“You seem so familiar… have we met before?”
“I feel like I’ve seen you around.”
“You look exactly like someone I know.”
There’s something about me that reminds people of… someone else.
I look like her… sound like her… act like her.
Often the resemblance is so striking that they can pinpoint who it is.
Most often it is Jen.
“You look just like my cousin / friend / former babysitter, Jen!”
I don’t know Jen, but apparently, I am her. Or she is me.
Sometimes they are so insistent that I am JUST LIKE JEN that they prove it with a photo.
Look, look! You look just like JEN!
And they pull out their phone and scroll through their photos until they land on Jen.
And they are excited for me to acknowledge that she’s my long-lost twin.
And I look at the photo and I think…
Jen looks… tired.
Jen is laughing in the photo but a closer inspection of the emotions in her face says there’s nothing funny about her current state of affairs.
Jen has bags under her eyes that would require excessive baggage fees.
Jen’s clearly fucking exhausted. And dehydrated.
Is that what I look like?
I look just like Jen? Jen looks like me?
I have to tell you, your cousin / friend / former babysitter Jen, needs a solid nap, 8 glasses of water, and someone to pick up the kids and manage the business while she heads to a spa for a day / a week / the rest of the year.
She could use a skin brightener and some bronzer or a week on St. Thomas with an SPF of at least 30 because she is fair-skinned like me.
She’s got the freckles and age spots that show she used to lie out in the backyard with baby oil slathered on her skin and Sun-in in her hair.
It’s not our fault. Jen and I didn’t know better in the early ’80s.
She has – oddly – two slightly different shaped eyes, a trait from my father’s side of the family, and apparently in her family too.
It can be hard to see yourself through someone else’s eyes.
It can be hard to look at someone who others think looks like you and think… do I look like that?
Hmm, I thought I was prettier. I didn’t realize I was fronting fatigue on my face.
Forget bitchy resting face. This bitch needs to rest.
Jen, wherever you are – WHOEVER you are – I feel you.
I see you.
Apparently, I AM you.
Let’s get together someday and get to know each other better.
And then tuck each other in for a long nap.
Valerie Gordon is a lifelong storyteller, a former TV producer, and the author of “Fire Your Narrator!: A Storyteller’s Guide to Getting Out of Your Head and Into Your Life.” She offers keynotes, workshops, and corporate training on harnessing the power of story for greater career success and satisfaction. Read her other humor articles here and feel free to introduce her to Jen.