I have often wished for two of me, especially when I have found myself with more to do than time to do it. I would think that it would be great to be able to be in two, or even three, places at one time, so that I could say yes to even more requests from friends, family, and my church. A twin or triplet with exactly my looks, personality, thoughts, work ethic, and opinions, would give the world a lot more of me than just trying to spread one of me around to meet everybody’s needs, particularly as I don’t seem to know how to say No to people. But, could I guarantee that my twin would not turn out to be the exact opposite of me, causing great havoc among my friends and family, leaving them wondering if I had been a victim of the body-snatchers?
It is a valid fear, as I have heard enough harrowing stories of people being mistakenly identified for someone else to make me wonder if having a doppelganger would be a good thing. It seems daily that we hear a lot about the bad things that happen when someone is mistaken for someone else. I’ve read many a story of people being killed, and afterwards, the assailant or the police finding it was a case of mistaken identity. But, it was a story told to my sister and me by our mother and a frequent happening for me that make me question if having a someone who looks like you running around is good or bad.
My mother told us that she was once mistaken by a guy for a woman who looked amazingly like her, in height, weight, and the way they wore their hair. The problem was that the guy was still upset at the other lady for breaking up with him. When he saw my mother, without taking the time to verify her identity, he rushed up, grabbed her arm, and started cursing her while he told her about how bad she had broke his heart.
Mama said that she was so scared because she did not know him, and he would not give her the opportunity to tell him that he had the wrong woman. Then, after he had slapped her once in the face, he realized that Mama was not his old girlfriend. He looked both embarrassed and scared, because he was assaulting a total stranger. He started apologizing profusely, relating how much Mama looked like the other woman, even showing her a picture of the heart-breaker that even Mama had to admit looked like her.
When Mama saw the picture of her doppelganger, she knew that he was telling the truth, so as they were the only people around, she simply let it go, accepting his apology, and quickly walking home. Because he saw his mistake rather quickly, she was not seriously hurt, but, it shook her nonetheless. I think that Mama decided not to call the police because she had witnessed his instability and willingness to hurt someone, and she just wanted to get away from him. She said that as she walked home, she hoped that he might never see the woman he mistook Mama to be, for she feared that he might truly hurt her, if not kill her. Mama changed the way she wore her hair just in case the lady had broke any other men’s hearts.
I have been mistakenly identified for someone else a lot, but thankfully, not with any violence. Maybe, I just have a regular kind of face that I share with many other black women. Indeed, recently, a woman ran behind me, calling out another female name. Of course, I kept walking, as that was not my name. As the person kept calling the name and saying, “Wait up!”, while at the same time cursing, I turned to see who she was trying to attract, so maybe I could help gain that person’s attention. You can imagine my surprise when it was me!
When she caught up with me, she was mad as a hornet, wanting to know why I was ignoring her. As someone who is afraid of confrontation, I tried backing away from her. I think Mama’s story has always stayed with me, making me just a little afraid of angry people who don’t realize that they have the wrong person. I simply said, very timidly so to defuse any trouble,” I’m sorry, but I don’t know you. You have me mixed up with someone else.”
Douglas was with me, so I felt somewhat protected, as she looked more carefully at me. Then she said, “I swear, you must have a twin. You look just like my friend. Maybe you are related to each other. Have you ever lived in [somewhere]?” I said, no, that I did not have any family there, as far as I knew, and I did not know her friend. She apologized for stopping us, and she just shook her head as she walked away, still amazed at the resemblance between her friend and me.
I just hope that her friend, if she truly looks so much like me, is a good person and not a thief or a con artist whom I might get mistaken for someday and end up in jail, having to prove that the cops have the wrong person. So, as I thought about the positives of having a twin or a triplet who could take over some of my duties, I realized that maybe it is not such a good idea, after all.
How would I monitor them, to ensure that they don’t do bad and evil things that would cause someone to come looking for them to do them harm, but instead, they find me, and I would not even know what they were talking about? I think it would be better for me to just learn to say NO, turning down requests when I know that I do not have the time or the energy to honor the requests. Yes, Jesus expects us to take up our cross and follow Him daily (Matthew 16: 24), working to edify the Kingdom of God, but He does not expect us to try to do more than we humanly can in each day. So, no twin or triplet needed!