Do you have a doppelgänger? You know,
In fiction and folklore, a doppelgänger, doppelgaenger or doppelganger (literally "double goer") is a look-alike or double of a living person who is sometimes portrayed as a harbinger of bad luck. In some traditions, a doppelgänger seen by a person's relative or friend portends illness or danger while seeing one's own doppelgänger is said to be an omen of death.
In contemporary vernacular, the word doppelgänger is often used in a more general sense to identify any person that physically or perhaps even behaviorally resembles another person.
Unfortunately (fortunately?) I have yet to identify mine, but I can't say the same for my good friend (and current roomie), Metz. For the good part of her adult life, people have noticed a slight resemblance to none other than Joan Cusack. You know Joan? The one I met earlier this year during Xmas shopping? We discussed the merits of tea towels and such.
Let me tell you, the woman is such a wonderful actress and an equally amazing proprietor. So when we found out her Chicago store, Judy Maxwell Home was celebrating their one year anniversary last week, Metz and I made a plan of action. I mean, was there even an option?
1. Visit the store.
2. Pretend we didn't know Joan owned it.
3. Get a picture
4. Jump up and down and squeal like newborn piglets.
And we OWNED IT. Sort of. First, I got into a yelling match with a fellow Chicagoan driving nearby. I have to assume he was just as excited to see Joan and couldn't focus on NOT being an asshole. We didn't see him at the store, but maybe he stopped by later.
Next up, we parked and decided to really get nervous because that is the best way to approach a celebrity...stars LOVE sweaty fans.
Upon arrival, cue feigned nonchalance.
What we said, "Oh, look at these adorable cards" and we pushed the carousel around. What we thought, "GAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH OH MY GOD."
Mumbled, "I love these shadowboxes! They are so clever"[note the REALLY are very clever.] Thought, "WHAT ARE WE DOING? WE ARE INSANE PEOPLE!"
Muttered, "Oh, these tea towels are HIGH-LARIOUS". Ping pong balls bouncing around our brains, "I think I am so excited I might pee".
And so it went.
We puttered around while enjoying a glass of wine and teeny cupcakes all the while plotting the photo op.
Later on, Ms. Cusack allowed us to sidle up to her at the candy shelf. FOOL. Just kidding, I am sure she knew the stars were aligning. And for the record, both Metz and Joan are still alive so whoever is perpetuating that whole "your doppelgänger wants to kill you and take over your life" farce needs to STOP THE LIES!
Guess what Ms. Cusack showed us....Uncle Urnie's ashes. It's candy that looks like your good ole' uncle URNie's remains. I mean, seriously, Judy Maxwell, are you hiring? Because I am pretty sure I NEED everything you are peddling at your urban general store and am willing to work off my debt.
We also snagged a few other quality goodies including a math-centric tea-towel (equations to be tested by my resident nerd-roommate, Johnny Mic), a pro-librarian baby gift (Metz made Dewey her B) and snarky soap with a label that makes fun of filthy kids (my purchase, obviously.)
And just like that, the hour of judgment was upon us. I made a quick decision to ask one of the employees (or staff friend) to request a picture with Joan. I tried to be all laid-back about it, but my nervous piglet laughter combined with profuse sweating might have given me away as "that crazy fan-girl".
A quick check with Ms. Joan and we were set; apparently she isn't freaked out by freaks (me, mainly. Metz was normal). What do you think?
And this, my friends, is pretty much the best photo ever taken, on the best summer night OF ALL TIME in Chicago. Oh, and Joan wanted to make sure that we tell everyone, "HELLO FROM JOAN". Then she gave Metz two big hugs and my brains exploded out of my earholes.
I honestly don't think Our Lady of Judy Maxwell could be any more affable - such a lovely woman to take photos with fans and risk murder by doppelgänger . That said, Metz has yet to sample Uncle Urnie's ashes - perhaps they are laced with poison and Joan is angling to take over Metz's life. Honestly, if that means Joan Cusack and I will be roommates, I might be a little bit OK with that scenario.
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