It seems I have a lot in common with elephants – and I’m not talking about my size!
I’ve always taken it for granted, but the older I get the more I’m realising that I have quite an unusual skill: an incredible memory for faces, especially when it comes to people I knew way back when.
They might have changed a LOT – gotten greyer, balder, heavier or thinner, wrinklier, with straight hair where once they had a perm – but I can still spot them. Usually I remember their names too (not so good at the names of people I’ve met recently though)!
I was at a business meeting a couple of years ago and I recognised the name of one of the fellows as somebody who was in my class in Year 6. I was actually the guest speaker at the event, so was able to have a bit of fun with it … I called out the fellow’s name and say “Did you go to such and such school? And was Mrs X your teacher in Year 6?”. People gasped in amazement and I was able to have a good chuckle and say, “I’m really not psychic, we were in the same class!”
Turned out he had only been at my school for a few months, so it’s pretty incredible that I remembered him. I think it was because his name had a very unusual spelling … yep, I’ve always been a bit of a word nerd 😉 .
In fact, having the memory of an elephant has gotten to the point where it’s a bit embarrassing, because if I say something, they don’t have a clue who I am. Awkies, much?!
A couple of weeks ago I bumped into not one, but two people that I used to know – all in the same shopping trip!
The first was in a clothing store and we were both looking at the same rack, so I couldn’t pretend that I hadn’t seen her; so, I said hello. I needn’t have bothered though – she didn’t remember me at all! We both worked at our local library for about 3 years. She was very nice, and told me she’d retired about 7 years ago; and we reminisced about some of our workmates. But she clearly didn’t have a clue who I was!
Later the husbear and I popped into the op shop. I paid for my items at the counter and was served by a woman I recognised – we’d attended the same church in the late 1990’s – but after my experience earlier in the day, I didn’t say anything.
Then the husbear went through the till and instantly this woman said to him, “Your name wouldn’t happen to be ….. , would it?”. Yep, she’d recognised him and she also said he hadn’t changed a bit in all those years. (I should add he doesn’t know whether to be amused or insulted when people say this to him – it must mean he looked like he was in his 50s when he was only a spring chicken, LOL!). They chatted while I waited near the entrance to the store, and sure enough, she then said, “And how’s Janet these days?” – to which the husbear pointed at me and said, “She’s right there!”
I suppose my looks have changed a bit in the last couple of decades. These days I usually wear my hair up (something I never did when I was younger), I wear glasses, and yes, I’ve put on a bit of weight.
So if you’re a person from my past and we happen to encounter each other on the street, and I don’t say hello, please don’t be offended. It’s most likely I’m trying to save both of us the embarrassment … 😉
Are you a bit of an elephant too? Or more of a goldfish?!