Thursday, October 14, 2010

Splendor in the (Gr)ass

"You know who you remind me of? It's been driving me crazy, but now I've got it."

The nurse at the surgeon's office looked up at me expectantly, clearly waiting for me to guess.

"Uh...I have no idea..."

I'm usually afraid to hear the answer, and I don't dare volunteer one of my own. When I and MTV were both much younger, I'd get compared to video jockey Martha Quinn.* I didn't mind it so much, except that it meant that I was little-sister-cute, and that wasn't exactly how I wanted to be seen when I was seventeen. A few years of college and a dye job later, I started getting Cheers-era Shelly Long, for both the hair and the dense vocabulary. It was not meant as a compliment. I can't remember the other suggested doppelgangers, but I know that I didn't like most of them.

I stood there and attempted to look like nobody in particular. I twisted my face in a number of different ways, as you do when you know that someone is scrutinizing you. I tried to not flare my nostrils, which guaranteed that I'd be flaring my nostrils. I didn't know where to look while she was staring at me, so I kept shifting my gaze around, twitchy. I was pretty sure that at one point I actually did look like Shelley Long.

She waited a few uncomfortable beats longer, then, finally gave up on making me guess.

"Natalie Wood!" she said, triumphantly. "But you're too young to know who that is."

I did, in fact, know who Natalie Wood was, and I was very flattered. When we first got cable, it seemed like HBO played 'Brainstorm' at least three times a day**. I remember thinking that she was so beautiful, and I sat through that mediocre movie at least a couple dozen times just to watch her. It was quite an honor to be compared to her. I acknowledged it in the only way I could, having been taken so by surprise.

"What a coincidence! I was thinking of taking up pleasure boating, now that I'm giving up on motorcycles."

She scowled at me, then handed me a sheath of papers. "Fill these out. Someone will call you back in a few minutes."

I am an ass, sometimes. At least I don't look like Shelley Long.***

I'm still a few inches shy of being done with Juliet. I'll probably finish just after the weather turns too cool to wear it.

* MTV not only used to play videos, they had hosts who announced them. And sometimes, when they'd run out of videos, they'd just play long musical pieces while showing rockets launching. Really. You young kids have no idea how revolutionary it was.
** This was an even bigger deal than you'd think, because our cable box didn't have a remote control. Back in those days, you committed to what you were watching, or you stood up and pushed a button ON THE TV.
*** Not that there's anything wrong with that. I have nothing against Shelley Long. But go back and watch early episodes of Cheers, then tell me what woman in her right mind would want to be Diane Chambers.

1 comment:

knottygnome said...

hmm, i think you look just a teensy bit like Anne Dudek.

i get compared to Random Asian Celebrity all the time. one time at a bar this guy told me i look like sandra oh even though i look absolutely nothing like her (she has curly hair for heaven's sake!) because we were both asian and wore glasses.