People you don't recognize after a couple of years

I was zapping though the TV channels this morning and stopped by at CNN International. I caught the final minutes of an interview with a man and a woman. The man was Andre Agassi, sure enough, I recognized him immediately. No idea who that attractive blond lady was, though.

Finally, the totally obvious dawned on me: The woman was nobody else then Agassi’s wife, Steffi Graf.

Knowing that Steffi Graf has been residing in Las Vegas with her husband for many years after she retired from the sport, I probably hadn’t seen a picture of her for quite some time.

Although it would be flat-out wrong to say that Graf hasn’t aged well, I did not recognize her at first sight – in spite of the fact that one saw her picture on TV, in the newspapers and (towards the end of her career) on the web for almost two decades.

My mother.

I saw my mother for the first time in over 11 years this past February.
God was she old (she is 76 after all). It just wasn’t what I expected.

Myself. When I look in the mirror, I wonder who’s that old guy looking back at me.

I really experienced this last year. After thirty or so years with a long ponytail I shaved my head smooth. It took over a month before I could look in a mirror without laughing.

A couple years ago at a family thing: I was thinking “Who is that person standing next to my mother?” It was my baby sister. Hadn’t seen her in a couple years, she’d lost weight and changed her hair color.

Most recently at the grocery store last week. A woman started to talk to us out of the blue. Took us both a second. What did it for me was her voice plus her kids seemed familiar. Was a neighborhood kid, now grown up, that was friends with our kids, etc. Saw her just a year ago or so. But in our minds she’s still 10.

Shortly after college I was visiting a friend at his apartment. The apartment was the same one he’d lived in through most of college.

At various points in the visit a guy I didn’t recognize would wander through, occasionally join in the conversation briefly, wander out. Who the hell is that I thought to myself. No one introduced him. I guessed he was some new roommate.

Towards the end of the visit it crashed in on me…he was the guy’s same old roommate…about a hundred pounds heavier. I probably hadn’t seen him in about a year, so there’d been time for such a change to take place, but damn. I totally didn’t recognize him.