Monday, January 10, 2011


Last week I posted up this entry in memory of my mother and the anniversary of her death. It was just a link to an older blog entry I had written a few years back telling of the tragedy that took her away from me when I was only 9 years old. But in last week's entry I went and put up a couple of new pics of me and my mom, which then prompted one of my online friends to point out that we don't look related. Why, the nerve!

Actually, funny thing is, I'm told I'm the spitting image of my father. Something that, when I was younger, infuriated me to no end, as he's someone I really don't admire and have striven all my life not to become. However, I will admit that out of all his children, I--his first-born--resemble him the most. Blasted genes!

But here's the thing . . . I seem to be the only one that sees the parts of my face that are actually taken directly from my mother's features. While I might strongly resemble my father, I can look at my reflection and clearly see my mother's face staring back at me, too.

It's mostly in the expressions I make. And, also, the set of my eyes and the way I look at someone if they're pissing me off. Also, my cheeks and mouth are very similarly positioned as hers. Or so I believe. What do you think?

To help make my case, I'm offering up two pics for comparison. The first one below is a close-up of the same pic I posted last week, cropped to focus specifically on my mom's face:

It's too bad the lighting and flash hides the distinctive blue of her eyes. It's what I remember the most about her. Below is a picture of myself, taken back in 1998 over the holidays -- my first since graduating from college and moving back home:

So, now, you tell me: Do you not think I look sorta like my mom?

Of course, keep in mind that I have my father's Latin coloring (although he's several shades darker than me), while my mom was fully Caucasian (blond haired, blue-eyed, yadda yadda . . .) and burned easily in the sun. Still, I think it's clear that I'm my mother's son. Do you see what I meant about the same set expression and the eyes? Or am I imagining things?

Anyway, a funny thing happened when Lisa and I returned to Paris last year. Or, at least, my wife thought it was funny. I myself did not see what she saw. We were sitting in a café in the Latin Quarter, near the Pantheon, when Lisa pointed out to me a woman having a coffee and a smoke behind us. She was insisting that this woman was my mom's doppelgänger. She looked just like her, according to my wife. Me not wanting to turn around and stare rudely at the poor lady, I asked my wife to discretely take a pic with our digital camera so that I could get a look. Below is the pic Lisa took:

Now, I don't know. I still don't think this looks like my mom. Not exactly, at least. She does have somewhat similar features, but my mom's nose was not quite that big. It was big--my brother and I used to make fun at her expense about how pointy it was--but not the typical Gallic proportions you see in the above pic. However, this woman's startling blue eyes are almost dead ringers for the hue and intensity of my mom's eyes under natural lighting. That alone is what sold me on the possibility that perhaps my wife was correct on some level.

I wouldn't go so far as to call this stranger my mom's doppelgänger, though. But a lookalike? Yes, perhaps that.

What do you all think?


Kim Kasch said...

I saw very similar features.

You have your mother's expressions and a few similar traits.

It's the same with my kids. Sometimes they look just like me - even though they don't really at all. My husband has much stronger genes than me - I think. My middle son does, however, look like my side of the family - just not me.

David Batista said...

I think your eldest son and daughter look JUST LIKE Lars, Kim. :) Especially Jake -- he's the spitting image of his dad! Sometimes your daughter shares your expressions, though. I'm sure all your children do, in fact.

Guess they're not so different from me and my mom in that respect.

Botanist said...

Afraid I'm not qualified to offer an opinion on facial similarities, David. I suffer from quite severe face-blindness. I have to get to know someone very well over a period of time before I can confidently recognise them in the street.

However I did read that old post last week and was deeply moved by it. I'm sorry that this time of year holds such memories for you.

David Batista said...

It's funny, Ian, but I suffer from the same affliction. I can walk right by someone I know and not recognize them sometimes. Especially if a good deal of time has passed since our last meeting. I'm so horrible at face recognition. And yet, I have a steel trap memory for complex number strings and directions. Go figure.

Anyway, thanks. Yes, it's a hard time. But luckily I have someone whom I love dearly close by my side at such times. It helps a lot.

Ashe Hunt said...

Well you know my face recog skills are superb and I think the person who said you don't look like your Mom is an idiot. I see the resemblance without even trying to look for it! The nerve of some morons! The chin/jawline is almost identical in the two pictures. And the eyes and expessiveness is definitely the same. That Parisian chick does resemble your Mom a little bit. At least from the picture it seems so. Her face is more oval than your Mom's. Definitely a lookalike but not a doppleganger.

David Batista said...

I just realized I'm the same age in that picture as my mom was in hers. Whoa! What's funny, though, is that I've been told I look younger *now* than I do in that 12 year old pic.

I don't know that I agree with that. Leaner and more intense, yes. But not younger. Not that I look my age anyway.

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