Friday, February 28, 2014

Isn't that special...

When I was about 15 I was working the register one evening at the car wash when the guy I was ringing up caught my father's attention, "Is this your daughter?"

My dad smiled and said yes I was. Then the man pulled out his wallet and said, "Let me show you something," He held out a picture to my dad and my dad gave a low whistle and said "Well, isn't that something." Then he held out the picture to me. And there I was. Older. Probably around mid 20s or so, but it could have been a picture of me. The guy said it was his daughter and he wished he had a picture of her when she was my age because it was remarkable how much we looked alike.

When C was little and I was getting Parenting magazine there was one month where the cover baby was me. Okay not me, really, but the picture looked like it could have been one of my baby pictures. And then a few years ago there was a Facebook ad that had a picture of a woman from the 50s or 60s and there I was again. I was able to download that one so I could keep it.

And I can't tell you the number of times someone tells me that I look just like their best friend/best friend's sister/cousin/girl next door from third grade. Let alone the famous people I get told I resemble. Not exact in those cases, but close. 

And then there are the times where I share something on Facebook that I have always thought was odd, or different and half of my friend list says "Oh thank god! Me too!" Or I post something and a combination of auto-correct, typo and word skipping takes place and it really makes no sense at all but people understand just exactly where I was going with it and fill in the blanks and know what I was talking about because they would have said the same thing. 

Bottom line. I'm not special.

I don't have unique looks. I don't have unique thoughts. I don't have a unique sense of humor. It's all shared by someone else. Even something as basic as my face has been seen on other people. 

Now I guess this should bother me. But it actually (once I really got it) brought me a level of comfort. I know someone out there will get the joke I make. If someone is staring at me in public I can tell myself it's because they are trying to figure out where they know me from instead of thinking I must have something wrong with me. And I know that as I come in to and go out of people's lives I am filling the role that "my type" fills. What ever that is. And that's a good reminder for the times when you forget the world does not in fact revolve around you.

When I came back to work at the ad agency I had a poster by my desk. It was a pitch they did while I was living in Colorado. The reason I kept it was because I wasn't in the picture. It showed that without me the agency went on. It did just fine. Life goes on when we leave and people do just fine. It was a daily reminder that I could leave. I could go. They would be fine without me. And when I did decide to leave my boss hired someone who looked enough like me that it was slightly frightening...

What do I think of myself? I think I'm funny, though I'm often told I'm not really. But I think I am. I think I'm smart, though I know even in my own house I'm running a distant third. Thank god I'm ahead of the cat, though he has figured out how to live a life even more luxurious than mine for even less work so maybe not...anyway... I think I'm kind as well. I can have a bite. You all know that. But deep down I'm basically kind hearted. Funny, smart, kind but I'm not special.

Not in that unique little snowflake sort of way.

But I am me. And though there are others out there like me we fill a niche. A place. A purpose. In this connected word we live in doesn't it make sense that there are types? There are categories? There are people that are like you, like me, like that guy over there? And that we are all filling our rolls to make it all work?

So it doesn't really bother me that I'm not all that special. That I'm not unique. That I know at some point in the next year I will meet someone who will say "you look just like..." and I will make an obscure joke that someone else will get the punchline without me having to explain. That I will say something and get the "Oh my god! Me too!" response. The connections are cool to me. They make me feel like part of the world instead of sitting in the corner trying to make my own world from scratch. 

But maybe that's just me....

No comments:

Post a Comment