They say that at any one time everyone has a natural lookalike somewhere – a doppelgänger (from the German 'double-goer'). It seems I've had a few over the years; not that long ago I could rarely go into my nearest town without complete strangers greeting me, waving to me across the road, once even stopping to chat before realising I wasn't who they thought I was. One time I met a man with his young daughter and noticed that he was looking at me with a somewhat disturbed expression (hey, stop whatever it is you're thinking...). Then when we talked briefly and he studied me with an even more disconcerting intensity, he explained that I was the spitting image of his little girl's mum. I didn't like to ask if she was still around...but it occurred to me that if she wasn't, then it was no wonder my similar face may have been quite haunting for him. Another time I met an elderly woman who said I looked just like her daughter and that I even had the same mannerisms. As I tilted my head to the side (that was one of them) and looked closely at the old lady's eyes and the shape of her face, I found there was a familiarity... just something of my mother in her features; I guess that stacks up. Was it even possible that somewhere along the line, too long ago to track, we shared some ancestral genes? Or is it just that there aren't really that many varieties of faces to be shared amongst the entire population – I mean, we all fall into types, don't we?
I just hope I never see my own doppelgänger. For one thing I imagine it would be totally freaky (for both of us) but there's a whole folklore thing connected to it too – it's meant to be an 'omen of death'! In some traditions, seeing the lookalike of a friend or relative is pretty dodgy too and is supposed to signify bad luck, illness or danger. I think I'll just text L and check she's ok...
Not exactly a Kinks' soundalike
Spooky! I actually used to work with my own doppelgänger in Monsoon. Her name was Jill and she was almost a decade younger than me and yet other than being the same height build and colouring with similar hair length, neither of us could see the resemblance. Other members of staff would frequently come up and start a conversation and then look flustered and say "I am sorry, I thought you were Jill for a moment", and vice versa. Once of twice we both had the unnerving experience of stepping out of the mirrored lift and realising that we were actually facing each other rather than the mirror but those instances were fleeting (and very weird!).ReplyDelete
Like, I imagine, most of us who draw, I have a very good visual memory and have noticed over the years that certain nose shapes are almost always accompanied by a specific type of lip and chin. People with hooded eyes like my own tend to have low hair lines, etc, etc... It's like DNA has managed to make an amazing variety of faces from a very limited set of templates. I guess in the end we are all related to that one woman from Africa way back so I guess there have to be repeats from time to time. We all must be duplicates of duplicates going back to the very first Homo Sapiens... and of course in certain parts of the country you see an awful lot of Neanderthals ;o)
Oh that's a great story about you and Jill, how strange! But I do know what you mean about people who draw and our visual memories, I also think that we may see things differently - particularly in the instance of faces, especially if you're really interested in them (as I am and I imagine you too!) I really enjoy exploring the details and nuances of a face so I thought it very strange that I should be stopped in the street by someone who wrongly believed they knew me because my first thought was, "how on earth can they not tell the difference between someone they are clearly friendly with and have spoken to a lot, and a complete stranger?" Then it occurred to me that maybe some people just don't take in features the same way, maybe just having the same haircut is enough. So perhaps my lookalike would not seem that much of a lookalike to me anyway, as with you and Jill...Delete
Yes I know what you mean too about the more common combinations of features. I find you can even tell what region someone originates from... there are definitely several very prevalent Scottish features (eyes and mouths particularly), and Mancunian (eyes and face shape), West Country (mouths/teeth)... and, dare I say it, there's a Welsh look too (beautiful, of course)... :-)
THIS is the freaking version of the song I've been looking for...I couldn't remember who did it. You are fabulous.ReplyDelete
I'll leave y'all to talk about look-a-likes...this kinda good lookin' right here...there ain't enough of it to be spread around.
Oh wow, well there you go - what a piece of luck! I wanted to put that song on but in a less familiar version, and as I like a bit of Boss Hog now and then it seemed appropriate... Glad to have been of service, sir :-)Delete
Maybe it's the gene pool being thinner than we might think? Aren't nearly all of us related to Edward III or something? Alternatively, and more fancifully, this could be more esoteric, something about commonality of souls or some connections we couldn't possible understand. If I'm out there, I don't wanna know.ReplyDelete
I don't know that about Edward III or the African woman that Yve mentions but now I'll have to do some reading up I think!Delete
I do think that although there are so many different faces, there is still a limited degree to which they can completely vary, and Yve's point about the way certain features frequently go together with other ones adds to the thing about 'types'... but I'm liking your more fanciful idea about the connection of souls!
I have been mistaken for Elvis on several occasions (not the the fat one I may add) and another guy wanted to buy me drinks and sign his shirt, he was convinced I was Kenny Dalgleish.ReplyDelete
Elvis is alive and well in Hounslow!!
I look nothing like bloody Elvis or Kenny!!
You could make a fortune there, Old Pa - you just need to practise their signatures...Delete
I've been told I look like Kylie one minute and "a young June Whitfield" (I suppose I was grateful for the 'young' bit) the next, so I don't know what it is that other people see but it certainly isn't the same as what we do...
This all slightly freaks me out, I have to say - specially Yve's story! I'm not sure I would've been able to cope with such a weird situation as well as she did!ReplyDelete
It also reminds me that I need to post about the other time I was mistaken for a rock star while in New York, having shared my Robyn Hitchcock story absolutely ages ago.
I've not heard the Boss Hog take of 'I'm Not Like Everybody Else' before - it rocks! As, of course, does the version by our mates The Nomads!
Ah yes, please do tell!Delete
I have slightly more understanding of being mistaken for, or likened to, famous people because we usually only see photos of them and don't get the whole physicality of a person. Seeing my friend's lookalike spooked me so much because I've known her for 40 years... everything about her is really familiar, even when it comes down to little things like the way she walks, the way she carries her head... That was weird!
Yes it was a toss-up between our fabulous Nomads and the Chesterfield Kings too but I thought I'd go for something completely different this time!
Just about to go to the UK for Xmas. So wishing you and Mr C a great festivities and all that, Keep doing what you are doing and do think about geting your work published....it is that good!ReplyDelete
Thank you Old Pa and the same to you and all your family. Thanks so much for the kind words too!Delete
I've been told there is one that lives near us that is a "dead ringer" for me - so much so that two friends have spoken to him thinking it me... and on the second occasion he remembered the first! He then drove off in a Lamborghini... typical even my doppelgänger is having a better life than me!!ReplyDelete
Oh no! Or perhaps it was just a Lamborghini-lookalike...Delete