Friday, May 09, 2014

Same Faces at Different Places (Part 1): Everyday People

When I meet people at certain places like at work or in my social life, I have a tendency to associate them with the place or setting where I meet them. But when I meet some of those people at another place, I have a tendency to not recognize them. This causes me to either re-introduce myself or to awkwardly pretend I immediately recognized them. Sadly, I have gotten too good at doing the latter (thanks Lifehacker lol).

Is this weird? Is this a problem that only I have?

It doesn't happen often, but I feel like it happens more often than it should. It makes me feel like a jerk, as if I didn't remember them or forgot who they are. Bad enough, I am not the best at remembering people's names. That is something I'm still practicing until this day. After all, the best way to initially compliment somebody is by remembering their name."

I meet a lot of people due to the nature of my work. When it comes to my social life, I tend to meet a lot of people through my many friends. I also make lots of friends fast at anime conventions. Cosplayers are a different story, since costumes, wigs, make-up and masks are involved. I'll have to write about in a separate entry about them later.

The following examples are just a few and most awkward situations where this problem has occured:

At work, during my deliveries:
Being a courier / delivery driver causes me to be in many different places in just a single day. Every once in a while, I will run into someone I know and work with at a different location, which causes me to ask "where do I know him/her from?" It takes me a minute (sometimes more) to remember, but before that much time elapses, I'm already having a conversation with them.
One time, one of the nicest nurse with whom I normally have intelligent conversations with at St. Luke's Hospital, was walking down a hallway at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. She recognized me immediately and stopped me for a little bit to greet me. Thank God for hospital badges! Because if I didn't look at her badge, I probably would have been pretending again. After that awkward incident, I have never forgotten her.

Ok, shut up! I know this is Jackie Chan,
not Yao Ming.
Another time is when a lab tech at St. Luke's Laboratory came up to me and started talking about anime. For a while there, I looked at his face and for the life of me, I couldn't remember where I met him, and how he knew I was into anime! But I proceeded talking about my favorite shows, trying my hardest to play it off, the fact that I can't remember where I met him. Turns out, I met him three years ago at Memorial Hermann NW Hospital when he asked if I still deliver there and if I still see one of his former colleagues. Ok, time was definitely a factor here. 

The Community Emergency Centers of St. Luke's are composed of four different outlying facilities. They have a tendency to revolve and relocate their staff very often. If I initially met them at one of the locations, I tend to not recognize them when they are working at another one of their facilities. But when I eventually put the pieces of the puzzle together, I no longer have this problem.

During my social life:
My friend Oscar normally invites me to his awesome get-togethers, normally at restaurants. I met one of his friends Alex, and she's an awesome person to hang out with. She was wearing glasses and a beanie when I met her. Half a year goes by and Oscar invited me to a comic book store. There was a girl hanging out with him. I immediately introduced myself to her, and her immediate response "Dude, I'm Alex! I met you at my boyfriend Brad's birthday, and I'm friends with you on Facebook!" She, was not, wearing, her glasses! It threw me off. Sorry Alex! lol Eventually, her boyfriend Brad, a good friend of mine, made a joke by re-introducing himself to me. 

That awkward moment, is what prompted me to write this blog post to begin with. 

Something similar happened a few years ago, when I was moving out of my former roommate's apartment. While I was moving my furniture out of Stacy's apartment, a friend of hers came over to help, and I introduced myself to her. There was an awkward silence.... 
....then she reminded me that "...Roger, I'm Jennifer, we had sex like two weeks ago!"
I tried rewinding my brain. Sure enough, while I was having sex with Stacy one night during a party we threw, when Jenny suddenly joined in for a threesome. Okay, I met her without clothes on, and I was probably drunk then. Meeting her again (at the same place I might add) with clothes on, I would not immediately recognized her. Oh yeah, again with the glasses. This time, she was wearing glasses when I met her the second time. Also, I met her as Jenny, not Jennifer. [insert more excuses here]

These days, I seem to have a lot more friends in social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, etc. When I meet people in real life, I sometimes forget that they're already friends with me on Facebook. But every once in a while, I will get a friends request from someone I just met in real life, and it can sometimes take a while to remember "which one are you again?"

These are just a few situations that I want to admit for now. The next entry will be about cosplayers, and WHY I sometimes don't recognize them when I meet them outside of conventions and meetups, and when they are not in cosplay. 

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