What you see is not always what you get

Just got off the treadmill where I was thinking, mostly because besides watching AGT (America’s Got Talent for those of you who are not fans) that’s what you do on the treadmill. You think. And since most of my spare time now is spent writing this blog I started to think about my last post and in particular, my assertion that when it comes to shallow people, “what you see is what you get”. I am nothing if not a woman of my word but in retrospect I find myself having to qualify that statement, as for most of my life I have been placed in the regrettable position of letting people know that what they see is not always what they get. As it happens, it would appear that I have an uncanny resemblance to someone better known than I and as a result I spend a good deal of my time convincing complete strangers I am not who they think I am. The conversation usually goes like this:

Complete Stranger: “Do you know who you look like?”
Me: “Angelina Jolie?”
Complete Stranger: “No! Has anyone ever told you that you look like Barbra Streisand?”
Me (with blank stare): “Who? I’ve never heard of her. What does she do?” (Cut me some slack here…it’s the 10,000th time!)
Complete Stranger: “She’s a famous singer. Oh right. You’re kidding. OMG! Are you Barbra Streisand?”
Me: “No, I’m not”

Not the most riveting verbal exchange and I have a funny feeling that had Angelina Jolie really been my double the conversation would end there. But Babs (I think I have earned the right to call her that) is somewhat more ambiguous. So while at this stage of the game I am pretty much tapped out of things to say, most people feel compelled to continue with, somewhat apologetically I might add, something to the effect of “well I think she’s beautiful.”  Which most often leaves me with the distinct impression that theirs is a rather unique opinion not shared by the general population.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not bothered by any of this. Over time I have developed an affinity for Ms. Streisand, her voice, her disposition and yes, even her looks. Not to mention the benefits I have reaped. Like the time I was checking into my hotel and the concierge, who was convinced I was a frequent patron he knew very well even though I assured him I had never previously been to this establishment, not only personally delivered my bags to my room but actually handed back the tip, insisting that it was his pleasure to be of service to me. Honestly? Do ordinary people get treated that way? I should think not.

But I digress. While I have become accustomed to these rather frequent interactions there is one aspect that I have to admit has puzzled me, because in all my years on this earth I have never felt the urge to approach a complete stranger and ask them if they know who they look like. So why, I ask myself, do so many people do this to me? The only logical explanation I can come up with is that even though they realize the chance of running into Babs at the Target check-out counter is on par with winning the lottery, they would just kick themselves if they were wrong and had passed up their one chance in a lifetime to say hello to “Dolly”.

I try to let them down easy, try not to disappoint. But once in awhile, even the luckiest people in the world have to face the stark reality that what they see is not always what they get. I just wish it wasn’t me that had to rain on their parade.

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2 thoughts on “What you see is not always what you get

  1. wader says:

    Alternate blog post title, “The Mirror Has Two Faces.”

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