Thursday, December 13, 2007

And You Are...?

I must now shamefacedly admit that I did not recognize a goldfinch. Or, I did recognize it but it didn't look quite right and so I doubted myself. Thanks for the identification, Dana at Principled Discovery! Who knew these birds had winter foliage? I guess my inability to recognize acquaintances out of their "natural" environment extends to birds. Does anyone else dread running into people they know at the grocery store because they won't be able to place where they know them from?

My hubby and I first met at a juggling club in the city. Or rather, we met at the Chinese restaurant the jugglers went to after the juggling club. At that time he worked at the Renaissance festival on the weekend and he offered his last pair of comps to me. (Anyone who missed this story can find it in the tag link for Incurable Romantics.) I remember when I first spotted him at the festival. I looked, I thought it was him, but whether it was the costume or the setting, I just wasn't SURE. Luckily, he doesn't have the same affliction, or we never would have talked to each other that day. I don't think he realizes that some of my more intense gazes the first few times we were together had a lot to do with me trying to memorize what he looked like.

Back in the grocery store, I try to give my brain more time to place the person by avoiding eye contact. If they do happen to notice me, or (horrors) see me first and say hello, I will start with the small talk and listen for clues. This is a good reason to have children, by the way. Many times I've said hello to people and never figured out where I knew them from. Marina usually knows. If not, Chase does. All together we make one fine memory. I'm not sure about Sierra. She still doesn't worry about learning names.

To prove that I should second guess myself, the few times I have stepped up and said hello, I realized that the stranger was not who I thought it was. Or I was mistaken about the name. Or I didn't know them from the library, I knew them from church. I could go on.

So if you happen to notice me somewhere, out of the corner of your eye, and I duck behind the next aisle or a tree, please don't take it personally. I'm just trying to figure out why I know you.

And I'm going to get another bird identification book. Something that includes fall foliage....male and female photos....several different perspectives....holographic images.... That way, the next time I spot a new bird, I think I'll be almost positive I might know what it is!


Spinneretta said...

I love your story of how you met your DH... my husband is a lot older than I am too... and I don't care :)

As for identification... sometimes with birds it is best to go with first instincts. Over-analysing can confuse!

divina said...

I'm just now catching up with your blog. I'm glad you enjoyed your birthday and hope you are having a blessed Advent.

appleleaf said...

I love to see you share this. I suffer from the same affliction. Once I spoke to a gentleman who asked, "How are Andrew & the kids?" "How's your writing going?" "How are your in-laws?" and at the end of the conversation I was still in the dark! When I put out a few leading questions, he gave nothing away. My hubby & kids would never be caught like that. I felt so silly.
Your card arrived! Thanks so much. It was lovely. It's such fun to receive mail with U.S. stamps on them.

TobyBo said...

LOL I am so bad at putting names to faces and whatnot that I usually say (not joking) that I wish we had our names tattooed on our foreheads... and also where I'm supposed to know you from and how many kids you have and so on.

My Mum though has it worse. She teaches water aerobics and has been known to run into people on the street and then when she doesn't recognize them, has actually said, "I never saw you in clothes before."

Oh, my.

Renae said...

This happened to me, too. The goldfinches aren't very gold this time of year, are they? :)

Peace to you,
Life Nurturing Education

dana said...

Ha! We would duck away from each other for the exact same reason.

WalMart on a Wednesday night is a frustrating place for me. The whole store looks familiar because I am not the only one who goes there during AWANAs (it is near our church). So I sort of vaguely recognize every other person, but can't really place them at all.

Very frustrating.

Principled Discovery

Rissa said...

at college, I walk by people and they say hi, and all the time I'm thinking "Do I know you?" "how do I know you" "are you in one of my classes?" (I have classes of 1 to 3 hundred so you don't recognize everyone) "do you live in my dorm?" "or do I just walk by you all the time" I can almost never figure it out.

Inner Elder said...

It is so encouraging to know that young people suffer from "where do I know you from?" syndrome. Come to think of it, I had it when I was young too. The worst is coming across store clerks that you think you know better than you actually do. Which is why one should never take anything "out of context"! Love, Mom

PS Did you recover from Cirque du Soleil?

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