Wednesday, May 31, 2006

FishWatch Doppleganger still lurks...or am I his doppleganger? Probably the latter...

So my doppleganger is still out there, and up to his old tricks. In case you don't know what I am talking about, I'll give you a little background:

So my doppleganger is really only my doppleganger because he is also brown and has the same name as me (though he spells it FishWaatch), and the same first two letters of my last name.* We were on the same page of the freshman facebook in college, and he quickly established himself as the smart activist with a conscience, while I opted for the role of a cappella nerd who got by on grade inflation. Sometimes people would come up to me and say, "FishWa[a]tch, thank you so much for the email on child laborers in Ecuador. It really got me thinking about how I can get involved." I would always smile awkwardly and say "Singing group concert this Friday!" at which point most people would realize their mistake and run away before I tried to sell them a ticket.

Over the course of 4 years I would get the occasional voicemail and email asking "how can I get help save the sweatshop workers of Honduras," and "tell me more about your work curbing the spread of AIDS among prison populations worldwide."

During junior year many people congratulated me on getting the Truman scholarship and Senior year a lot of people were so happy that I got a Marshall fellowship. Except that I didn't. You guessed it, FishWaatch did.

On Class Day when the smart people got big prizes for being so smart, Dean B said: "And the winner of the [another rich person's endowment] prize, with 42 credits, 41 grades of A and 1 A-, a leader in fighting for social justice, Fishwa/atch...," at which point everyone in my area looked over at me bursting with pride, shocked that I had managed to get such good grades and fight for social justice while at the same time choreographing the big dance number for my spring a cappella jam. I even think I saw my parents look over in shock and start calling the other Indian parents on Long Island to start the bragging process. (I can safely say they did NOT do that after the big dance number).

Obviously, I knew what was coming next. He would start saying the real FishWaatch's last name, and at the beginning, everyone would STILL think it was me, but by the third letter, they would realize their mistake, and smiles would turn into looks of confusion. "There were two FishWa/atch's here?" they would all think to themselves. (Though I can't exactly complain about people thinking all brown people are the same, I mean how do you think I drank from ages 16-21?).

After college, I thought my feelings of inadequacy would fade, but when I would go back to school for football games (I just tailgated people, don't worry), someone would inevitably ask me how my time at Oxford on the Marshall fellowship was (by this point, I would just say things like "Amazing!" or "The Bestest!"). And when FishWaatch started at Harvard Law School, people would ask me how Harvard was going, and I would say, "No no, I go to F.U. Law," and they would say "OMG, do you have to take Metro North?"

Which brings me to day 1 of my internship, where I introduced myself to a fellow intern, an HLS 1L, who said, "Oh, I saw the email list and thought the FishWaatch from my class was working here, I was so excited, but I guess it's not him." The sad part is I had no singing group concert to invite her too. Except that if I did, it would be more sad.

So people, the take away here is that you can never out-do or out-run your doppleganger, so don't even try. I think the best bet is to just be as mediocre as possible and hope he takes pity on you one day and sets you up with someone at HLS who plans to make a lot of money, and, of course, loves a cappella.

*Also, I am not sure doppleganger is the right word to use when you are friends with the person, as I am with FishWaatch, but it's the best I can do.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Where is today's post?! Some people may be in the Hamptons -- but those of us who have started working need Fishwatch now more than ever (possibly).