A few days ago I posted a photo of myself on this blog, and I later made a comment to my friend subarcticsuburbia that it wasn’t actually me, but Jennifer Aniston.  I said that because a while back subsub posted a photo of Jennifer Aniston in a bikini and said it was her–it was just a joke, not like she was trying to make us all think she was secretly Jennifer Aniston–anyway, it was some funny crap, but I can’t find the original post, so you’ll just have to take my word for it.  In other words, you had to be there.

Anyway, I myself look nothing like Jennifer Aniston, nor do I really aspire to look like Jennifer Aniston–a very attractive woman, not like I’d kill myself if I looked like her, I’m just saying:  I look nothing like her, and if someone offered to give me an extreme makeover so that I could look like her, I would say no–because, dude, that’s not me.

Let me tell you who else is not me.  Lots of people think I look like somebody they know.  I’m talking about complete strangers, not people who do in fact know me.  No one I know for real has ever come up and asked, “Do I know you?”  People who really know me remember that they know me and where they know me from.  Some of them even remember my name (or at least half of it).  Complete strangers, though–people who have never met me before–lots of them think they have met me before, that they must have gone to school with me or we know mutual friends, or something, because I am just too familiar not to have been met by them before.  I tell them that I’m quite sure we’ve never met before–because if I don’t remember it, did it really happen?–and thank them for not confusing me with someone who owes them money.

Sometimes the person says, “You know, you look just like my cousin.”  I look like a lot of people’s cousin.  It’s always a cousin, too–never a niece or a sister-in-law or the girl at the copy shop–and fortunately never an ex-girlfriend or someone on that America’s Most Wanted show.

But a lot of other times, the person says, “No, I know we’ve met before.  You have to help me out here.”  I said to one strange lady, “Really, I just have one of those faces,” and she said, “No, you don’t.”  O-kay.  So maybe you can help me, ma’am–why does everyone think they know me when they can’t remember who I am and I have no idea who they are?  No one can ever answer that.

Could it be that I just look like somebody famous?  Not Jennifer Aniston-famous, but some famous face that no one can ever remember the name of?  It’s possible that I do look like a celebrity and just don’t know it, because I don’t know who any celebrities are anymore.  I could look like somebody on one of those reality TV shows.  Maybe my doppelganger was on Jerry Springer once.  I wouldn’t know.  No, really, I wouldn’t.  Oh, like you’ve never watched Jerry Springer and denied it?  Whatever.

In the past I was told by several people, including my mother-in-law, that I looked like Claire Danes.  Claire Danes used to be a famous actress.  I don’t know what she does now.  (I saw her on the gofugyourself web site several months ago; she was walking around town with Billy Crudup.  I remember because every time I read the name “Billy Crudup,” I think, “Who is Billy Crudup, and does he actually pronounce his name ‘crud’-‘up’?”  Sorry, my mind is easily boggled.)  I didn’t really look like Claire Danes, but I wore my hair like Claire Danes, which is apparently close enough for some people.

I do think I look more like Claire Danes than I do like Jennifer Aniston.  If a plastic surgeon told me, “I can make you look just like Claire Danes,” I would probably say, “No, thank you, I think I look enough like her already.”  But I wouldn’t look that much like her.

My best friend once told me I was the spitting image of Private Jessica Lynch.  She said when Jessica Lynch’s photograph was shown on the news, she turned to her husband and said, “Holy cow, that girl looks just like Mad!”  At the time I didn’t have TV, so I didn’t know what she was talking about, but then Jessica Lynch turned up on the cover of Newsweek, and even I was impressed by the resemblance.

My husband wasn’t impressed, though.  He couldn’t see why anyone would say that Jessica Lynch and I looked alike, other than the fact that we were both “reasonably attractive women.”  Hmph.  Well, as soon as I saw other pictures of her, I had to agree.  She is reasonably attractive, and we look nothing alike.

I could totally work that uniform, though–right, honey?

Anyway, now they have that “celebrity look-alike” face recognition thing at MyHeritage.com  The first time I did it, it told me I looked most like Shania Twain.

I look absolutely nothing like Shania Twain.  Of course, it also matched me with Frank Sinatra and Condoleezza Rice, two other people I look nothing like, so whatever.

I decided to do it again this weekend, using a different photograph (of myself), and it didn’t tell me I looked like Shania Twain.  Or Frank Sinatra or Condi Rice.  This time I came out as Sela Ward.

Sela Ward also used to be a famous actress.  But she’s not as young as Claire Danes, and apparently neither am I.

Nevertheless, I do not look like Sela Ward.

It also told me I look like some people I’ve never heard of, plus Rosario Dawson, Kate Beckinsale, Judi Dench, and Marg Helgenberger, whom I have heard of, but I look nothing like.  I wouldn’t mind looking like Marg Helgenberger, when I get to be of a certain age, but I’d rather look like Claire Danes.  The face recognition genie never matches me with Claire Danes, even though I look more like her than any other celebrity I can think of.  Not that I look a lot like her, but looking a lot like somebody apparently isn’t a criterion here, so what gives?

For years people used to tell me and my sister, bythelbs, that we looked exactly alike.  Not “you could be sisters” alike, but exactly alike.  Like, “You could be twins!”  Which was kind of disconcerting to us because we didn’t think we looked like twins at all.  Not identical twins, anyway, which was what these people were implying.  No offense to each other, but we just didn’t see that strong a resemblance.  The other day, though, I woke up, walked into the bathroom, looked in the mirror, and who did I see?  My sister.  Crazy!  Sure, once I really woke up and my eyes were focusing again, I saw the real me–the one that doesn’t look that much like my sister–and I’ve been looking like myself to me ever since, but still, I was kind of freaked out.  It was the first time I could ever see what some people might have been talking about.

Not that I look like my sister as much as I look like Claire Danes.  I’m just saying.

One of the reasons I don’t post pictures of myself (well…not of my face, anyway) is that I know many of you already picture me looking a certain way, and I don’t want to spoil what your imagination has conjured up–even if you do picture me as some fat lady in curlers and a housedress.  This is your fantasy, not mine.  Our friend Scott has a theory that I look like Zooey Deschanel:

To which I can only say, “Why, yes, I do look like Zooey Deschanel (despite the fact that she looks nothing like Claire Danes).  Except for the hair.  My hair is red.  Or it will be, when I finally get around to dying my roots again.”  However, I know many more of you picture me as an actual giraffe lady.  Which I guess I asked for.  Hopefully, though, you do not have this in mind:

Or this:

But again, it’s your fantasy, not mine.

I just hope Claire Danes doesn’t take it personally.