In German folklore, a “doppelgänger” (literal translation “double-goer”) is a look-alike or double of a living person. The word is also used to describe a person who looks or behaves like another person.
You may have known that already but I just wanted to make sure because once upon a time I mentioned “doppelgänger” in a post and people got very confused. And considering my first and foremost goal as a blogger is to communicate with the people (that’s you!) in a manner that is clear and effective, confusing you is quite far from the ideal situation. Hence, I have provided all appropriate definitions. Are you un-confused now? Neither am I. Good.
On the subject of doppelgängers…actually I’ll provide some context first. Four months ago I moved from a small country town to the big smoke (insert: sarcasm. The town from which I moved is a city too, just nowhere near as big a city as the one to which I moved). For the sake of my remaining somewhat anonymous and protecting myself from all you crazies out there in the World Wide Web, let’s call them City A and City B. City A (departed city) is about one quarter of the size of City B (destination city). I don’t know if that statistic holds true but it certainly gives you an idea. I know 100% of the people that live in City A, and 100% of them know me too. There are zero faces in City A that are unfamiliar to me, ignoring, of course, those that have been born since my move. But they’re not really humans yet being four-months young and all. On the other hand, City B is about four-times the size of City A (again, don’t hold me to that statistic just go with it for now). Approximately 99.9% (recurring) of the faces in City B are unknown to me, as is mine unknown to them. Almost everyone I meet in City B knows nothing about me. And that, let me tell you, is both a blessing and a curse.
That’s where this whole thing about “doppelgängers” comes in. Since moving to City B, three individuals have commented that I am the splitting image of Shoshanna from Girls. (Side note: is it splitting image or spitting image? Out loud you can get away with it being either if you say it quickly enough but there’s no hiding your ignorance when you have to spell it out and Yahoo Answers was far from useful as per usual so someone please help me.) Isn’t that interesting? In City A, not a single person had ever commented on my alikeness to Shoshanna but all of a sudden, in a new place, a whole three people have. The first was a girl working at a bar I went to on the weekend, the second was a girl who’s just started at my place of work, and the third was a girl at university with whom I’ve never spoken apart from our conversation in which she disclosed my alikeness to Shoshanna. (If you haven’t watched Girls, nothing of what I’m about to say will make sense. So I suppose, just this once, you can be excused and surf the Net elsewhere.)
Shoshanna. She’s crazy as can be without being actually crazy. She talks so fast you can only properly capture every seventh word, and by that time she’s three conversation topics ahead. She has so much energy it seems she might explode or at least shoot through the roof at any given moment. She sees the world through pink-candied glasses and has this super ridiculous pony-tail or plait on top of her head that makes her look like a horse, albeit a cute one. She’s smart but doesn’t seem it because basically, she is the most annoying person on the planet. You’ve probably realised by now that I’m the world’s biggest fan of hyperboles but when I say Shoshanna is the most annoying person on the planet, I mean it. She is so annoying I can’t decide if I want to adopt her or kill her or maybe just spend a day with her before my own brain explodes. Anyway, the point is this: I think I love her, but I’m not 100% sure. So when someone, or three people, tell me I remind them of Shoshanna, I don’t know if that’s a good or bad thing. Like, it could be the best thing in the world because she’s awesome, or it could be the worst thing in the world because she is so extremely annoying and most people want her dead.
Here’s a vital point I’ve not yet mentioned: one of the girls that said I remind her of Shoshanna didn’t tell me directly. She told another girl at work and explained to her that she didn’t know whether to tell me or not because she didn’t want me to take offence. Naturally, this other girl has since told me and we agree that we don’t know whether I should be offended or not. So there I was, minding my own business and being my own person when all of a sudden, I discover I remind people (three whole people) of someone that lots of people find annoying. So now, after 23.75 years of being I’m for the first time discovering that perhaps, to some people (hopefully only three), I am annoying. On the one hand that’s a good thing because I now know who I truly am – annoying – but on the other hand, I now know that I’m annoying.
I think I’m having some sort of identity crisis. And it’s all because I’ve got this doppelgänger that I wouldn’t have if it weren’t for some TV show in which a fictional character was created that happens to be just a bit like me.