Have you ever had one of these experiences?
The other day, I was on a train heading back from New York City. In recent years, we’ve been blessed with these pretty cool double-decker trains. And like a little kid, I always want to sit upstairs. I got to the upper deck and walked forward to where the front facing seats were. They were all full (and by full, I mean at least one person was sitting in a set of seats, and like most people [I think] I wanted to sit by myself. [I think the unwritten law of the train and human behavior is that you only sit next to someone when there are no more empty seats...I am thoroughly suspicious of anyone who would choose to sit with someone they didn't know rather than have a seat of his or her own...same thing goes with movie theaters, you only sit next to someone when it's necessary. I remember going to a movie by myself once and being creeped out when a woman sat next to me in a relatively empty theater...hmm...I sense another post].
So, anyway, I turned back around to the free seats when I heard someone call my name. I looked up and said hello to a man I knew. Or at least, a man I must know since he knew my name. He asked me how I was, and sitting next to him, I said “fine. How are you?” And as he’s talking, the following is going through my head.
“Who is this guy?” “Do I know him from work?” “He seems to know me?” “Do I ask him how we know each other?” “That would be pretty weird.” Different scenarios were flashing through my brain…who? who? who? Thankfully, I realized within a few seconds that this was a man from the animal shelter I volunteer with, someone with whom I’ve spent several hours with over the last few months as we’ve played with the cats in and out of their cages. Now, I hadn’t been to the shelter in several weeks between travel and vet appointments for my own little guy. So that was part of it. The other and bigger part was that we’re pretty dressed down at the shelter. T-shirts and jeans (I wear a zip-up hoodie to keep my arms from being exposed to cat claws since they tend to grip). On the train, my kitty friend was wearing what I’ll call, New York business clothes. That is, he was dressed WAY up compared to his shelter clothes. So, putting the business guy together with the cat guy took me a few seconds. You can imagine my relief at not having to ask him who the hell he was.
I’m not sure what it says that he recognized me immediately since I was also in work clothes (although not New York work clothes)!
Have you ever run into someone who clearly knew you but you didn’t recognize (or vice-versa)? How did you handle it?