‘Appearances can be deceiving. Or something like that.’
So. Today is February 14. And yes, I did get something red and shiny for Valentine’s Day: my nose. Maybe by next week — when it’s (fingers crossed) only a miserable memory — I’ll find this cold amusing enough to write about. We’ll (sniff) see. In the meantime, I’m going with what I originally planned.
Which is a riff on Being Compared to Someone Else.
You know. Like when someone comes up to you at a family reunion and says something along the lines of “You remind me so much of your Aunt Net”. (A real Aunt of Mine whose name was Annette. She wore a hairnet, which is how she got that nickname. Or so we kids thought.)
Or maybe you’re at a party and someone says, “Has anyone ever told you that you’re the spitting image of George Clooney?” In which case I’d like to meet you. But, meanwhile, back to my riff.
I was once compared, in my Salad Days, to Glenn Close. Seriously. My younger Ogilvy Days coincided with the Days of Spy Magazine, which used to pick on Donald Trump way before he was “45” and before Graydon Carter was Vanity Fair.
Spy (well, Graydon) is infamous for christening Donald the “short-fingered vulgarian”. But in case you’re thinking poor DT was singled out for abuse, Spy also mocked “churlish dwarf billionaire Laurence Tisch“, and “bosomy dirty-book writer Shirley Lord”. (Monikers that are pretty funny even if you do have to click on my links because you don’t know who the heck those people are.)
Anyway, Spy used to run a feature called “Separated at Birth”, where they would compare photos of celebrities like Mick Jagger and Don Knotts. (heh heh heh) And, because it was such a craze at the time (and because this was back in the days when ad agencies did wacky camaraderie-building things like this), Ogilvy ran a series of “separated-at-births” of their own. I was paired (in a poster! in public!) with Glenn Close. Now this would be seriously flattering, except for the fact that Ms. Close’s most famous role at the time was as Alex in ‘Fatal Attraction’.
At least I was compared to a female celebrity. My mother was once told she was the spitting image of Robert Culp.
Speaking of my mom, the title of this piece (“You looked so nice I almost didn’t recognize you”) is something an actual person said to her once. Which, of course, is a little different from being compared to a celebrity. Or even Aunt Net.
Incidentally, I chose that main photo because everyone in my family — not just mom — looks uncharacteristically formal in it.
But back to celebrity comparisons for a sec. The Dude, of course, is compared to James Taylor pretty much every time he leaves the house. He hears “Did anyone ever tell you that you look like James Taylor?” so often that I wrote a whole piece about it (“I’ve Seen Fire and I’ve Seen Birthdays”) for his birthday (The Dude’s, not James’).
To me, though, the person The Dude resembles most is The Child. (Or would that be the other way around?)
Well, I simply must wrap this up before Tuesday (and my dripping nose) run rapidly out of control. I’ve mentioned it before (in “Yachts: many many boats”) but, speaking of father-daughter resemblances, here’s my entry in a New York Magazine competition years ago.
It’s the one where you were supposed to write down what a person said, and then what that person was really thinking. Mine was:
(Says) ‘She looks just like her father.’
(Thinks) ‘Omigod. She looks just like her father.’
Heh heh heh. Yeah, it won. Which tickled me pink. But not as pink as my nose is right now. And, speaking of tickled, please feel free to compare me with anyone, any time. Extra points if the compared-with are among my role models. Like Mary Tyler Moore. Or my mom.
New York City. February 2017