Thursday, March 19, 2015

"You look just like..."

"...Nicole Kidman in Far and Away," said the customer looking up at me in the retail music store I managed 20 years ago.

"...Diane Keaton," said my best friend's Brazilian boyfriend as we sat in a cafe having lunch.

"...Mare Winningham, it's the eyes," said someone I can't remember now.

"...someone else, sorry," said the lead singer of my favorite ska band, Bim Skala Bim, dashing my hopes that he had run up to me because he was actually interested in talking to me.

"...your sister Sarah." Okay, perhaps not as much a surprise.

But it happened again a few weeks ago when a new colleague told me how much I look like someone near and dear to her, and it has stuck with me how often this has happened. These were only the bigger named ones, at least a half dozen other times people have said how much I look like a cousin, friend, or someone else. It has been many years now that I respond with, "I have heard that a lot, interesting." It does happen more when I have longer hair, which is true again now. And I strangely sort of take it as a compliment, I guess because people usually tell me how they love the person I look like. It adds up somehow.
Does this happen to others as often as it feels like it has to me? And what are the attributes that are coming forward to people? I have never been a good judge of what others see or feel or think when they look at me, so over my life I have focused more and more on being comfortable putting out what I have to offer and letting it do what it will, fly or thud. At times I do get anxious about how others perceive me, but a lot of the time I just try to be deeply engaged so it is not about me anymore, or at least, does not feel that way.
Once in a while I will know someone who has a close resemblance to someone else. An ex-boyfriend of mine could be Simon Cowell's brother. A dear aunt I always thought could pass for David Bowie. But it is more in a "You could go as that person for Halloween and it would totally work" sort of way.
So when it
comes down to it, I don't know what to make of it, but I am curious about other's experience with this, so would love to hear your stories!

1 comment:

P. Dean said...

It's always happened to me too, Kate. Except not usually about famous people, more cousin, next door neighbor, etc. I think it's the basic structure of our faces. Is it celtic? germanic? I have both in my background but it's most likely Scots Irish. I noticed looking at pictures of Don and Jack Marshall when then were young (and gorgeous!) how much they looked alike. With the exception of my high school boyfriend, who was Apache/Tohono O'odham, all the men I've loved have had that look. And so do you and I and Sarah, and Rain.

Interesting that this is the first (and so far only) of your posts I've come across. I'd just been thinking of the time I had all three of you in my lap, ages 4 to 6 maybe, trying to make up a story about the princesses' best friend, a brunette who saves the day. No, no, you all insisted, the princess has to be the the heroine and the prince saves them both. No 6 year old feminists I guess.

Anyway, I've just moved back to Maine after 6 years in Oregon near Rain and her daughter Ella who is 8 and past the pink princess phase and deep into Karate headed for a black belt. Life continues to amaze me.