The Art of Mirriam Neal

//the four times I was a fictional character

Several weeks ago my friend Izzy asked me if I’d ever done a blog post about characters who were me. I asked exactly what she meant, and she said ‘you know, characters who reminded you exactly of you.’ [I’m paraphrasing there; we’ve had many conversations since then and I didn’t try to sift back for the phrase ver batum.] I said I hadn’t, but the idea sounded like a kick and so I probably would.

Today has been an odd week for me mentally – my brain feels scattered between every writing project I have and as a result, I’ve written one chapter and drawn a picture and a half, and frequently ditched both to read or talk with friends. So I thought, what better time to put up a random post about fictional personality doppelgangers?

The first and most obvious is Penelope Garcia from Criminal Minds. I’ve lost track of how many times people – both friends and random strangers – tell me, “You really are Garcia!” In fact, it’s because of these remarks that I ever started the show and realized wow, they weren’t kidding. Penelope and I have the same sarcastic, frequently inappropriate sense of humor, an off-beat sense of style, a love of people but a need for solitude. We’re both extremely protective of our private space and hate to have it invaded, but we’re outgoing and friendly around people we love and care about. Plus, we both share the INFP personality type – so basically we’re both wisecracking manic pixie dream girls. It is, in a word, fabulous. [Also, Babygirl is a nickname of mine thanks to this.]

The second is Shigure from the anime Fruits Basket. A few months ago, a group of friends (we call ourselves the F5 – both as a play on the F4 from Boys Over Flowers, and because the ‘F’ stands for fudge and there are five of us) and we were talking about which characters we were from various animes. I cast us as characters from Fruits Basket, but everyone else agreed I was, without a doubt, Shigure. An easy-going, sometimes ridiculous but always well-meaning writer who takes delight in tormenting his editor and attempting to keep his younger relatives from killing each other, I connected instantly with Shigure (which, given some of his characteristics, might be a little worrisome) and the way he reacts to everyone around him is identical to the way I react to people around me. [Plus, we were both born in the Chinese year of the dog – which I thought was hilarious.]

The third is Radagast the Brown. A few days ago my friends Pepper and Sarah were discussing personality types in the Hobbit movies, and we agreed that while Frodo is often cast as an INFP, that’s definitely wrong. Half-jokingly I said, “If anyone’s an INFP in Middle-Earth, it’s probably Radagast,” and immediately Sarah replied, “THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT I THOUGHT.” The more we thought about it, the funnier it became, because it was so accurate. My soul is, in fact, a solitary wizard who talks to animals and keeps to himself until trouble arises, when he’ll gladly lead enemies on a merry chase. He’s really a very great wizard…he just hides the fact very well.

The fourth was supplied by Izzy. “R2D2,” she said. At first I thought she was joking but she assured me no, she can’t watch Star Wars without thinking of me every time R2D2 has a part. When I asked exactly what her reasoning for this was (I couldn’t decide whether I was totally flattered or totally confused) she said, “Because you’re both sassy and bad***.” I decided I could live with that. [Besides, now I have an excuse to watch Star Wars for the umpteenth time and see exactly what she’s talking about.]

This may seem like a pretty short list, considering how many things I read and watch, but I’m not good at noticing myself and usually need other people to do it for me – so if you’ve ever thought I was a fictional character, go right ahead and let me know! What about you? Have you ever had people compare you exactly to a fictional character? Was it flattering or a grievous error on said person’s part?

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