Friday, March 10, 2006


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 I know." 

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 another gig. 

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.

I continue 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.

I realized how much I change when I told somebody that people thought I looked 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. And 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. 


artloner said...

You look JUST LIKE Mrs. Linklater.

geminiwilder said...

you DO look just like Mrs. Linklater.  Exactly!

i do recall telling you, however, um...a year or two ago - that i think you look like Olympia Dukakis.  her, um...younger sister.  yeah, that's it.  

=)   Phin

jevanslink said...

I'm still recovering from that.  Haaaaaaaa.  Mrs. L

swibirun said...

Who in the world thought you looked like Glen Close's character in Fatal Attraction????!!!!!!!!!???????  The guy must be a nutjob or something.



jevanslink said...

Join the crowd.  Mrs. L

ladeeoftheworld said...

We all have body doubles.  Mine is Conchata swear!  You just have a few more than most.

onemoretina said...

    Oh, did I ever love this entry.  I, too, am blessed ( cursed ? ) with one of those faces that looks like somebody that everybody knows.  A few months back I had a man run up to me at a fast food restaurant and wrap his arms around me, saying, "  Oh, my Lord, it's great to see you again! "  I  told him that I've been mistaken for a lot of people in my life, but The Lord was definitely a first.  Tina

gdireneoe said...

Let's see...I've gotten Diane Cannon(sp?), Fergie, and when I'm really heavy...Rosie...bleh!  PISSED me off.  You DO have one of those faces though... LOL ;)  C.

emmapeeldallas said...

Hmmmmmm, I was told I looked "just like" Twiggy, and later, Goldie Hawn, in the '60's; then Florence Henderson all through the 70's and 80's, more recently, Goldie Hawn and Joan Allen (who look NOTHING alike - so go figure!).

And when I was in Scotland, years ago, taking the train to Berwick, the guy selling sandwiches kept winking at me, and said "I've seen ya on the telly, luv!"  sooooooooo...even in Europe, I got the "you look just like...fill in the blank".


sunnyside46 said...

I think people say that ust because you are pretty and they want to talk to you