The year: 1998. The setting: Redmond, WA. I was working in the infant room of a daycare center, and we’d just gotten a new baby, Trevor. For the first week he was there, Trevor’s mom kept asking me where she knew me from. I grew up in New Jersey and was still relatively new to the Northwest, and she didn’t look familiar to me at all, but she was positive we’d met before. Finally, after several days of this, she asked me if I’d ever worked at Safeway, or if my sister worked at Safeway, or if I knew that a girl who works at Safeway looks EXACTLY LIKE ME. I didn’t have any Safeway connection but she was satisfied that at least she’d figured out why I looked familiar, and we were able to move on.
I didn’t think much about my Safeway twin at the time because I get that kind of thing all. the. time. I don’t know if it’s a case of “all redheads look alike” or I just have “one of those faces” or maybe you’re just thinking of Jessica Chastain. (Shut up, someone really said that one time.) Or fine, maybe you’re just thinking of Molly Weasley, which someone also really said one time. (Shut up.) Whatever the reason, I’ve had many conversations over the years with people who definitely know me from somewhere, and even though they don’t look familiar to me, and I tell them I get that all the time, we still go over where I went to high school, college, where I’ve worked, lived, shopped, played, etc. until finally they give up, even though they definitely know me. As crosses go, it’s a very light one to bear.
Fast forward over this montage of people insisting they know me, and now the year is 2009, the setting North Bend, WA. Rich and Lucy and I go into a candy store, and the second I walk in the door, the woman working there says, “Oh! You must be a Dillon!” I clearly don’t know what she’s talking about and she says, “Really? You’re not part of the Dillon family? You look just like Jeannie.” I tell her no, but that I get that kind of thing a lot, “You know, like, did we go to high school together, do you work at Safeway…” and then she says:
“Jeannie works at Safeway! She works at the Safeway in Redmond!”
Ok, so that was kind of exciting, but then she took it to the next level when she said, “I have my high school yearbook in the back. Wait here, I’ll go get it.” 11 years after Trevor’s mom was sure I was related to the girl who works at Safeway and I finally get to see for myself:
Just kidding, that’s me.
I didn’t think to take a picture of Jeannie, and I kind of wish I had, but at least I’m now spared the ethical dilemma of whether it would be ok to post her photo on a blog eight years later. So, did she look like me? Kind of, but I wasn’t blown away by the resemblance. Then again, I never really think I look like anyone people say I do, except for Jessica Chastain WHO IS MY TWIN SHUT UP SOMEONE REALLY SAID THAT ONE TIME. But ever since that day in North Bend, whenever some stranger is convinced we went to high school together, I assume they went to school with old Jeannie from Safeway. That is, if they’re not just thinking of Jessica Chastain.* Weirdly enough, on more than one occasion, I’ve run into people I actually did go to high school with, and they didn’t recognize me.**
*shut up. one time.
**”more than one occasion”=twice