The Doppelganger Syndrome

So I must have a super common face or something, because not a week goes by that I don’t either get mistaken for someone else or get a ‘OMG you look EXACTLY like my friend/girlfriend/parole officer ______’. This has plagued me pretty much my entire life. In elementary school I had a teacher who constantly referred to me as Janine – her daughter, because she claimed we looked so much alike she couldn’t keep us straight. Big ups to educators! My parents love telling the story about the time when they ran into ‘me’ at the mall when I was in middle school and thought I was being really bitchy because I wouldn’t answer them when they asked why I wasn’t at my piano lesson. Um, because it wasn’t me. That’s right, my own PARENTS had me confused with someone else. The girl thought it was pretty funny. I mean, I assume she did – she didn’t press charges or anything. A few months ago my parents also ran into ‘me’ at a Costco in St. Catharines. They claim the girl had the same coat, hair, face, snobbish air. So obvi, the chick is slammin’. Ha. A few years back I was at a charity function at the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Toronto. I’m leaning against the wall waiting for a friend and I see this woman coming down the escalator. She’s waving her arms frantically and shouting ‘Cheryl! Cheryl!”. I’m thinking, god I’d be embarassed if I were Cheryl. As it turns out I was Cheryl. At least, her MOTHER thought I was. She got two feet away from me before she realized I wasn’t her kid. I gave her my usual ‘yeah, I must have one of those faces’ speeches that I’ve got down pat after all the years of practice. Yesterday I went to a Wendy’s for lunch. A Wendy’s I’ve never been to in my life. The guy behind the counter greeted me like I was his bestie. “Hello Miss! Long time! You well? You’re not wearing your glasses today”. To which I responded, “Well, that’s probably because a) I don’t wear glasses to work and b) we’ve never met.” Pretty sure he thought I was messing with him.

I’ve had this happen so many times in my life that I actually decided a few years back that If I ever wrote my memoirs, the opening line would be “All my life, I’ve been mistaken for someone else.” I had this zingy one liner in my metaphorical back pocket the day I met my FAVOURITE AUTHOR EVER Douglas Coupland. He did a reading at the University of Toronto and I got tickets, sat in the front row (like the superfan I am). I was third in line when it came time for the book signing. I was all ready to tell him my gem idea for an opening line for my likely never-to-be-written memoir. I walk up to him and HAND TO GOD he says to me “Oh, it’s you! Nice to see you again.” I gave him a blank stare (and briefly wondered if he was a mind reader). At my hesitation, he went on to say “didn’t we meet last month at Larry’s?” I decided to take it as a sign and admit what I’ve always known to be true: I have doppelganger syndrome.Blair1Blair2Blair3Blair4Blair5

I have in my life seen 2 or 3 girls who did look an awful lot like me, but for the most part I walk around in a fog. About a year and a half ago I started having people at work and even on the street come up to me saying “you look so much like that girl on tv…” This was new for me. I had never heard I had an actress as a doppelganger. After a few weeks it was confirmed – the doppelganger in this case was Leighton Meester (aka Blair Waldorf on Gossip Girl). She’s way hotter than me, so I’ll take it as a compliment. I kinda see it – we have a similar mouth and face shape, chubby cheeks and a high forehead. And as my former boss said when she called me late one night after watching her first GG epi, “you guys look so much alike, especially when Blair is plotting/doing something evil.” Lovely.



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