Ladies not fazed by doppelganger

Posted: Tuesday, July 27, 2010

It happens to Michelle Parks all the time at the grocery store. And even when she is out to dinner at Mykel's Restaurant in Soldotna.

Photo By M. Scott Moon
Photo By M. Scott Moon
Kim Mariman and Michelle Parks, while unrelated, joke about being long-lost twins. Each are used to people greeting them with the others' name in public places.

"Hi, how are you doing? Weren't you just here?" said the 38-year-old Soldotna resident, recounting the usual comments.

But Parks was not the one who was just there. It was her River City look-alike Kim Mariman, 45, of Soldotna.

"They always say you have a twin somewhere," Parks said. "I never thought I had a twin."

But hers happens to be right in her hometown.

Mariman, owner of Tammy's Flowers and Gifts, said people always tell her she has a twin around town, too.

"Yep," she said she tells them, "She works at the hospital."

The ladies, who consider themselves acquaintances, first met some four years ago at a purse party hosted by Mariman and that's when it clicked.

"So you're the one that everyone says I look like," Mariman said.

Mariman, originally from California, moved up to Soldotna some 15 years ago from Tulsa, Okla. Parks, on the other hand, has lived in the area almost her whole life.

The similarities between the two women are undeniable -- from their shorter statures, lighter colorings and heart-shaped faces.

"I think we have the same smile," Mariman told Parks. "Your smile is a little crooked, too."

"I do have a crooked smile," Parks said, admittedly.

And the resemblance does not stop there.

They both get their shorter, spiky and highlighted hairdos done at Soldotna's A K Hair Salon, but by different stylists.

Sometimes the nature of the conversations Parks has with strangers who think she's Mariman, who used to work at Wells Fargo Bank, can get a bit specialized.

Parks said people would come up to her while grocery shopping and try to talk about their bank accounts.

"I have no clue and I wouldn't be talking to you about it at the grocery store," said Parks, who works at Central Peninsula Hospital.

And sometimes it can get a little more personal that that.

"Somebody asked me one time if I gained weight," Parks said.

"That's because I got fat," said Mariman light-heartedly.

Mariman even jokingly hypothesized that their likeness is the reason why Parks is not attached.

"Everybody knows I'm married maybe that's why you're single," she told Parks.

And sometimes those encounters can go even a little bit further.

"Somebody came up and kicked me in the butt one time thinking it was you," Parks told Mariman.

"So even our butts look the same," Mariman said.

The two do not seem to mind having a doppelganger around town.

"I don't think I've ever seen anybody that looks as much alike as you and I do," Mariman said. "We could be sisters."

And if it seems like Parks or Mariman are spending too much time out socializing, you might want to do a double take.

"It's not like I go to the bar all the time," Mariman said.

Brielle Schaeffer can be reached at

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