Tuesday, March 18, 2008

"Excuse me, are you Kamala Harris?"

I was at the gala opening celebration for the Rrazz Room, a new cabaret space in the Hotel Nikko, last night when a woman sheepishly interrupted my conversation and posed that question. Now, I happen to know and greatly admire San Francisco's District Attorney; so I was very flattered to be mistaken for her. However, I look nothing whatsoever like Kamala Harris. Nothing. Should you require more convincing of that fact, I have provided visual aids. Above is a photo of San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris, who is half African American and half Indian. Below is a photo of me. I am half African American and half Caucasian. As you can see, we really don't look alike. If nothing else, she straightens her hair, while mine is quite curly, and I am at least three inches taller than she is, if not more.

I mean no disrespect whatsoever to the woman who thought I may be Kamala; she simply made a mistake. I tell you this tale in part because I mean it when I say I admire Kamala Harris. To that end, I truly did enjoy the idea that someone thought I might be her. It also was just plain funny to me because I happen to know her. But this exchange does bring up a curious idea. Why did this woman assume I might be the D.A.? Is it because I was possibly the only mixed race woman in the room, and I happened to be standing four feet away from Willie Brown, whom I don't know, and wasn't talking to him? (If you live in San Francisco, you understand the Willie Brown reference.) My friend Terry suggested that a lot of mixed race women in San Francisco might be assumed to be Kamala Harris, but again, I ask: why? Especially if the mixed race woman in question really doesn't look like her. Halle Berry and Jennifer Beals are of similar mixed ethnicity; do people confuse them? Yes, that's a silly question because Halle Berry and Jennifer Beals are both famous, but still. Something to think about, maybe.

Or not. About a year ago or so a cab driver told me I look like Sonia Braga, and I don't. But I didn't over think that comparison. He meant it as a compliment, and I just took it that way.

The Rrazz Room gala was super fun, by the way. Kurt and I went, and we had all the cocktails and champagne we wanted while being treated to a whole bunch of cabaret singers, including Paula West, Wesla Whitfield, Freda Payne and Mary Wilson. I was introduced to Mary Wilson and Freda Payne, and Freda Payne remembered having met me before, which was pretty exciting for me. It was also neato to meet an actual Supreme. Kurt and I both had a fabulous time. Wouldn't it be nice if life were just one champagne gala after another?

After the gala, my evening went a tiny bit south. I was awoken in the wee hours of the morning by the booming voices of some drunken St. Patrick's Day revelers downstairs. It sounded like they were in my downstairs neighbor's apartment and in the downstairs hallway. Well, if the loud music and celebratory yelling weren't enough, I soon heard the front door of my apartment building repeatedly slam so hard the building shook. I thought about tip-toeing downstairs to investigate this obviously raucous party, but then I decided the scene was no place for a girl in her pajamas. The noise abated, and I went back to sleep.

Well, when I got up to go running this morning I found my building's front door frame so badly damaged, the door could not shut properly, let alone lock. Actually it wasn't just damaged; part of the door frame had literally been torn off. The property management company has since fixed it, but good lord. This is an apartment building, not a dormitory. Grow up, you morons.

On a final note tonight, I have become addicted to the HBO show "In Treatment." I didn't think I'd like it, and given that it's on five nights a week, watching "In Treatment" takes more of a commitment than I can make. But then I caught a couple of episodes and was hooked. The acting is just so good. And luckily, with multiple channels of HBO on my cable system, I can always catch an "In Treatment" mini-marathon and get reasonably caught up. So I'm not tied to my television set every night.

Is it wrong to use the term "addicted" when writing about an affinity for a show about therapy? Probably.


fabulous patti said...

I'm so sorry I wasn't at the Rrazz Room gala. I'd have appreciated the mistaken identity question. It probably would have led to a spit take on my part as I burst out laughing while simultaneously trying to enjoy the lovely champagne. Darn! That's what I get for moving.

Anonymous said...

I can actually see a slight resemblance. I don't think some people think you resemble because you're mixed. You're eyes are a similar colour from the angle in the pic, and you're a td bit lighter. I think maybe you're etting too workd up over it. So what people think you look alike? Even if you ll didn't resemble, that would just go to show you that those people aren't good at matching up similar features if people. Done.

Sassy Hair said...

Anonymous, thanks for reading the blog! I honestly forget that people actually take the time to read my ramblings here, and I love being reminded that they do.

That said, just for clarification, I wasn't getting at all worked up over the woman mistaking me for San Francisco's District Attorney. I was flattered and thought it was funny. And my friend who had been with me that night later met the D.A. and told her the story. She laughed, too.

However, I can tell you that, despite the slight resemblance you see in the two photos, honestly, Kamala Harris and I really don't look alike.