we call Mother."
Drew: "I really don't think of myself as an individual even now. Dean and I are so close. I always think of things in terms of 'we' or 'our.' I think that had a lot to do with how our parents raised us, because they always treated us as the same person. If I wanted to do something, they automatically thought Dean wanted to do it. Stuff like that. At the time, we didn't really care, but now that I look back on it, they totally treated us as if we were one person.
"The dressing alike probably ended when we started buying our own clothes. Or at least choosing our own stuff. Probably at the beginning of high school. I can remember times in middle school wearing the same stuff."
Dean: "I didn't really like it. People, our friends, were always asking us, 'Why do you guys always have to wear the same thing? You're just confusing us.' That kind of thing."
Have you ever felt like a freak of nature?
Drew: "Especially out here -- not so much in Colorado, but people out here stare a lot and question it more. We both work at the same place. And we'll be working at the same time. People will ask, 'Are you guys related?' It's just absurd, because we totally look the same. Then they'll ask, 'Are you guys brothers?' 'Are you guys twins?' We get that a lot. Since we've moved here, it happens at least two or three times a day while we're working. Probably about once a day if we're just out.