“Daddy,” my daughter asked me from the backseat of the car, “Who do you look like?”
“I look like me,” I said.
“No, I mean what famous person do you look like?”
“Mom says I look like Matt Damon.”
“Whose Matt Damon?”
“A famous actor.”
“Do you look like him?”
“I’m much better looking than Matt Damon.” Not true, but I’ve got to keep my self-esteem up somehow.
“Who else do you look like?” Natalie said.
“Grandma thinks I look like Nathan Fillion”
“An actor on television.”
“Do you think you look like him?”
“No.” I can only delude myself so much. Besides, my mom’s vision isn’t too good.
“But one time,” I said. “I was in the airport and a guy came up to me and said I was the spitting image of his brother. Even his wife thought I was him.”
“Did you look like him?”
“I don’t know, they didn’t show me a picture, but everybody has someone who looks like them. They’re called dopplegangers.”
“You mean there’s someone who looks like me?” Natalie said.
“Yep,” I said. “Maybe not exactly like you. But close. And she can be anywhere in the world. One day you might run into her.”
“That’d be weird.”
“It is, I said. “But it’s not uncommon. There are two red haired actresses out there who look so similar that I always mix them up.”
“You were famous,” my daughter said.
“For like ten minutes. And that was long ago.”
I’m a little touchy on the subject of doppelgangers. When I was a waiter customers told me I looked like Elton John or Nathan Lane. Two very talented men to be sure, but I prefer being compared to the likes of Messer’s Fillion & Damon much, much more. When I started this blog, I wrote under the non de plume, “The Waiter” and struggled mightily to maintain my anonymity. But, when my first book came out, I was forced to let everyone know my real name and see my real face. I couldn’t do book tours or go on Oprah with a bag over my head. The reactions people had to seeing the real me, however, were mixed: ranging from “You’re not what I thought you’d look like” to “You look like the waiter who ate Cleveland.” Ouch. One reader told me she always envisioned me looking like Adrien Brody and sounded very disappointed that I did not.
Later that night, when my daughter was asleep, I went into the bathroom to perform my evening ablutions. Filling the sink with warm water, I placed the new silvertip badger shaving brush I bought myself for Christmas into the water to soak while I took a shower. When I was done, I loaded my shaving brush with fine English shaving soap from a puck, lathered my face, and then grabbed my heavy doubled bladed German safety razor off its stand and then carefully proceeded to scythe the whiskers off my face. I have found my skin prefers evening shaves to morning ones. After re-lathering and making a couple of more passes, my face was soon smooth as a baby’s ass.
After a warm water rinse followed by a splash of witch hazel, I applied some aftershave moisturizer, rinsed out my brush and razor, and then placed them back on their stand to dry. Then, after I brushed my teeth and flossed, I took a small and very expensive vial out of the medicine cabinet to perform my last task of the night – undereye cream to get rid of the dark circles under my eyes. Looking at my shaving stand and the manly creams, soaps, hair sprays, pomade, and unguents on the bathroom shelf, I realized I take up more toiletry real-estate than my wife and daughter combined. “Vanity of vanities, says Qoheleth.” I murmured.
After washing soap and whisker remnants down the drain, I toweled off the sink and then looked at myself in the mirror. Who do I look like? My wife is secretly hot for Daniel Craig and, though he’s only a month older than me, I know it’d be laughable to compare myself to him. Thank goodness Annie decided to marry moi but, if Danny gets divorced, I might be in trouble. No, I don’t look like anyone famous, but then again someone told me I looked forty-five just last week. I’d have been flattered if that person wasn’t – oh, how can I put it politely – certifiably off their rocker. Nope, I look like someone’s husband, father, brother, uncle, godparent and friend. I am what I am and that will have to be enough.
Slipping into bed, my wife leaned over and drew her hand across my cheek. “So smooth,” she whispered. Then she turned off the light.
Messer’s Damon, Fillion and Craig, eat your hearts out.