Sharing my pain

Three random times in my life, I have been told by three unrelated people that I reminded them of a certain character from a certain late 80s-early 90s Saturday morning sitcom. I have never considered the comparison flattering, and actually stopped the last person mid-sentence and said "Do not proceed with this comparison unless you are absolutely certain I will take it as a compliment." Alas, proceed he did, and complimented I was not. He then seemed genuinely perplexed when I became notably pissed off.

All of this is to say that Hadley Freeman's advice this week should be treated as gospel by everyone the world over.
Of course, opinions vary on the good looks or otherwise of actors and one person's quirky is another person's gorgeous. But a good rule of thumb here is that, unless you're telling someone that they resemble Julianne Moore or Johnny Depp, zeep the leep. Really, it's like congratulating someone on being pregnant when, in fact, they may just have had a second helping of lunch: why take the unnecessary risk?
Amen. Learn it. Live it.


  1. Try this slightly longer response... "Do not proceed with this comparison unless you are absolutely certain I will take it as a compliment, which I will not."

  2. I confess I'm now dying of curiosity to which one of 'em you do or don't bear resemblance.

    My wife used to get "you look like Jodie Foster!" all the time.

    Alas, I never looked like anybody. Always sorta wished that I did. I suspect this is a, "Grass is always greener" moment...

  3. Suffice it to say, padraig, that there are certain of the actors with whom I would have happily been compared, notwithstanding the quality of their work on the show. This guy? Not so much.

    It's been years since the comparisons were made, and I like to think it's because I've grown into my looks and not because nobody remembers that show any longer.

    I also used to get a lot of "Doogie Howser" references, mainly because I look very young and entered medicine a few years before most people do. I learned to live with it, but never attempted to hide my mild irritation at the reference. It has, too, tapered off.