Wednesday, November 23, 2011

"All around me are familiar faces...." ~ "Mad World" lyrics by Naoto Tanaka

It happened to me again last Friday evening.  I was attending a Ladies Christmas Tea at a local church my friend Amy had invited me to and as I was being introduced to a woman at the table I'd never met before she said, "I've met you before."  Amy looked surprised and said, "No, I don't believe you have."  And the lady said, "Well, yes.  Her face is very familiar."  But I knew that no, we honestly hadn't met before that evening.

You see, I have a familiar face.

Either that, or I have an awful lot of lookalikes out there running around in the world.

This has happened to me many times.  I've been told I was spotted in downtown Portland walking up Broadway on a weekend evening.  In fact, I was told many times in Portland that I'd been spotted in a lot of places I'd never been to before.  The strangest incident was when I was at a fast food restaurant with my kids one afternoon and a man walked up to the table and said, "Hello, Cheryl!"  I kind of looked around like, "Who, me?!" and when I realized he was speaking to me I said, "I'm sorry, sir, but I believe you have me mixed up with someone else."  He was very adamant.  "No, I know you're Cheryl.  You used to babysit my kids all the time when you were a teenager."  Again, I said no, that wasn't me.  He shook his head like he still didn't believe me and said, "Well, I'd swear you were her.  You look just like her!" and he walked off muttering to himself.  I think he still thought I was playing a trick on him.

All my adult life I have had complete strangers come up to me in stores and public places, especially people who can't speak English, and gesture to let me know they need help with something.  Of course, I always oblige and do whatever I can for them but after that had happened yet again I said to Dear Hubby, "Why do these people pick me?!  There might be half a dozen other people around me and they always zero in on me."  Dear Hubby looked at me and said without hesitation, "It's because you look so friendly.  You have a very open and approachable face."  He said, "If I was a stranger and I saw you when I needed help, you'd be the one I'd pick out of a crowd, too."

Isn't that weird?

I look at myself and I see a cross of my dad and my mom staring back at me in the mirror.  I don't see anything remarkable or worth remembering.  I just see....me.

This has been happening for so long I'm not even surprised by it any more.  I try to handle it with grace and kindness. 

So if you're out and about and you see a silvery white-haired lady with glasses on and need help or directions, someone who reminds you of your grandmother or Aunt Gertrude or your best friend from high school or the teenage girl who babysat your kids 10 or 15 years ago, feel free to go up to her.

It might be me.

5 comments:

LC said...

Idon't share your dilemna. I am the one who always thinks I have met other people. Sometimes they know we haven't met: sometimes we spend long minutes trying to figure out where and when. And it has gotten worse with age.

Judy said...

That's funny!
NOBODY notices me. I can go to a restaurant where we have the EXACT waitress that we ask for ALL THE TIME, and if Steve isn't with me, they don't recognize me.

Anonymous said...

Hubby and I are ones that beggars approach in places we visit. If someone needs help of any kind, they head for us. (We DO try to help). In stores, folks will ask me things and having worked retail a few years of my earlier life, I can generally help...funny...

CJ said...

But it's true! You sent me a pic a couple of years back...boy, did I often think, "I wish Kris lived over the fence, be nice to chat over coffee". You have a lovely, open, approachable face - like a long lost, long-ago friend. Hope you and your dear family have a lovely, peaceful Thanksgiving. Bless you all,
Hugs
CJ

"Abby" said...

How very interesting! Now I'm curious to know what you look like. But then, I guess I can just go out and look for a friendly approachable person, and that will be my answer!