I never really understood the word “doppleganger.” Whenever Facebook would have a doppleganger day, people would post pictures of famous folks that they thought they looked like (or other people thought they looked like). I think you need to have an overabundance of self-confidence to let other people tell you that you look like someone famous — and, hopefully, somewhat attractive.
For me, it was when I was in a rest stop in the middle of Nowheresville USA on one of my family’s famous road-trips-because-mom-doesn’t-fly adventures. I was about 9 years old and someone thought I looked like Brooke Shields. Please stop laughing. I was cute at that age, and I had the dark eyebrows, and perhaps the person who thought I was Brooke Shields was visually impaired, or really old, or both.
I do love telling that story, more to see the look of total disbelief on the person that I am telling it to. “You look like Brooke Shields? Ok, ok, I got it. I got it.”
The other problem I have is when someone says, “I thought I saw you the other day, but then I realized it wasn’t you.” My first thought is always, “Was she fat?” (I am hoping that at least it was a “she” — these days you never know.) Or when someone says, “You look just like my cousin/niece/neighbor/babysitter/manicurist.” Again, my first thought is, “Is she fat?” I guess it is politically incorrect to ask any follow-up questions. But it drives me crazy.
Husband #1 has a brother who is five years younger than he is. When they were growing up, they never looked alike. A family resemblance, for sure, but that was it. As the younger brother got older, his hair went the way of husband #1’s hair. In other words, it went bye bye. He tried his best to hold on to it, but it was a losing battle and he just let it go, as the song says.
Since that happened, he and husband #1 have started to look more and more alike. Even I have to admit it. It is a little creepy. But now, people have been getting them confused. “I saw you on the Long Island Railroad but you didn’t say hello back to me,” one guy once said to husband #1. “Ummm,” husband #1 replied. “I was not on the Long Island Railroad. It must have been my brother.” Yup.
Someone also told husband #1 that they saw him on visiting day at an all-girls sleepaway camp and that he didn’t say hello. And Husband #1’s reply is “Why would I be at an all-girls sleepaway camp when I have only sons? It must have been my brother.” I was starting to think that maybe his brother should just start being friendlier and say hello to anyone who speaks to him, but it really is none of my business.
It even happened when we were in Israel. Someone called out our last name, and it was someone who was friendly with the brother. A bunch of teenage girls thought husband #1 was their friend’s dad and he had to disappoint them by revealing that he was only their uncle. It has gotten to be pretty funny, especially when we got the wedding pictures back and you can see that one of the photographers got them mixed up as well. There are a whole bunch of photos of husband #1’s brother with many of the guests.
This brings me to actual twins. There is a set of twins who live in Teaneck. Two men, both married. Originally from husband #1’s homeland of Monsey. I know one of them, but not the other. When I see either of them, unless I get a smile of recognition, I don’t know who is who. A few weeks ago, I saw both of them at the same store. They were dressed differently, but they still look like the same person. I was wondering if (a), they knew the other one was there, and (b), if they did it on purpose, to freak out the other customers. Because if you don’t know they are twins, you think you are seeing the same person over and over again.
I hope they do it on purpose, because it is really funny…
Yup, so that is this week’s column. I just wanted to write about the twins, but husband #1 wanted me to write about him as well. And since it is just the two of us, I have to listen to him because I have no one else at home to talk to.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
Banji Ganchrow of Teaneck will be thinking of the stuffing she used to get at her grandparents’ house in Brooklyn. Because, after all, food is love.