Faces in the wrong places

I had just finished marking my ballot on Tuesday and I was waiting in line to feed it into the scanner when I heard a voice behind me say “Don’t I know you from somewhere?” I turned around to see a smiling black man - average height, average build, average dress, pretty much unremarkable. I strained my brain, thinking he was someone I should remember from work, when it dawned on me that it was John, my neighbor.

John has lived on the cul-de-sac for about 2 years. He and I leave for work about the same time in the wee dark hours, and we often get home about the same time. As a result, our social interaction is pretty much limited to waving from driveway to driveway. He says hi, I say hi, then we go into our respective houses. That’s whre I know John from. So when I saw him at the polling place, it didn’t compute right away.

Same thing happened at a ball field when my Perfect Child[sup]TM[/sup] was playing JV Softball. A woman spoke to me and she looked familiar, but I couldn’t place her right away. Then I realized it was Sue - she and her husband kept their boat at the same marina that we did. I know her on the dock, but it didn’t click at the field.

Or with Tony - he and I worked together 15 years ago. Then he transferred. I saw him 2 weeks ago and my brain processed as follows: “environmental… volunteer firefighter… Oh yeah - Tony!”

Why is it I have so much trouble relating faces to people rather than to the place I know them from? Help me feel better - tell me that you do the same thing. I’m too young to be losing it!!

My mother does that all the time. She was at a HS football game watching my brother and this man sat down next to her and started talking to her. She made polite conversation for 10 minutes or so before she thought to ask which kid was his. Then she faked going to the refreshment stand and asked someone who the kid was. It turns out it was her divorce lawyer that she saw once a week or so. Mom kept saying, “I see him surrounded by books.”

I did this just the other week. I was in the bead aisle at Hobby Lobby, and there was a woman there who looked vaguely familiar. She spoke to me by name and asked how I was doing. I responded with, “Oh, fine, thanks, and how have you been?” All the while racking my brain to come up with where I knew her from. I got out of there quickly to avoid showing my ignorance. When I got to the checkouts I realized that she must have been my friend’s neighbor, whom I hadn’t seen for a year or so.

Funny, a week later Mr. S and I ran into her again at a grocery store. My hunch was confirmed when her husband came walking up.

I’ve done the bit where I see someone on the bus and think, “I know that person!” and then realize that I don’t really KNOW her, but she’s the person who tears tickets at the movie theater or something.

I was in a swimming class one semester in college and shared a lane with any of several different women. One of them showed up in another class the next semester and it took me a second to make the connection, and then I said, “Oh, I didn’t recognize you with your clothes on!”

She never spoke to me again.

“Oh, I didn’t recognize you with your clothes on!”

In the running community, we say that often when we get together for a non-running event.

Amazing how different people look when they’re not in a ball cap, shorts, and sweating their asses off!

I find myself recognizing all sorts of folks, but having trouble remembering the context. I work part time for Weight Watchers, so I never want to be forward and ask, just in case I recognize them from a meeting. They may not want to be reminded!

What a relief! When I saw the title I thought this was going to be a discussion of recto-cranial inversion.

Arnold what a great thread idea, and one I’m sure the Mods would love to read. . . . . .

. . . . . . No, really!