Double the fun

Erin Hopkins

Some twins enjoy living together, while others are content away from eachother

Identical twins Natalie and Erin Rossi have found comfort in having nearly the same personality, the same taste in clothing and the same friends. The twins’ White Hall Terrace apartment is covered in pink curtains and bed sheets, a color they both like

Credit: Jason Hall

When identical twins Natalie and Erin Rossi go clothes shopping, it’s as if they have their own personal stylist in tow. They critique each others’ outfits, giving compliments and warnings when they are necessary. The critiques are taken seriously.

“If Erin says she doesn’t like something I tried on,” Natalie said, “It goes right back on the rack, no questions asked.”

Although the sisters went through a phase of trying to be different from each other and have their own activities, they have found comfort in being … well, almost identical.   

Natalie, a junior nursing major, and Erin, a junior marketing major, live together and share the same set of friends.

They both enjoy art, although Natalie uses her talents to create scrapbooks.

Both wear their blonde hair nearly shoulder length, and they almost always finish each others’ sentences.

“Not only do we finish each others’ thoughts, we’ll start saying the same things at the same time,” Erin said. “I’ll tell her to stop talking so I can tell a story by myself for once.”

“We talk to each other in our sleep,” Erin laughed. “But Natalie always ends up yelling at me for something.”

It might be because Natalie has taken on the role of Erin’s pseudo-mother.

“I take care of her,” Natalie said. “I’ll tell her to remember her keys or her purse. I think she’s like that because she knows I’ll make up for her forgetfulness by telling her what to do.”

Natalie and Erin have had few fights in their years at Kent State, but it is because they have learned to ignore the little annoyances in their relationship.

“We get along most of the time,” the girls say together, looking at each other and laughing.

“We had to learn to be patient when we were together all of the time,” Natalie said.

“When we do fight, we’ll scream at each other and then a couple of minutes later, I’ll come out of my room and say, ‘What are you wearing tonight?'” Erin said. “Then we aren’t fighting anymore.”

According to the Web site, the chances of a mother having identical twins is about one in 250.

Lee Fox-Cardamone, associate professor of psychology at the Stark Campus, said identical twins are formed when one egg splits in two, and the two cells develop separately. Identical twins have the same genetics.

While their genetics are the same, identical twins do not always have the same personality.

“Some identical twins grow up in environments that encourage them to be quite similar (same clothing, classes, hobbies, etc.) while others do not,” Fox-Cardamone said. “(Some twins in the same environment) may not perceive the environment in exactly the same way, leading to different behaviors.”

Although the Rossis have chosen to spend their college years together at Kent State, other twins make the choice to attend different colleges to pursue different careers.

Jeff Antoon, a senior communications major, attends Kent State while his identical twin brother, Ryan, graduated from Wright State University in Dayton with a degree in psychology.

“Our father was a flight instructor on an air force base,” Jeff said. “My brother and I thought we’d go into the Air Force. At Wright State, we started out as mechanical engineering majors. The sky has always intrigued us.”

Jeff has his pilot’s license and sky dives. He has gone on 824 jumps so far.

Ryan also enjoys skydiving, but his flight experience has led him to become a first lieutenant and C-21 pilot at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois.

Ryan said that being separated actually brought the brothers closer together.

Jeff agreed.

“When I moved away (from Dayton), we started to care about each other more,” Jeff said. “Being apart strengthened our brotherly bond.”

The brothers do, however, have a different take on being part of a pair of twins.

“It’s not always fun having a twin,” Ryan said in an e-mail interview. “We used to be really competitive with each other.”

Jeff felt differently about his brother.

“Twins are sweet,” he said. “Growing up, it was nice to have someone there for me all of the time. And no, I don’t always know what Ryan is thinking or doing.”

So, that said, what about the extrasensory perception that identical twins are supposed to have? It is often thought that one identical twin can feel the others’ pain or know when he or she is in trouble. It is commonly thought that identical twins have higher occurrences of ESP than other people. Neither the Rossis nor the Antoons have experienced it enough to believe it is anything but coincidence.

Fox-Cardamone said there have been accounts of ESP in identical twins, but doesn’t think they have been documented scientifically.

Contact features reporter Erin Hopkins at [email protected].