I didn't mention this in the last post, but something else happened after the black Mercedes hit the BMW. I had pulled over to wait while the two drivers swapped information. They ambled over to find out why I was there, found out I was a witness, then the guy who caused the accident called the police.
They went off to check out their damaged cars, while I stayed in mine and waited for the cops.
Suddenly the lady was back knocking
on the window of the passenger side of my car. "Do I know you?" She
said. "I don't think so. Who are you?" I asked. "Do you
work at the hospital?" "No." "Because you look just like someone
Once again someone thought I was
someone they knew. A recurring theme in this journal. Since kindergarten I've been hearing that I could be
someone else. A cousin, a friend, an ex, you name it. Or that I look
like some celebrity.
In various decades I've been told I looked like Paula Prentiss, Annie
Hall [she's not even a real person], Elizabeth Taylor, Bette Midler,
and Glenn Close's character in Fatal Attraction. I no longer expect to look
like any other celebrities because of my more advanced age, unless Bea Arthur gets
It doesn't matter whether my hair is straight, curly, auburn, blond,
short, or long, I continue to look like Sheila from the beach, someone
from your healthclub or I sat next to you in Engish, a concert, or a
high school basketball game.
to take the mistaken identity as a compliment except for one time when I was hospitalized
for food poisoning and someone said I looked like Death warmed
over. Death was not amused.
Just for once it would be nice to hear someone say, "You look just
like Mrs. Linklater." Then I could say that people tell
me that all the time. I would enjoy just looking like myself.
Whatever that is. Ultimately do we really know what we look like unless
we have a comparison?
A more sensitive person might start to suffer a crisis of identity
after being told they look like so many different people. Who am
I? Why am I here? All the existential questions we seek
answers to would be obfuscated when one is constantly confused with others all the time.
Am I who I am only because I am a copy of someone else?
Is that really so bad? So much has been
written about helping identical twins develop individual identities.
Why bother? I'd love to be able to look at another person and know they're an
exact copy of me. It would be so reassuring. For some reason I think having a twin would just affirm who I
am by seeing a replica of myself. Having kids is the next best thing I guess.
To throw a wrench into all this, I keep changing how I look, so who I
look like at any given time changes too. Celebrity or otherwise.
realized how much I change when I told somebody that people thought I
like Annie Hall. That was who I looked like in the sixties. [Along with
Suzy Parker and Greta Garbo, but they're dead.] This was the eighties.
the resemblance between me and the Diane Keaton character was long
gone. But it wasn't until I saw the look of disbelief on the person's
face that I knew that my Annie Hall time had passed.
Same thing at a party this New Year's Eve -- one of the guests turned out
to be a woman I was confused with for several years when we worked at
the same ad agency. We're both tall. We both used to have naturally
curly hair that was the same color. Now her hair is dark, short and
curly. Mine is longer, blond and straight. When we told people at the
party how often we had been confused for one another we got nothing but
blank, puzzled stares looking back at us.
In reality, looking
like other people doesn't matter one way or the other. I do continue to be amused that
it keeps happening no matter how old I get.