|See the resemblance? I don't, either.|
|another picture of my supposed doppelganger; I'd say, objectively, that we were not exactly switched at birth|
I now have a nickname that many members of my cohort call me -- allegedly in good fun -- behind my back. On Facebook and elsewhere that I'm not present, I'm known as "Cutthroat Bitch." They lifted the name from House, MD. In one of the series' more shark-jumping plot lines, House held a competition between a group of MD applicants*, sort of like Survivor, to assemble his new team of flunkies.
The character of "Cutthroat Bitch" was actually a woman named Amber. The character "House" gave her character the infamous nickname. (Some sources say "Kutner," the Kal Penn character, actually gave Amber the name. I believe it was House who actually called her by that name first, but Kutner, in a later conversation, told her it was her official nickname. How utterly ironic that the classmate who looks like Kutner told me that's what I'm being called.) She was a somewhat cutthroat competitor and was probably something of a bitch. House cut her from the competition in the final cut even though she had the correct diagnosis because her motives were questionable. Later she started to date his best friend, Wilson. Then she was killed in a bus accident in which House was seriously injured and lost his memory but recovered it just in time to remember that Amber, AKA Cutthroat Bitch, had been on the bus with him and was much more gravely wounded.
I can't even remember the injury or medical condition she had, but Wilson had the option of letting her die in peace, or of bringing her back to consciousness for a short time to allow her to say good-bye to everyone. I must watch that episode again to see if the injury or medical condition that would allow a person to be brought back out of a non-medically-induced coma briefly before expiring even exists now that I have slightly more knowledge than I had when I saw it originally. My dad wasn't there at the time so I couldn't ask him, but he would neither have watched the show with me nor wanted to hear anything about it because he says the show is stupider than anything he's ever seen on Fox News and that watching even a few minutes of House, MD makes him physically ill.
The guy who looks like Kal Penn -- my former running partner before I was sidelined by the broken foot -- is the one who told me. I always question the motives of anyone who tells a person something of such a nature, as am I really better off knowing? The way he told me, though, by asking my brother, "Are you going to tell her, or you do you want me to?" led me to believe that his motives probably were pure and that he thought it might hurt my feelings more if I found out elsewhere.
The odd thing is that my feelings are not hurt. At least the others think about me enough to have given me a nickname, albeit a somewhat insulting one. I'm really neither cutthroat nor a bitch in classroom or clinical settings. I usually help anyone who asks if the person is in seriously dire enough straits to benefit from my assistance.
This morning before class as I was walking down an aisle in the auditorium to the area where I usually sit, the guy who allegedly gave me the nickname called out, "Alexis, did you read the eleventh chapter yet?"
I stopped, looked directly at him, and said, "Why don't you just call me what you call me when I'm not around?"
He turned crimson -- I've never seen a 23-year-old guy with relatively olive skin blush to the degree that he did. He had no idea what to say. The auditorium grew so quiet that you could hear practically the guy's heartbeat. I don't know if he thought I was planning to charge him with sexual harassment or what. He was stammering and saying he only called me that because I look like the character. Seriously. She's something like 40 years old, she's voluptuous, and she's 5'10", for crying out loud. I'm supposed to believe I earned the nickname by looking like her. The only physical attributes we share are blonde-blue-eyed caucasian coloring. She looks more like that crazy Ann Coulter (minus the Adam's apple) than she looks like me. (I'm a bit blonder than the original cutthroat bitch is simply because Alyssa puts a lighter shade of coloring product on my hair than Cutthroat bitch puts on her own hair. I'm naturally blonde, but not so blonde as my hair is now. Unless a person practically has albino tendencies, hair darkens as one gets older. By the time I'm approaching forty, any hair that isn't gray will be probably nowhere near blonde except for the fact that I'll probably still be coloring it.)
Anyway, I let the guy stutter for a few minutes, then put him out of his misery by responding , "Hell, I don't care. Call me whatever you want when I'm not around. Yes, I did read chapter eleven. What part did you want to discuss?"
He told opened his book and pointed to a section of the chapter. I looked at it and told him what I thought. The rest of the gawkers went back to their sheep-like noise-making.
Everything would then have been fine except that the lecturing prof started her lecture with, "We're going to review the principles of CPR. The problem is that the nursing department is using all the CPR Annies. We're going to need to use a live body for practice. Alexis, we'll use you." The entire auditorium erupted in laughter. I didn't turn horribly red, though. I have greater ability to hide humiliation than most fair-skinned people do. Claire did, too. It's a trait that served us well in our high school days when we tried to look innocent in the face of questioning teachers and school administrators.
It seems that my brother told someone about my dream who told someone else, who told someone else until everyone including the professors knew about it. The professor who made the joke at my expense wasn't even the professor who appeared in my dream.
So now I'm both a cutthroat bitch and a person who has stupid and paranoid dreams. It would serve them all right if I really did turn into a cutthroat bitch, but I won't, in part because I don't care. No one would be calling me that if at least one person were not just a bit intimidated by me. I like the idea of it. Does that make me a cutthroat bitch? Maybe.
*One of the longest-lasting applicants was actually a really knowledgeable older guy who actually wasn't an MD but was merely pretending to be one.