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Monday, April 6, 2015

Facial Blindness

The other day at Target, I found a yummy looking bag of jelly beans. Figuring one bag wouldn't be enough for Easter, I looked for a second bag of the same kind. However, it seemed that this bag was in the wrong place, so I had to search all over to find its family of yummy jelly beans.

A woman who works there saw me searching and offered to help. I thanked her and she said, "It's no big deal - I see you here all the time and we went to school together!"

I have no memory of this person, but believed her. She went on and on about how she likes seeing me there because I'm a familiar face. The next day when I went back to get something I'd forgotten the day before, she came out of the back room saying, "Hi, friend!" I said, "oh gosh, I'm so embarrassed - yes, I'm here again." She said, "It's ok! I feel like we grew up together!"

Hm. Who is this person?

The next day I told this story to a guy who also has a booth at the farmers market. I told him the story hoping he would be able to help me identify her because he went to the same high school as me. I described her to him and told him her first name.

He asked, "was she in band or orchestra?" I said, "oh, good question. That would help a lot." Then I asked, "Which were you in in?" He said, "Band. I played the trombone. With you."

Oops. I have no memory of him in band. In my defense, however, he is several years younger than me which in high school is a lifetime.

Overhearing our conversation, several venders at booths near us went, "ooooooooh! You were 'that' kind of girl!" Indicating a snob, I think. But I was in no way a snob! I was a fake grunge person. It was the 90's and Nirvana and Pearl Jam were big and I was trying to be grunge, but was such a poser in retrospect.

I think the main reason I don't remember these people is because high school was 100 years ago. Or maybe I have facial blindness.

Have any of you had similar experiences?


6 comments:

violet50 said...

This is so funny, in part because it happens to me. "Hi, how ARE you?" says a person I don't recognize. I search frantically through my rusty, decrepit memory banks and pretend until I can pick up a clue. But that was quite the burn about a fellow trombone player.

Heather Lewis said...

My husband is a six foot two, three hundred pound Japanese man. And if he shows up next to me in the grocery store unannounced, I have a hard time recognizing him. My mom was outside a bank ince, and me and my sister happened to be there and she was like, hey, it's mom! It took me a little too long to figure out who was mom. And there was only one person. So for me, if it's someone I know but somewhere unexpected, it's very hard. Forget about someone who may have sat behind me in math for a whole year ten years ago! Arrgh. I'm not a snob, I just don't do faces well :/ so I feel your pain.

Heather Lewis said...

My husband is a six foot two, three hundred pound Japanese man. And if he shows up next to me in the grocery store unannounced, I have a hard time recognizing him. My mom was outside a bank ince, and me and my sister happened to be there and she was like, hey, it's mom! It took me a little too long to figure out who was mom. And there was only one person. So for me, if it's someone I know but somewhere unexpected, it's very hard. Forget about someone who may have sat behind me in math for a whole year ten years ago! Arrgh. I'm not a snob, I just don't do faces well :/ so I feel your pain.

Katherine said...

This happens to me more often than I'd like. Especially people from high school! It's not that I didn't care enough to remember these people, it's just that A LOT has happened since then, and how am I supposed to keep all of the names and faces I've ever come across fresh all the time? Maybe permanent name tags should be required. Or someday we'll probably all be imbedded with microchips that will have info flash in front of our eyes whenever a person begins speaking to us, like:
Name: Ponce de Leon
Profession: Explorer
Weak spots: Ankles and his mother
Connection to You: You were in band together in high school. He played the piccolo. Also, you both went through the same Taco Bell drive-thru two years later and he waved at you but you didn't see him.

Frannie said...

Who was it?!? I just ran into Mrs. Cornish the other day and could NOT place her for what felt like an astonishingly long time! (In her defense, it's because she looked so young to me that I couldn't believe it was her!)

Frannie said...
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