How Do Others Describe You to a Stranger?

When pointing out even a close friend to others I have observed that people are in general cruelly concise.  What sets you out from the crowd?  The skinny one with the acne?  The black person, the white woman, the asian with the spiky hair?  In school my classmates called me The Brain or the Smartass.  Both of which I earned and felt comfortable with.  Being described as bright or with a sharp sense of sarcasm still is ok with me.  However, after years of sedentary lifestyle, losing my eyesight and taking steroids for 15 years, six times a day due to asthma, I gained considerable weight and wear glasses.  I have always thought that my new moniker is The Fat Guy with the Glasses.  I would prefer, The Funny Guy, or the Guy Who Usually Always Wears Black Clothing.

Luckily, even our closest friends are too kind to tell you how you are really described when they need to point you out to a stranger.  The other night, we had our best friends over for dinner, who we have known for 22 years now.  The wife of the couple points out that I have always reminded her of Peter Griffin from the Family Guy…  Sigh…  I know she meant it as the overweight funny guy, but one could also obviously interpret it as the fat stupid buffoon cartoon character.  Even more remarkable is that her husband and I are often mistaken as brothers.  So, by inference, she thinks of him as Peter Griffin’s brother.  She seemed oblivious to this, but he was not according to the look on his face.  Of the Family Guy cast, I would prefer to think of myself as Brian the Dog, or even Stewie, but there you have it.

To make matters worse, three times, yes THREE times in the prior week, all from different people in different settings, I was told I remind them of John Hodgman, the PC guy from the PC and Mac guy commercials.  I hate to admit it, but I really do look and act like the guy.  I am a PC guy, I have always thought he was better than the actor that portrays the MAC guy, who lets face it is a hipster who probably never works hard.  I have seen the MAC actor in other shows, like the New Girl and the last Die Hard Bruce Willis film, and he always has the same whiny hipster act.  I am ok with the John Hodgman comparison, even though it was not meant as a compliment, because it probably is pretty close to who I am to a stranger.  Not only do we look alike, but he is also an author, humorist and financial commentator, so we share similar interests and professions as well.

So how do people describe you?  Are you the hot blonde with nice legs?  The frumpy dressed woman with the big hair?  The hunky muscular guy?  The nerd?  The obnoxious person who laughs too loud?  Think about it…but don’t let it get you down.

You decide… Me, John Hodgman with moustache, Peter Griffin..

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