By Lily Kubek
The Tower (Grosse Pointe, Michigan)
Attendance was underway, and Alex Martinez ‘17 answered “here” under his twin brother Rob’s name. It was the ultimate ‘Parent Trap’ prank for the twins to switch classes, until their friend revealed the truth and the jig was up.
“You always have a friend no matter what,” Rob Martinez ‘17 said, explaining the benefits of having a twin brother. “And you always have someone to hangout with and talk to.”
Rob and Alex are fraternal twins who are separated by two minutes making Rob older, Alex said. Neither side of the Martinez family has had a history of twins which gives no explanation to Rob and Alex other than pure chance.
For the people who know the Martinez twins, identical twins seems to be the first label that comes up. However, Rob and Alex, are, in fact, fraternal twins.
Maureen Martinez, the twins’ mother, said she was initially frightened upon hearing she was carrying twins. But later the anxious feeling turned into excitement for the challenge Rob and Alex would bring.
“You never know what to expect with twins, but then it turned into happiness,” Maureen said.
Although fraternal, Maureen and her husband Robert used a variety of methods to differentiate the twins. Their identification bracelets were kept on at all times, she said, as well as different colored outfits: Alex in red and Rob in blue. Maureen even admits to mixing up the twins more than her husband.
“We kept trying to dress them in different outfits, but it was hard since they look so alike,” Maureen said.
Growing up as fraternal twins has been an adjustment for everyone in the family, Rob said. The twins share everything from athletic interests to birthday cakes and even friend groups.
“We share a lot of the same friends,” Alex said. “We are both invited to hang out so it’s not really an issue.”
Both Alex and Rob play baseball, basketball and soccer, Alex said. And through them, the twins have been able to make lasting friendships with teammates.
Brad Thompson ‘17, is one of their close friends from baseball. The three of them met in kindergarten and later were players on the same baseball team. Thompson and the twins have been close ever since.
“We have been playing baseball together since we were 8, and I still hang out with them,” Thompson said. “They are really nice but also competitive and athletic.”
Despite the friendships Rob and Alex have accumulated through playing sports, off-field their relationship is even stronger, Rob said.
“They (Rob and Alex) always depend on each other, and even if they get into an arguments, they always are by each other’s side,” Maureen said.
Regardless of their identical appearance, their personalities are different, Maureen said. Both are easy-going and fun to be around but also have different characteristics.
“Rob is really athletic, but also outgoing and friendly,” Alex said.
Being a twin is something special that they both will always cherish, Alex said. Though they do not have the stereotypical “twin telepathy” powers, Rob and Alex still feel connected some way or another.
“Having a twin is great because there’s always someone there for you,” Rob said. “I can tell and trust him with anything.”