I was at a friend's apartment last week, and I found myself in a conversation with a nice man whom I'd never met before. Very friendly. As we were making small chitchat (as if there's any other kind), he spoke the following words: "Hey, has anyone ever told you..."
Ohhhh, boy. I knew what was coming.
"...you look like [insert celebrity's name here]?"
Ugh. I knew it. I knew he was going to compare my physical appearance to that of a celebrity. There wasn't a doubt in my mind. It was so predictable the moment the words "Hey, has anyone ever told you" came out of his mouth. The question is never, "Hey, has anyone ever told you your blog is hilarious?" Or, "Hey, has anyone ever told you that you should've won an Oscar by now?" The first six words in the question are always meant to set up a long and pointless debate over which actor or singer or reality TV star I look like.
We have this unusual preoccupation with comparing ourselves to the rich and famous. We've all had the following conversation with our friends: If Hollywood was to make a movie about our lives, who would play us? I can make an educated guess as to who would play my friends and me in a movie: No one. Because none of us are remotely interesting. My Facebook News Feed reminds me of this every day.
(But for the record, if Hollywood did make a movie about me, I'd cast Armie Hammer as myself. He portrayed identical twins in The Social Network, so it would stand to reason that he could play both me and my brother, who kind of looks like me. And Evan Rachel Wood would co-star as the tormented girlfriend I wish I had to make my story more compelling.)
Back to my friend's apartment. The nice man strongly believed that I resemble a well-known celebrity. Who? Woody Allen.
This was a first. I've been compared to many stars through the years, but never Woody Allen. Woody is a real stretch, or so I thought at first. I'm often grouped with other short people who wear glasses, because, as I've detailed before, all short people who wear glasses look like they're related.
I laughed when he mentioned Woody's name. Then we talked about Woody some more, and he slowly began to convince me that I do look a little like Woody. And I grew more and more neurotic over the possibility of looking like Woody. Neurotic like Woody. I was feeling more and more like Woody with each passing minute. Maybe Diane Keaton should play my girlfriend in the movie about my life.
As luck would have it, I ran into the same man on the street a few days ago. Upon further reflection, he said, I don't look like Woody Allen. I thought, Finally, he came to his senses. Then he told me I actually look like a cast member of one of the Police Academy movies, though he couldn't remember which one. I'll assume he wasn't referring to Hightower, Tackleberry or the guy who made all the sound effects.
I don't think I look like a celebrity. I think I look like Shane, which is good enough for me. And Armie Hammer. And Evan Rachel Wood/Diane Keaton. And Woody Allen, if he wants to direct the movie about my life.