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The doppelganger effect

A couple months ago I was at the bank drive-through window when the teller said, “Oh, hello! I just talked to you sister yesterday.” Which was news to me, because I don’t have a sister, and to my knowledge my brother has not been depositing checks in drag. I corrected her error, but the incident reminded me of two other events in my life.

First, right after I moved to Indianapolis, I was waiting in a line wrapped around a movie theater to get tickets for Star Wars – The Phantom Menace before we all found out the prequels were going to suck. The guy in front of me turned around and said, “Didn’t I go to high school with you?” Of course he hadn’t, because he wasn’t from Kentucky. The second event, was two or three years later when I was living fat and alone in my college apartment. I stopped at a liquor store to buy pina colada stuff when the counter boy asked me, “Don’t I know you from somewhere?” But he didn’t.

During both of these incidents, I wasn’t so much amazed that someone thought they knew me. What I really wanted to say was, “Wow. There’s someone else as fat as me in this city? Who also looks like me? How completely bizarre.” Because seriously, how many super morbidly obese doppelgangers can you have?

I have never met this overweight “twin” of mine, but now I wonder if she too lost weight and banks at the same place I do.

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28 Comments

Olivia • March 27, 2008 at 8:22 am

It’s always weird when that happens. For a couple of years a cashier at Safeway would constantly ask me how my dad is doing. My dad never lived in that town. I corrected him a couple of times, but he kept asking. After a while I would just say “he’s fine, thanks.”

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J • March 27, 2008 at 8:59 am

I would get those comments when I was obese (I’ve lost over 100 lbs). My theory was that people don’t really pay much attention to those of us that are fat. They don’t really see us at all so we all look the same to them. Just a theory.

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Lesley • March 27, 2008 at 9:10 am

Hi there. Sorry to hear you’re in a slump; I’m sure you’ll get out of it soon. The long, cold winter isn’t helping matters.

Re doppelgangers, I used to have one in Sheffield though never met her but unfortuntely I don’t think she lost her weight as the mentions have dropped off in the last year or so.

I did meet a girl who looked EXACTLY like me but 15/20 years younger. We just stared at each other and everyone in the pub commented. Very weird. Luckily I had lost weight by then and was scrubbed up nice so I didn’t scare the bejesus out of her as she will no doubt grow into me!!

I had to keep a close eye on my husband as he kept making noises about her looking just like “the girl I fell in love with…” and kind of drooling!

Chin up chuck.

Lesley x

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Red • March 27, 2008 at 9:37 am

I get that all the time, too, only they’re like, “Wow, doesn’t she remind you of (fill in the blank)?”, which for some reason is always followed by, “Yes, she has a really pretty face.” -(The Fat Girl Compliment Of Doom)

Or they’ll tell me how much I look like someone, and then they’ll show me a picture of that person that makes me want to walk around with a bag over my head.

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Kyle • March 27, 2008 at 10:43 am

They do say that we all have a twin out there somewhere.

Mine is homeless. On Flickr there’s this guy who takes pictures of homeless people and writes about their stories. He has a picture of my homeless twin. Like every couple of months someone will stumble across my Flickr stream, see my pictures and email me telling me I have a twin on this other guy’s stream.

WEIRD.

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Jenn • March 27, 2008 at 10:50 am

I think some people just have a common face. I get this all the time- I look like someone’s sisters old roommate, or a distant cousin, or someone’s old neighbor. It’s weird, and people will even tell me that I talk or have the same mannerisms as my dopplegangers. I’ve never met any of them though!

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Red • March 27, 2008 at 11:46 am

I love the line about your brother not depositing checks in drag.

He has been buying groceries in drag, just not depositing checks.

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Abby • March 27, 2008 at 11:56 am

That is also used as a pick-up line.

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Pam • March 27, 2008 at 12:14 pm

Maybe they read your blog :)

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Jenn • March 27, 2008 at 12:44 pm

One evening a guy mistook me for HIS SISTER. I didn’t have my back to him or anything, face to face. It was weird.

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Andrew is getting fit • March 27, 2008 at 1:27 pm

I saw someone who looked just like me once. It was freaky. Unfortunately I didn’t manage to go over and say hello.

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Marla • March 27, 2008 at 1:47 pm

Sweetie? Those are pickup lines. They were trying to strike up a conversation with you.

Repeat after me: D’OH!

(I’m allowed to make fun of you because I am equally clueless).

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Stacie • March 27, 2008 at 2:24 pm

I made it!

PQ… I started reading from entry #1 two weeks ago. I have been looking forward to the point at which I’m on the same day as you for days now.

Reading this blog, while it has made me completely useless at work and at home, has completely re-motivated me to continue working out and eating healthy. “Self–PQ lost HALF her body weight.. why don’t you take the hint and go running. Then maybe you can lose that 30% you’ve been working toward.”

You’re in a slump? Maybe go back and read some entries from 2006 and pretend they are someone else and you want to be as motivated as they are!

Also, I hope you don’t mind.. but I totally whored your blog out. I didn’t think it was fair that every single person trying to lose weight the healthy way didn’t know about you. You are so motivational to me, I hope you can do the same thing for them.

I’m glad you like the blog, Stacie, and feel free to tell as many people about it as you want to! I love to get new readers.

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K • March 27, 2008 at 3:23 pm

Years ago, a girl walked up to me in the street, said hello, and started talking away. I didn’t know her at all, and it took her a moment or two to work out that I wasn’t who she thought.

Apparently my doppelgänger was English and a law student (I was still at school). I’ve often wondered where she is now…

Some years before that, I had seen a girl who looked really like me in a children’s show, but I don’t think she can have been the same one.

There is also a fresco that apparently looks like me in the Hermitage in St Petersburg… but I can’t see it at all!

The only time I’ve been absolutely convinced I knew someone from somewhere, it turned out I had seen her picture in the newspaper. You haven’t been in the local papers publicising the book, have you?

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AG • March 27, 2008 at 3:39 pm

I totally agree with J. When I was really thin people looked at me, smiled, open the door. After I put a lot of weight on, I noticed people would never make eye contact (it might cause them to catch my “chub rub”)

It’s like I became invisible and I really wanted to scream “I AM THE SAME PERSON!” But I didn’t. When I’m chunky, I’m always too polite, like I’m apologizing for myself.

AG

http://www.100daysinbed.blogspot.com

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VerseFameBeauty • March 27, 2008 at 11:04 pm

Did you notice all these instances were men? “Don’t I know you from somewhere?” (and variations) is a common pickup line. They were probably trying to work up the courage to ask you out!!

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PastaQueen • March 28, 2008 at 7:07 am

These events all took place far too long ago for me to analyze whether they were trying to pick my up. At the time, I got the genuine sense that they thought they recognized me. Whether that’s true or my flirtation radar is completely broken, I don’t know.

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Rachael • March 28, 2008 at 7:53 am

While vacationing in Asheville, NC two summers ago a girl working at a bookstore got super excited because she thought I was a chick from some documentary she loves. She didn’t belive me that I wasn’t this documentary person. She thought I was trying to keep my identity on the DL. I never figured out what the documentary was about.

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Befreckled • March 28, 2008 at 8:24 am

Hey, PQ

Thanks for sharing both the ups and downs. It’s encouraging to know that even successful people hit mental walls and physical slumps. Right now you’re the only blog I read for encouragement with the weight battle. Half of the weight loss blogs out there you feel like asking if they’d like a little cheese with their whine, and the other half make you wonder if their ponytail isn’t just a wee bit too tight. We’re supposed to break the record today for the most snow since 1872 in NH. Needless to say, we’re more than a little tired of winter, and most of the state has the blahs (and the flu).

I met and befriended my own doppelganger through the scouting program, who, ironically has the same last name and two boys the same ages as mine. We (and our husbands) don’t really think we look that much alike, but everyone else seems to think so.

Here’s to a great run tomorrow. I don’t know what goodie awaits you at the end, but what fun to enjoy something yummy guilt free!

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G.G. • March 28, 2008 at 10:11 am

My doppleganger was in a picture in my first year German language textbook. Someone in the class pointed the picture out to me. Didn’t see the likeness then, but I do now. Freaky (and yes, I am a dork who keeps ancient textbooks and thumbs through them on occasion.)

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HotHarmony • March 28, 2008 at 2:49 pm

This happens to me frequently, people somehow always mistake me for someone else. I guess we just must have those faces that are familiar.

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MizFit • March 28, 2008 at 6:12 pm

you say more in fewer words than I do in my long rambles.

M.

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AG • March 28, 2008 at 9:13 pm

Dear Pasta Queen,

Thank you so much for commenting on my blog! I felt like I had been visited by a celebrity. You are such a huge, huge inspiration to me. I lost 70 pounds and was at my best weight five years ago. After the tragic lose of my cousin two years ago, it’s like I stopped caring about exercise, what I put in my mouth or… anything. I hate myself for putting so much weight back on… (sigh)

But you blog is a constant reminder that I can get back there. Especially, when you say “ounce by ounce.”

Thank you again, and I can’t wait to get your book.

AG

http://www.100daysinbed.blogspot.com

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debby • March 29, 2008 at 10:47 am

PQ–You have such a way with words, even in a slump! That whole bit about ‘how many super morbidly obese doppelgangers can you have’ cracked me up–I used to have the same thought, but not so well formed, and I also did not believe they were pick-up lines!

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FatLady • March 29, 2008 at 5:38 pm

Maybe we all look alike to them?

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Paige • March 29, 2008 at 10:41 pm

Good for you! I got up and did my two miles on the treadmill today too. It’s nothing like the 9 miles you are running, but I’m just trying to work up to a 5K. And speaking of MP3 players, I can’t find mine. I may have to steal one of the kids, but then I’d be stuck listening to High School Musical and Weird Al songs. I may have to by a new one. What kind would you recommend? I’m going for cheap, here, too.

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Denise • March 29, 2008 at 10:42 pm

Funny, I think that the lady doing the yoplat yogurt commercial looks like you (or you look like her). Its the one where she takes a bunch of her clothes to the dry cleaners to have them all taken in because she lost weight eating their Boston Creme Pie, Key Lime Pie, ect yogurt.

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Shanna • March 31, 2008 at 2:32 pm

I have had several people think I am someone else, I have worked at a bank, shopko and I look like someone that works at walmart’s friends daughter. I didn’t know I had so many jobs or got around so much. It would be fun to see who they are really talking about to see if I look like them

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Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JenFul now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

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