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National Editorials & Columns


It all started when my co-worker Bryan was sent a picture of a Vietnam War photographer. The caption beneath the picture said, “You ever travel back in time to be a war photographer?” Bryan, who was decades away from being conceived when the photo was taken, was the spitting image of the man in the picture.

Trust me; if you’re inclined to believe in reincarnation, this picture of Bryan before Bryan was born is all the proof you need.

It got the rest of my co-workers wondering whether we, too, have doppelgangers. That’s when Lily, another co-worker, semi-jokingly said she found her lookalike in the English comedian Stephen Fry. Stephen Fry, as you might have guessed, is a man.

Within seconds, we abandoned all hope and interest in finding our true doppelgangers, and instead set forth on a new exploratory adventure.

Turn off the phones! Lock the doors! We have far more pressing work to attend to. We were in search of our opposite-gender doppelgangers!

Well, at least, my co-workers set forth on their searches. For me, no search was required. I knew who my male twin is. His name has been my nickname since I was just a few months old: Willard Scott.

I’d like to think the bulk of the resemblance is because of the twinkle in his eyes or perhaps because of the goofy, effervescent smile that takes over his entire face or because of how his chubby cheeks lend themselves to a friendly accessibility. Sure, my male doppelganger is not the most desirable comparison, but I can find a handful of complimentary reasons behind one’s saying I look like Willard Scott.

Sadly, none of those is the reason behind it. My dad came up with the oh-so-flattering nickname because I was bald and fat. The sad part is that I never grew out of looking like the man. I may have a bit more hair now, but you can’t ignore that we have the same eyes, nose, chin, cheeks, smile and love for canned fruit preserves.

The first time my husband heard my dad call me Willard, he proudly and promptly exclaimed, “I see it!”

Yeah, yeah, so do I.

Not that I’m complaining. There are certainly worse people to have as your male doppelganger. Adolf Hitler, for example, would be way worse. Not only would it be bothersome to look like pure evil in human form but also, as a woman, pulling off that mustache would be tricky. Attila the Hun would be a rough comparison. As would Shrek, Jabba the Hutt or Mickey Rourke.

Honestly, I’ve come to terms with my inner and outer Willard. I may not have the same love for centenarians that he does, but who doesn’t love the idea of letting the world know when sunshine is heading its way?

Oh, yes, Willard and I had become one long ago. That is why while others trepidatiously looked into who their opposite-gender doppelganger is, I felt comfortable and secure with my lifelong brother from another mother.

When my co-workers were done identifying their opposite-gender doppelgangers, they all seemed quite pleased. The boys’ doppelgangers were Amy Ryan, Eliza Dushku and Chloe Grace Moretz. The girls’ doppelgangers were Peter Gallagher, Martin Freeman and, of course, Stephen Fry in drag, who, by the way, makes a very attractive woman.

I announced my male doppelganger is Willard Scott. My co-workers graciously jumped to inform me that he most certainly is not. I smiled. “Yes, he is,” I said, and I pulled out the baby photos with which there is no denying it.

“Oh, my gosh,” a co-worker said, holding a picture of me. “I’m sorry.”

Hey, I may not make an attractive man, but I bet that if I play my cards right, I may be able to get a free lifetime supply of Smucker’s jelly. With a face like Willard’s, it has to be good.

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