Over the past few days, I've had to refer to my 100 things that make me happy (the list so far) several times. Just to remind myself.
Tuesday of last week, there were three very random moments. The first two aren't important to this post. It's the third one that's left me obsessing. The third moment involved a gentleman I did not recognize coming into the office, just as I returned from my coffee run and errands. I figured he was a patient or maybe he had followed me in off the street and wanted to make an appointment. I'd started to make a phone call and had to hang up when I heard the door open, and then there he was, wearing a dark colored Marines cap. (The cap said "Marines" on it. I don't know if it really was a Marines cap or not.) And then he opened his mouth. Instead of what I expected him to say, he said something totally unexpected and seemingly random. My brain was still trying to process and was thinking "Who are you and how do I know you?" but my mouth said something else. Before my brain could finish figuring it out, he said something, shrugged then left.
I was left thinking "What was that all about?"
Of course, when I told T. about this later, she suggested that it's possible I *did* know the person. Maybe he was someone I see only occasionally. Maybe he was at the coffee place I just came from, and I hadn't noticed. Maybe I didn't recognize him because he was out of context -- in a location I don't usually see him in. And so I didn't recognize him. Then she pointed out I tend to do this sometimes and used two neighbors as an example. One neighbor I'd seen around for months, even saying "hi" to, without realizing he was my neighbor. Another neighbor I say "hi" to walked past me one day, and I didn't recognize him until he walked up to his house .. and then it clicked. Context.
It's worse when I'm distracted, and yes, I was distracted when I returned to work Tuesday. I was still thinking about the previous two random things, and then another seemingly random moment was thrown into the loop.
So anyway .. T. put the idea in my head, and I've been obsessing about it. I haven't seen anyone wearing the same cap so maybe I'm right, and it was a random moment from a random person. But maybe, just maybe, it wasn't, and that thought is making me crazy!! and sad. I certainly don't want to have snubbed someone I know. I certainly would have reacted differently. What's worse is .. I'm afraid it could have been this guy I actually like. Highly unlikely since I've been told by someone else that he's just friendly, and I should stop reading into his friendliness, but still .. geez. If it was, I'm an idiot and will feel like such a jerk the next time I see him. Ditto if he was someone I know, period. But it's worse if it's this guy because I have a feeling he'll think I'm ditzy or just plain insane or something. *sigh*
If I see someone I know wearing that cap or something similar, I'll have to ask if he stopped by my work, and if so, not only explain but also apologize profusely. Hopefully, if he was someone I know, he'll laugh it off. So embarrassing!
I still haven't a clue who it could have been though.
My only consolation is realizing that facial recognition blackouts happen to a lot of people now and then. A coworker explained how she blanked out on a cousin she knew when she met the cousin on the street (where she wasn't in the habit of seeing him), and it wasn't until a good 5 minutes or more of small talk had gone by that she realized who he was. That and he mentioned some relatives of theirs. ;-) A friend told me that his mother had snuck up on him in the town center, and he had no idea whom she was, even though he was looking right at her, for several moments. In fact, this was a common occurrence for my mom where she used to work. T. and I sometimes visited her after school, and she wouldn't know who we were for several minutes because she wasn't expecting us to be there.
There is some comfort knowing I'm not alone, but it's a small comfort.