a generic face… or universal features?

“Do you have a sister?” he asked, as I pulled my credit card from my wallet.


I swiped my Visa through the card reader. Wait — what had I just said?! In my distraction, I had inadvertently lied to the guy! “Well, I do… but they don’t live around here.”

He looked at me sideways, so I continued.

“Unless you’ve gone to Georgia or Ohio recently, you haven’t run into them.” He smiled and said he hadn’t. I was on my way home from a picnic that got rained out and had stopped at the grocery store for a few items. The kid bagging my groceries was a friendly teenager, and we had talked and joked a bit when he bagged my groceries last week. The store wasn’t busy tonight, so another equally likeable teenage male employee was hanging around and listening to our conversation.

“Why? Do I look like someone you know?” I asked the boy bagging my groceries.

“Yeah, you look like the sister of one of my teachers.”

With an expression of “aha!” on my face, I suddenly turned and pointed at the other boy who was standing nearby. His facial expression matched mine. We had just had a similar conversation a few weeks ago! The boys compared notes and concluded that they weren’t thinking of the same person. The bagger thought I looked like the sister of one of his high school teachers (he has actually seen this sister), and the other boy had thought I was a teacher at the local middle school. Who knows? Maybe the teachers are sisters… but they’re not MY sisters.

This happens to me all the time. All The Time. Well, not every day, but probably every few months… which seems like a lot to me! Either someone tells me I resemble someone else they know, or a total stranger thinks they actually know me.

A couple years ago I was talking about this with some college students, and I jokingly concluded that I guess I just have a generic face. J’aime, a beautiful girl from Australia, offered a more flattering description, suggesting that I have “universal features.” Sounds lovely, doesn’t it? It would sound even more lovely if it were remotely true. Then again, maybe I’m the only one who’s oblivious to the fact that the earth is swarming with beautiful women who look just like me. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Ha!

3 Comments on “a generic face… or universal features?

  1. At least they didn’t think you were a student.

  2. JDT: True! Then again, not many high school students buy groceries each week.

  3. Hey, this happens to me so often it’s ridiculous! Like I’ll meet a couple and one will think i look like their friend and the other will think I look like that friend as well as their work mates little brother or something random. One night a guy shouted me drinks all night cause he swore we went to school together and wouldn’t take no for an answer, ok by me! I like the sound of universal features :) your post is from 2008 so have you had any more funny stories?

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