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Doppelgänger

July 26, 2009

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Doppelgänger: In the vernacular, “Doppelgänger” has come to refer  to any double or look-alike of a person.

Earlier tonight one of our clients calls me aside and says, ‘ I finally figured out who you remind me of; it’s Peter Fonda.’

‘Hmmm…???’, I’m thinking. Okay, is this a set-up?? Where is the zinger coming from?

Yeah?, I say.’ The more current one of ‘Ulee’s Gold? (1997) Or the old one from ‘Easy Rider’? (1969)

Peter Fonda - 1997

Peter Fonda - 1969

‘Oh – definitely Easy Rider’, he says.

‘Good answer’, sez I.

(Buddy should really get his eyes checked.)

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Mistaken Identity:

A few weeks ago I had just arrived at work wearing a dark crewneck shirt that had a cream-coloured band around the neck, a collarless black shirt over it and a grey jacket. From 15 feet away the mother of one of our guests looked my way and said to her son, ‘My, I didn’t know they had clergy on staff here, as well.’

in my father's house

in my father's house

I laughed nervously as I waited for the bolt of lightning to smite me straight to hell. From on high my father is laughing his butt off. ‘Say WHAT???’

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Self Image; Self Esteem; and the Face we present to the world

Recently someone (who shall remain nameless) commented on a shot I had posted here of myself and called me ‘handsome’. My reaction to the compliment was same as always – HUH!?!? – I never know what to do with them when they come my way. I suppose it’s because I don’t think much of my looks and like most folks I ‘get up, suit up, present the best face I can, and show up’. Like Popeye always said, ‘I y’am what I am and that’s all that’s I y’am.’ Gotta work with what God gives ya.

I think I could get a consensus to this proposition – 10% of the population would get classed as attractive, beautiful, handsome; at the other end, 10% would be lumped in as unattractive, ugly, hard on the eyes; the rest of us – the other 80% fall somewhere in the big middle ground.

A post I was reading last night included a section where the gal used to play a game with herself – ‘if I could change one thing about myself it would be…..’. Well, as I’m starting to show the signs of my advancing age that one thing would be my eyelids. I’m getting this hooded look to my eyes that I don’t like but in the big scheme of things…. so what?? I’m not going under the knife anytime soon, that’s for sure.

Far more importamt to me these days than the external is anyone’s internal composition – heart, mind and soul sorts of stuff. By the time I sought help for my problems with addiction I was a hurting unit bled practically dry of identity and self-esteem. This process of recovery I’ve engaged in for the last 6 years has been very much one of  re-building; putting things back together when you don’t have all the original pieces. At first it was all about substance, the absence of it and finding ways to a new state of ‘normalcy’. Then it got to be about re-attaching to roles – son, husband, father, friend, employee. Finally it came about to integrating values, ethics, qualities of character, moral beliefs and living a life that included spirituality. From that eventual internal foundation I’ve been able to move more to outside concerns where I’ve been allowed to be of use to others – family, friends, clients and strangers. It’s being open to ongoing change, adopting an attitude of willingness and engaging in action toward improvement. Progress not perfection….. hand steady on the tiller.

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When is the last time someone confused you for somebody else or told you that you strongly resemble someone??

Has anyone ever thought you actually were someone you aren’t??

How do you deal with compliments?? How do you feel when complimented??

Do you feel good about how you look?? Satisfied?? or, are there things about your appearance you would change, given the chance?

How do you feel about your internal condition?? Mental, emotional, spiritual??

If other people could see / hear the nature of how you think would they be terribly surprised??

Have some fun and comment.

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4 comments

  1. What a delightful post 🙂 You are handsome, just accept the goddamn compliment, alright? Sheesh 🙂

    I love what you say here: “This process of recovery I’ve engaged in for the last 6 years has been very much one of re-building; putting things back together when you don’t have all the original pieces.”

    This just rings with hope, to me. I’ve been thinking about it lately: how do people get made whole if through trauma or neglect or abuse or weird genes or whatever they are deficient? Is it possible? And I was thinking about how our categorising and labelling in the medical and psychological professions are probably hazardous to us in this area because they lock us into where we are and without meaning to we can forget what we are to be. I think humans are amazing growth creatures, I think (sometimes, and hope at others) that we are like starfish who, when our limbs are chopped off, are able to regenerate new ones, because that is the heart that beats through the universe.

    Wow, that was poetic!

    Now, onto your questions:

    When is the last time someone confused you for somebody else or told you that you strongly resemble someone??

    Ahhh, I get Bette Midler a fair bit. And when I get flustered abut that people say stuff like, “Oh, you don’t look like her. You just remind me of her” and stuff, but so many people have said it that I suppose I must get used to it 🙂

    How do you deal with compliments?? How do you feel when complimented??

    Well, I just bagged you out at being hopeless at accepting them 🙂 I am far more gracious than you at accepting compliments 😉 There is, however, almost always, an inner voice inside saying, “Bullshit” or something similar 🙂

    Do you feel good about how you look?? Satisfied?? or, are there things about your appearance you would change, given the chance?

    Is any woman ever satisfied with her appearance? We are made to feel like we are doing something wrong because we are ageing. I would change my face so I don’t look like Bette Midler 🙂 I would carve 20 kilos off the bod.

    It’s sad to admit but I hardly ever feel good about how I look. Now I’m almost 40, I catch myself in the mirror and the dark circles under the eyes and the incrementally disappearing collagen makes me go, “Agggh!” I hate mirros

    How do you feel about your internal condition?? Mental, emotional, spiritual??

    Much more in love with my internal condition, as fucked up as it is 🙂 Love being accepting of my fucked-up internal condition, mmm hmmm, yes I am. I love traversing my soul, hearing what I have to say. Emotionally I’ve been a basketcase but have gained a lot of equilibrium in the past few months and it feels lufferly 🙂 Spiritually is a dark mysterious place, I love this walk with God.

    If other people could see / hear the nature of how you think would they be terribly surprised??

    Yeah, pretty awful to myself sometimes without even realisng it, you know?

    Wow, I just wrote a blog post on your comments 🙂 Great post, fun 🙂


  2. Sue – This is just a quicky acknowlegement of your wonderful comment. This is a run around catch-up day for me. Thanks and thanks again for *that* compliment – sheesh yer’self!

    I may have to do a follow up to explain better where I wound up ‘identity-wise’ and how I literally re-built from a smorgasbord of ideals and characteristics.

    Thanks too for responding to the questions I posed. In regard to appearance and Bette Midler – perhaps people pick up on a similar sort of vibe as well. She is one irrepressible, larger-than-life personality; very engaging.

    More on this later… ‘too many much tings to do, mon.’


  3. Lots of stuff in this post and lots of questions at the end. I’ll take a stab at your questions…

    When is the last time someone confused you for somebody else or told you that you strongly resemble someone??

    Never. Seriously. I guess I don’t look like anybody else (other than my father and everyone in his family which equals A LOT of people; I have 40+ cousins on his side alone).

    Has anyone ever thought you actually were someone you aren’t??

    No. I’m beginning to get a complex here…

    How do you deal with compliments?? How do you feel when complimented??

    I used to stammer and not handle them well at all. Then someone wise told me that compliments are gifts and that if we can’t accept the small gift of a compliment, what makes us thing we’re deserving of the bigger gifts?

    Made sense to me so now I smile and say “Thank you.”

    Do you feel good about how you look?? Satisfied?? or, are there things about your appearance you would change, given the chance?

    Never satisfied, I suppose, but learning to be happy in my body. I wish it hadn’t taken me this long to get to this point.

    The only thing I might want to change would be my eyes. I’ve often thought about lasik (?) surgery so I could see life without glasses. I’ve been looking through lenses since I was 7 or 8 years old. It might be nice to be able to do stuff without the glasses.

    Heh…I’d still be looking through lenses, though, given my addiction to photography. I was going to write about that when I posted my self-portrait, but couldn’t find the time.

    How do you feel about your internal condition?? Mental, emotional, spiritual??

    Gettin’ good with that, too. There are some things that need work, as always, but as you said — progress, not perfection.

    If other people could see / hear the nature of how you think would they be terribly surprised??

    Probably not. My snarky thoughts make it out for public airing. Maybe not as much as my nicer thoughts, but enough that people know there is a snarky side to me. The only thing that might surprise them is that I can go for long periods without thinking anything at all. lol!

    And Sue up there is right. You are a handsome guy.


  4. Wow, Robin – thanks for taking the time for the questions posed here. I like your friend’s take on attitude toward comliments and might have to adopt it. (Won’t have to use it often but….) By the sounds of your answers you appear to be well grounded and have a good level of self-awareness.
    Oh, so, ‘thank you’ for echoing Sue’s comment. As I blush while working on acceptance. lol.



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