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18 March 2011 @ 01:41 pm

They (“They”) say everybody’s got a doppleganger somewhere in the world. Me, at last count, I had six. I’m reminded of this because Agrimony saw me a few nights ago at a Jeff Duhham show in New England, when she knew perfectly well I was at home sleeping in my bed in Ireland.

The first time someone said she knew somebody who looked just like me I was nine years old. I’d just moved into town and was going to a new school and a girl said to me, “You’re short.” This was patently untrue. She was also standing two steps above me. Then she took a step down and said, “You’re still short,” which continued to be untrue, and then she stepped down to the ground and said, “You look just like my friend Bonnie,” which apparently *was* true, because a while later when I went to her birthday party and knocked on the front door, her mother opened it, gaped at me in enormous astonishment, and said, “Bonnie?” (I don’t remember where Bonnie was supposed to be. In a different state.) No, I said, I was Catie, but Darcy’d said Bonnie looked like me.

Then through junior high and high school my friend Kelly and I spent six years being mistaken for one another (the first year of which we hadn’t met, so when we did we were like OH YOU’RE THE ONE!), although we didn’t look that much alike. We both had straight brown hair and glasses and slightly pointy chins, but it got to the point where I would respond to her name automatically (which caused some confusion when I did so in a class with a *different* Kelly in it, who had no idea why I was answering the question she’d been asked).

My freshman year of college, somone I had never seen before came up and didn’t strike up, but *picked up*, an animated conversation they’d obviously been having with someone else. I stood there in increasing bewilderment until the bewilderment became clear to the other person, who looked at me more carefully, then, shocked, said, “You’re not Michelle!” and rushed away. I never did meet Michelle.

In Anchorage, at the gym I went to, one morning I went in and the girl behind the desk said, “You’re in early!”, to which I replied, in some confusion, “Not really, I haven’t been in in a while, but this is when I always come in.” She looked confused in turn, and I went on my way. A couple weeks later, two women I’d never seen before said to me, “Hey, you got your hair cut! It looks great!” “Er,” I said, “not recently, but thanks,” to which they responded “Oh my god we thought you were somebody else.” The conversation about me being in early became clear at that point: obviously the girl behind the desk had also mistaken me for the woman these other two thought I was.

Right after I moved to Ireland, I was at the Saint Patrick’s Day parade in Cork, taking pictures, and I saw myself through the viewfinder. Now *that* was pretty damned surreal, I tell you. I snapped the shot, forgot about it until I was processing the pictures, said to Ted, “C’mere and tell me what you see in this picture,” and he came, looked, and said, “When did you join the Irish Army?” I saw her again the next year, too, but didn’t get as good a picture and couldn’t find her to meet up. But here’s Military Kit, the one doppleganger I have physical proof of:

And then there’s Agrimony’s sighting of me this week, 3000 miles away from where I was sleeping. And those don’t include the fifteen or twenty people over the years who have said to me, “Wow, you look just like someone I know,” or “You look really familiar,” to which I’ve learned to respond, “I have one of those faces.”

My point in writing all this up was going to be to say “So tell me about *your* dopplegangers,” which I still wish you to do, but *in* writing it, it kind of struck me: there’s probably a book in this, isn’t there. :) (eta2: I mean, aside from the one that memory tells me was titled ANNA OF A THOUSAND FACES but which the internet doesn’t pull up for me, which is a book I read in about 6th grade about a girl who was a clone, and which has therefore already been written. So a *different* book. :)) (eta3: ANNA TO THE INFINITE POWER, that was it!)

(eta: oh, and there was the time I was going through 1950s class photos at work in the archives at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and opened a pack, slid the four photos out, and found myself looking at myself. The other three photos of the girl didn’t look nearly as much like me, but the first one could have *been* me. I’d forgotten about that!)

(x-posted from the essential kit)
Current Mood: cheerfulcheerful
eilisflynneilisflynn on March 18th, 2011 12:53 pm (UTC)
There are only 12 face types, you know ... you just happen to have a popular one!

eilisflynneilisflynn on March 18th, 2011 12:55 pm (UTC)
Being of mixed Asian heritage, the only time I've ever had this doppelganger effect was in Hawaii, when strangers kept assuming I was someone they knew, locally, no matter what island we were on.
Cyrano: Not what I seemcyranocyrano on March 18th, 2011 01:13 pm (UTC)
I think my only Doppelganger is Kevin Smith.
It's one of the reasons I avoid wearing baseball caps these days.
Mary Annepers1stence on March 18th, 2011 01:32 pm (UTC)
I had just come back from my "semester" abroad in London, and had wandered into the bookstore on campus (to pick up something graduation-related, I think) and then was ambling towards the library, plastic bag with UAF logo in hand, when some gal rushed up to me and thanked me for picking her bag up for her in class and exclaiming over something the lecturer had said to me. She clearly was VERY certain that I was one of her classmates, despite my blank look, until I told her that I hadn't been in a classroom on campus in several months...Then she look flustered and ran away. I hope she eventually found whatever it was she'd accidentally left behind.
Kate Kirbykirbyk on March 18th, 2011 01:41 pm (UTC)
I had a boss at the time take a vacation to greece, and he said a waiter was a dead ringer for me. Which is odd, since I have no Greek ancestry whatsoever.

And I once had someone mistake me for Penn Gilette.
Cyrano: Not what I seemcyranocyrano on March 18th, 2011 02:12 pm (UTC)
...if Penn Gilette weren't like seventeen feet tall, I could see that.
martyn44martyn44 on March 18th, 2011 02:00 pm (UTC)
Back when I was at Leeds University there were three others of me at the same time (mine is a fairly common name) and one of them used the same bank as me. I sometimes got his money although he never got mine, because there wasn't any.

One afternoon I was standing at a bus stop and this good looking guy walked towards me, staring at me. Then I glanced in the glass. Long dark hair. Check. Beard. Check. Wire rimmed aviator specs. Check. Fawn coloured US Coast Guard jacket. Check. Purple flowered shirt. Check. Faded, flared Levis. Check. Fawn desert boots. Check. (Hey, it was '69)

He smiled as he walked by, shaking his head and laughing. Wonder whatever happened to my doppelganger. Maybe they were his cheques paid into my account.
Flitterbyflit on March 18th, 2011 02:38 pm (UTC)
A doppleganger is actually how I got my nickname of the Other Gretchen! We both used to call ourselves that. It very much confused my mother when she left me a message once as that. We actually didn't look THAT much alike, but were both redheads named Gretchen with glasses and a last name starting with S.

Besides that, I once found a very enthusiastic note on my car addressed to someone named Renee. The note's writer had met "me" at a rave and really wanted to see "me" again. Either my car had a private life or I look a lot like Renee. I hope the writer wasn't too sad....

Military Kit is UNCANNY.

As for other dopplegangers, Apparently Earl Is A Vampire. (Can't recall if you've met him in person but it's uncanny.)
Flitterbyflit on March 18th, 2011 02:39 pm (UTC)
Oh yes and when Pete and the Other Gretchen broke up, he claimed that I should date him because he'd already introduced me to his parents, so it would make it simpler. Brad: "No!"
UrsulaVursulav on March 18th, 2011 02:43 pm (UTC)
I once saw a marble bust of a Roman woman who was pretty much a dead ringer, but that's about as far as I think it's gone.

My real problem is names, not faces. There's so few Ursulas out there that in a couple of fandoms where there are two, I have had people hold long and insistent conversations that were clearly meant to be for the Other Ursula. (Pretty sure she gets it, too.) Weirdest was one guy who sat behind me at a closing ceremony thing at a con, demanding to know when I was coming back to Wisconsin, because so-and-so and so-and-so really wanted to see me, and despite telling him that I was NOT the person he thought I was, I had never lived in Wisconsin in my life, etc, etc, he didn't believe me.

(Deleted comment)
kitmizkit on March 18th, 2011 03:14 pm (UTC)
When I was in high school people used to tell me I looked like Kathleen Turner. There are worse fates. :)
call me trystryslora on March 18th, 2011 03:30 pm (UTC)
My daughter moved from private school to public school for sixth grade, and she knew very few people. She made a LOT of friends the very first week of school by people walking up to her at her locker and starting talking to her, assuming she was another girl entirely. Her doppleganger? Had the locker NEXT to her. It certainly helped her get settled easily in a new school!

When I was young I had a best friend in grade school who I met because we were seated across from each other and felt like we were looking into a mirror. I was also often compared to Barbara Streisand solely because of my nose, I swear.
Herefoxherefox on March 18th, 2011 03:37 pm (UTC)
Wow, Anna to the infinite power. I hadn't thought about that book in yaers! I had to order a copy of it 'cause I remember reading it a ton of times growing up but for the life of me can't remember anything about it now. Apparently there was even a movie? Who knew!

I've been told I have a doppleganger around where I live but I've yet to run into him. Also, before suddenly became decrepit I used to get Conan O'Brian a lot.
Amber n Tealamber_n_teal on March 18th, 2011 04:19 pm (UTC)
I don't think I have a doppelganger. I get people mispronouncing my name, but never had someone tell me I have more than a passing resemblance to someone. Never been mistaken for someone else unless it was from behind LOL! Maybe my backside has a twin! Even my siblings really only have a passing resemblance to me! And it's not like I have an odd face, normal everything, but no twins!
martianmooncrabmartianmooncrab on March 18th, 2011 08:20 pm (UTC)
My older half sister. If you ask us, we look nothing alike, but her co-workers would always think I was her. (there was that time I took her work badge downtown to her, and the security dude waved me through the door). Now that we are aging, there are more differnces in our appearances.
mela_lynmela_lyn on March 19th, 2011 01:28 am (UTC)
I had the opposite issue with my sister. We lived together for a year in college and no one realized we were related. They asked us if we saw each other over the summer and we had to explain, "Well, yes. We live together." Which then led to explaining, that we hadn't gotten an apartment. We lived with our parents. It was fun.

Edited at 2011-03-19 01:28 am (UTC)
Alix (Tersa): Toast---silly tongue (tersa)tersa on March 18th, 2011 09:04 pm (UTC)
You look a lot like someone I know...


madmiss on March 18th, 2011 10:44 pm (UTC)
I've had strangers stop me in Cork because they went to school with my mother and I look *just* like she did.

I've also had girls shout my sisters name at me in night clubs, followed by "OMG! You permed your hair!"

Actual - non-related- dopplegangers... I've never encountered.

Tho', allegedly during secondary school there was a girl that went to the local discos who was similar to me.(I don't actually believe this as I wouldn't trust the girls who said it as far as I could throw them.)
Wolf Lahti: Goethewolflahti on March 18th, 2011 11:24 pm (UTC)

Many years ago I was walking through Northgate Mall and saw myself coming from the other direction. Same shirt and same hole in the right knee of the jeans. But "I" was pushing a baby carriage and was accompanied by a woman carrying another child in one of those strap things.

"I" had exactly the glazed expression I would have had if that had really happened to me.

I was afraid to say anything, lest it be a vision from the future that would come about if I did.

Not that I have anything against my raising a family; just decidedly not then.
mela_lynmela_lyn on March 19th, 2011 01:26 am (UTC)
In college I was dating this guy and we would go workout regularly. One time he saw 'me' and started walking up to 'me' and was about to slap 'my' ass when he realized...it wasn't me.

THE SAME WEEK, I was at the campus grocery store getting hot tea and the guy at the counter pipes up, "Come to spill more hot coffee on me, huh?" And I was like, "No, this is tea." He peers close and apologizes.

Apparently my 'evil twin' liked to wear her blonde hair in two braids like me while wearing a red bandana, like me. AND we both had generously green wardrobes. Sadly, I never found her, but I really wish I could have.
Amberleyamberley on March 19th, 2011 03:38 am (UTC)
Or maybe Tulpa
Perhaps you would enjoy Tana French's The Likeness, in which an undercover cop in Ireland gets to impersonate herself.

Or possibly the 7 Kits should team up, dye their hair the colors of the rainbow (ROYGBIV), and fight evil as sailor scouts! Giant assembling robot optional.
kitmizkit on March 19th, 2011 12:02 pm (UTC)
Re: Or maybe Tulpa
Yes, I think I would probably enjoy that book. :)
T. Revst_rev on March 19th, 2011 07:06 pm (UTC)
What is that thing on her hat? Mistletoe?
kitmizkit on March 19th, 2011 08:05 pm (UTC)
T. Revst_rev on March 19th, 2011 11:54 pm (UTC)
Rhinestony glitterclover?
T. Revst_rev on March 20th, 2011 02:05 am (UTC)
OIC, it's for a parade, OK.
Aidangingereejit on March 20th, 2011 05:03 pm (UTC)
Um, surely Shamrock? It being St Patricks day and all.

ruford42 on March 21st, 2011 02:10 pm (UTC)
I've never met any of my dopplegangers though I've heard of them. Twice in Virginia where I grew up and then once more after my move to Iowa this past year. Oddly enough they all reportedly lived within a 30 mile radius of where I was at the time, but I never once encountered them.

Of course, the fact that I'm two meters tall and far more kilograms of mass than I'd care to count...I'm never sure which to be more surprised to hear -- that there is another of me somewhere nearby...or that somehow they couldn't see me.