My entire life I have been told I look like my Mom. Not that we resemble each other, but that we look exactly alike. If someone has met my mom, and then sees me for the first time by myself they will tell me "oh I knew you were Donna's daughter as soon as I saw you!" And it is true - we do look a lot alike. We are about the same height, both have short hair, pretty much the same eyes, and other similar facial features. I always referred to myself as the "Northern Version" with dark hair and pale skin, of tan, blonde highlighted Donna.
Before I go any further I must say that my mother is beautiful. She has always been beautiful, and looks at least 15 years younger than she actually is, so when people tell me I look like her, I take it as a compliment...now on with my story...
When I was in my teens, and starting to really look more like my mother, I LOATHED when people told me I looked like her. It wasn't so much that I didn't think we looked alike, or didn't want to look like her, it was more that it was all people told me. Every time I saw her friends, or even complete strangers, it would be all, "you look more and more like your mother every day!" It was all I heard - that I was a mini-Donna. I wanted to be my own person. I wanted them to notice me for something else, and not just that I looked like my mother. I wanted my own identity. And really, what 18 year old wants to hear nothing but how much they look like their 40-something year old mother!
The older I got the more ok I was with it all. People would joke with us and call us sisters, much to my mother's delight. I would laugh it off, because they were not being serious, but being flattering to my mother...until they actually were being serious.
In the last 5 years my mother and I have been called sisters a handful of times - and each time was in all seriousness. In that time, my mother has since let her hair go naturally gray, I have put on a little weight, but not much else has changed. Sisters? Are you serious?
I know what you are thinking, that these idiots that said this were trying to flatter my mother, but I kid you not, they seriously thought we were sisters. Do I look like I am 63 years old? Does my mother look like she is 37? Do we both look 40? 50?? What are you saying you imbeciles!!???
Last year, my husband treated us to a spa day in honor of Mother's Day. I was getting a facial, while my mother was getting a pedicure. I am talking (it is one of my pet peeves when getting a facial [and getting my teeth cleaned] to be constantly asked questions) and I said something about "my mother getting a pedicure" and the aesthetician stops what she is doing and literally gaps and says "that woman out there is your mother? I swear to God I thought you were sisters!"
Never have I wanted to slap someone so hard in my life (well, until later but you must read on).
This is what I wanted to say to her, but of course I did not:
Sisters? You thought that woman with the gray hair out there was my sister? Sure, she looks fabulous for her age - of 63 - but your first thought was that I was her sister and not her daughter? What age would that make me? Let's pretend that you thought she was, what, 50? What age does that make me? 45? Am I her younger sister? Or am I her older sister? I think my mom could pass for 55, maybe 52 - do you think that I am actually 36, as I am in real life, and that I am the OOPS! of the family and we are actually sisters? Why would you say this to me? In no way is this a compliment to me. You are saying that I look MUCH older than I really am. What woman on any fucking planet wants to be told that?????? Do you know how this makes me feel???
I just also have to throw out there that this woman proceeded to tell me that I should shave my face with a razor "a la Caroline Manzo." I can't even....WORDS.
Let's fast forward 7 months to the week before this past Christmas...
My brother and I stop at Target after a grueling workout at the gym. We are sweaty, and flush and in gym clothes (obviously). My brother stands next to me (he is 19 months younger than I am, about 6 foot 5 to my 5 foot 9) as we are at the cash register. The cashier, an Indian woman approximately in her late 40s, looks at me and says....are you ready for this....
"Is this your son?"
I literally did the thing where you point to yourself and then look around to see if she was actually talking to me, as I was filled with a rage like no other rage anyone has experienced before.
This is the perfect depiction of how I felt:
"Me? You are talking to me? You think this man looks like he could be my son? Me?"
"He is not your son?"
Here is what I wanted to say, but of course did not (but probably should have): My son? Are you fucking kidding me with this, woman? Do you need your eyes checked? You think that this MAN, standing next to me right here could be my son???? What are you saying????? Are you saying that I look old enough to have a 35 year old son? Or are you saying that he, at six foot five, looks like he is 6 years old? What is it you are saying woman?? Because in no way are you coming out of this situation without being slapped across the face.
As a decent human being, with good manners, I would never think twice about saying something like this to a complete stranger. I would never comment on a person's appearance, especially someone that I didn't know. Of course I am curious why you have that bandaid on your face, but I will talk to you and pretend like I don't see it, as I was not raised by gorillas in the mist!!!!
I get flushed when I workout, and when I am embarrassed or nervous - do you know how many people in my life have told me this? Do they think I do not know this? What good is it you telling me that I have red cheeks? You are just making them redder.
It goes without saying that my New Year's resolution is to take better care of myself, my skin, my hair...and possibly look into a chemical peel, face lift, botox and other rejuvenating treatments as I apparently look like I am a 60 year old mother of a 35 year old man.