I recall reading a blog entry recently about someone trying to avoid someone she knew in the grocery store. Was it you? If so, I've done the same thing you did and will certainly do it again.
But how about when you run into someone who knows you but you don't remember you know them and as such are not aware of the need to employ evasive maneuvers? That's what happened to me last week. Friday afternoon. I was stocking up on requisite items for our sports-watching-stay-at-home weekend: chips, cheap beer, salsa, bananas and spinach. Oh, and mayonnaise.
As I transferred my items from the cart to the conveyor belt, a little old lady got in line behind me. I glanced at her and smiled. She practically gushed, "Why hello, Suzanne! Haven't seen you in years! How are you?"
I am, of course, quite used to old women gushing at me in the grocery store and other places all around town. My gray hair leads them to believe I am one of their own. I also must have that air of "it's fine to talk to me, I'm ready and willing to be patiently bored by the trivia you have such an obvious need to share." It's a curse, I tell you, a bloody curse.
But this one knew my name. I tried to keep my face neutrally pleasant, concentrating on not letting my eyes clue her in to the fact I had NO idea at all who she was. I replied with another smile, "Oh just fine, just fine. Beautiful day, yes?"
Could I have been any more generic? I think not. Meanwhile my little brain was working in overdrive. "Maybe she looks familiar," I thought, "A teeny tiny bit. But who the hell is she?" I tried to keep my brow from furrowing with consternation. What is up with little old ladies who have memories like steel traps?
Thankfully, her next words gave me a humongous clue: "We're working with the marching band this year. How is your son doing?"
Click. Boom. Ray of bright light. A partial identification! Obviously I knew her from the high school. My mind spun. Did she have a student in the theatre program? I met so many people while volunteering copious hours as the Chief Dorkette In Charge of our cadre of theatre parents. Some became fast friends, others I really miss, many were as easily forgotten as the date my library books were due.
But damn it. She was really too old to be a parent of a person The Boy's age. Then she offered another hint, mentioning someone named Chris and suddenly it dawned on me who she was. Not a parent, but a grandparent. I still didn't remember her name, but at least I could make reasonable conversation. And believe me, she was dead set on making conversation.
I'm handling those blasts from the past much better now. I feel like I've crossed a threshold of sorts from my place in the world then to who I am now. I'm certain y'all are all glad to hear it. I know I am.