Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Girl With My Face

“Oh you came back.” The smiling clothing store saleswoman walked over to me. I glanced at her Express name tag.

“I’m sorry, do we know each other?” I smiled back uncertainly.

“You were in here a few hours ago. And now you’re back again.”

Her smiled slipped a little as the confused look on my face deepened.

“That wasn’t you? There was a woman here earlier. She looked just like you. She was wearing almost exactly the same outfit you’re wearing now.” She looked at my zipped up white Abercrombie feather down jacket with brown faux fur hoodie trim, my black Civil War military style hat, and black stiletto boots peeking out from my straight legged dark blue jeans.

The fact was I’d just arrived at the mall a few minutes ago. The last time I’d been in the Express store had been a good six months ago and it had been at a different mall. It had not been me. It was the phantom girl with my face.

Over the past two years or so I have been repeatedly confused for someone else. Someone about my height, about my weight, build, hair color and length and has apparently not just my face, but also my wardrobe.

Who is this woman?? I have been approached by strangers thinking they know me, emailed to on social networking and dating sites by people who think they’ve seen me and talked to by restaurant staff and store employees who claim to have helped me before.  

It’s been a bit like living in a movie about parallel universe, twins split at birth or a DNA experiment. It’s unnerving, exciting and somewhat annoying.

And tonight I nearly saw her for myself.  

I got a call by someone who had been with me that day I was in Express telling me that my twin was at the gym he and I go to. The gym I decided not to go to tonight because I’d stayed up all last night remodeling one of my bathrooms and cold symptoms I’d just gotten over, claimed their victory over my immunity regressed throat and nose yet again.

I threw on my gym clothes and drove a few short blocks to the place where I would finally confront my look-alike. On the way over I imagined what I’d say to this girl if we really did share that strong of a resemblance. Would we stare at each other in awe, feeling like our reflection had just stepped out of a mirror? Would we like each other, this person who we share so many features with? After all these years of being mistaken for her, I planned to just walk right up to her, say hello and ask her name. I had a ton of questions. I didn’t know where to start.

I wanted to ask what her ancestry was, where she was born, what her astrology sign and age were. Find out what she did and if she’d also been mistaken for me. And then I had some bazar questions to ask, like if she’d throat punched someone who had hit on her at a club the way a stranger on a dating site emailed me to asked if that had been me one summer weekend.

I already knew I wanted to like her. As a kid I used to pretend I had an identical twin. Someone who knew exactly what my childhood experiences were like, who understood me on a level that only someone who shares your same face and body can. Someone who has been met by the same prejudices and advantages created by a specific combination of appearance, background and personality.

Chances are good though that if this chick were the kind to throat punch another girl in a club, she probably would find me more dorky than similar. I’d probably want to Facebook friend her. She might hate me on sight and refuse to speak to me.  

Either way, I never got to ask.  

I missed her by barely two minutes.

I walked in the gym wildly curious and left moments later completely disappointed. She’d just left. Probably while I was parking my car.

I was surprised at the depth of my frustration at having missed her. Maybe if I hadn’t been constantly hearing about her and being confused for her, for over two years, I wouldn’t have been determined to finally meet her.

It almost seems like there is some cosmic force causing us to walk a similar path, yet never meet. Would it destroy some grand plan or cause a hyperbole, time warp tear in the space/time continuum if she and I met face to face? 

Genetics have always fascinated me. And aside from my childhood game of pretending I had a twin, I found in college research on twin studies, both biological and non-genetic anomalies particularly intriguing. And I’m not the only one.

                                                           Identical Twin Stories

Whether exploring the Nature vs Nurture argument, developing marketing tactics for predicting spending habits or unraveling the genome of how human life started, studying twins have given scientist and researchers some of their most valuable data.

                                                            Twins Sexual Orientation

Aside from twin studies, something that people find fascinating are individuals who are not genetically twins but look like they could be. One term for that is Doppelganger. This can include anyone from parents and their children, to complete strangers. The Internet is full of pictures, websites and examples.

I found several photos where the mom and daughter look so much alike, you almost can't tell at first glance which is which.

People are especially fascinated with celebrity look-alikes. You can view pictures of their "twins". Enter contests for looking like one. Or generate a list that shows what celebrities you resemble.

Since certain looks are found to be universally attractive, it's not surprising that people who look like each other, act like each other and share talents can end up all becoming celebrities.

Scientists guess that every person has about six people on the planet who resemble them. After all, there are a finite number of possible genetic combinations in the world; eventually they will accidentally be duplicated. It's just that in past generations there wasn't much chance of bumping into them, much less finding them on another continent.

There is even a website devoted to helping people find their doppelgangers all over the planet. The site is called I Look Like You.

As for my own Virginia Doppelganger: We live in the same town. We shop at the same stores. We eat at the same restaurants. We have a membership to the same gym and rec center. How much longer can we possibly continue to narrowly miss each other??

Maybe I should use this site: Find People Who Look Like You On Facebook

Wouldn’t it be mind blowing for the sales clerk if I did meet my “twin” and we both decided to go shopping at that same Express store together? Being the same size, having the same look and sharing the same fashion sense, we certainly would be able to share clothing.

But... what if it turns out the girl at the gym is NOT the same girl at the Express store and there is yet another girl out there who looks like BOTH of us…

Friday, February 22, 2013

Red Boots: Why so Hideous?

If you’ve noticed, I completely skipped over not just the (pathetic excuse of a.. heh) holiday of Valentine’s Day, I adamantly avoided posting anything the week following it too.  Let’s just say it’s not a favorite holiday of mine. But we shall save that dissection for another time.

At the moment there is another topic near and dear to my heart of a related thread.


Inexplicably, the way women have a special relationship with the coca bean (aka chocolate), women have an illogically strong attachment to their shoes.

They’re headliners of 

Movies: “In Her Shoes”, “The Devil Wears Prada”, “The Red Shoes”

Music: “These Boots Were Made For Walking”, “The Christmas Shoes”, “Blue Suede Shoes”

And Books: “Going Away Shoes”, “Cruel Shoes”, “Secrets of a Shoe Addict”

It could be the way it they turn an already shapely woman’s leg into an elongated silhouette of desire that stirs longing in the loins of men. It could be the sudden infusion of feeling maturity and sensuality that strapping on and strutting around in sexy stems evokes.

Maybe it’s the association with glitz, glamor and the fantasy of elegant living necessary for having an excuse to even wear the fashionably sizzling but otherwise entirely impractical shoes. Or possibly it’s the sensual urge to slip into a pair and then dance- be it slink, sway or sashay across a dance floor.

Check out this dance clip from a Hollywood classic film set to a modern hip hop song. You could say it puts a whole new spin on how we view the movie dancers from previous generations. I dare you to not be impressed.

If that one moved you even a little…take a look at this one. It’s an impressive blend of yesteryear and modern sexual energy, prowess and skill. You can’t watch dancing without noticing feet and what is on them.

And then there is the unique draw of boots. A fine example of “clandestine”, boots are often more about what they cover and how they draw attention to what is not covered.  

Although boots vary in height, type of heel, adornments and intended use, most people will agree that boots command attention. They are both strong and statement making; adding a particularly erotic edge to femininity and a certain rough polish to male footwear. They bridge elegant and bohemian.  

Regardless of the reasoning behind the footwear obsession, I’m caught up in it boot, heel and slipper.

Buy them on sale, take care of them when you have them, and pick styles that are classic and timeless and your shoe collection will last you a long time. In some cases, a decade or longer.

I confess to owning over one hundred pairs of shoes, nearly half being boots and most of which would be worthless worn while walking in dirt, puddles, grass, gravel or pretty much any surface that isn’t flat, paved or smooth.  

But I don’t care. I find or create opportunities to wear my sexy shoes and am therefore always on the lookout for new hotties to add to my collection.

And as anyone who has a compilation of anything knows, variety is the name of the game. After all, the only way you can justify having a massive hoard of anything not requiring precise duplicates (like ammo) is for each to be distinctly different.

So it’s acceptable for me to have 11 pair of black shoes, so long as among them are sandals, stilettos, ankle boots, mid-calf boots, thigh high boots, knee boots, cowboy boots, hooker boots, dress boots, dress shoes and business suit shoes. Right?

Aside from style, fit and material one of the definitive ways for ensuring distinction is color.

There are the striking color differences like: Black, white, brown, peach, pink, purple, turquoise, orange and green. And then there are the subtle shade differences found between cream, champagne, buttermilk, tan, beige, taupe, and ivory.

Few and far between colors are absent in the common assortment of style, shape and function of different shoes, that do not look great on the foot and compliment clothing for some “going out” fun.

Except Red.

Call them the red-treaded step-child of the fashion industry.  

For some ungodly, indiscernible reason when it comes to red boots, footwear designers are bound and determined to take what should be the epitome of the lustful siren call and turn it into something utterly hideous.    

Red is the color of passion, fire, intensity and desire. People flush when they’re aroused. Red is the color of life giving blood and is used in both warning people to stop and tantalizing them to proceed. It is also a very common clothing color found in specialty costume, evening wear, business attire and everyday living.

So why on earth is it so nearly impossible to find sexy red boots??

Either the boots try too hard to make it look like the owner is selling their body, they’re associated with a jolly winter holiday or they’re just designed to convince everyone that it is inconceivable for anyone to look good in them. I present to you some of the worst of the offenders I found in a quick perusal online. I challenge you to find worse.


I don’t understand this because I have actually seen sexy red boots online and on people. But of course, just as my pulse quickens I get excited only to have my hopes shattered by finding out they are “out of stock” or “currently unavailable”.

Meanwhile all the butt ugly, I-can’t-believe-anyone-actually-made-these boots are everywhere. Some of them aren’t even red. The impudence of such imposters. They’re burgundy, bleached maroon, rusty plum or practically orange.

Don’t get me started on the styles!

And then they are fringed, studded, be-speckled or made of what looks to be canvas, linoleum or duct tape.

Because god-only-knows that anyone daring enough to wear a red boot must also want them to look like their shoes were raped by three vastly different ethic groups or designed by fetish fanatics on very heavy medication.

Oh wait, those would be considered Lady Gaga inspired. Same difference. But seriously…   



(deep calming breathes.)

Never the less, I shall remain hopeful. So I troll the malls and scour the web, hoping against hope to find a sexy (but daytime presentable) pair of red knee high boots: solid cherry red, unadorned, with a thee-inch heel and a natural foot shaped toe. You would think I were asking for the unattainable.  

Until I find said shoe to induct into my ensemble, I will take comfort in knowing that I am not alone in my pursuit for footwear that announces your presence, projects your personality and inspires your adrenaline. 

Heart shaped candy holiday-free.   

(A tribute to boot lovers everywhere, here is the trailer to a film I thoroughly enjoyed.)