New Castle News
NEW CASTLE —
I used to think I was good with remembering faces. In fact, I would see a person one time in the checkout of a grocery store and the next time I would see them I could recall the contents of their shopping cart.
However, somewhere along the line this gift of facial recognition somehow dwindled. I am not sure when it occurred (maybe some time in between baby number one and baby number two) but whatever happened has many a time left me stumbling over my words and thoughts.
It’s that dreaded moment when you’re standing in Walmart, staring at peanut butter jars, when all of a sudden you hear an overly excited, “Hey, how are YOU!?”
At first, you ignore this booming voice, which is clearly resonating from a place very nearby. This voice does not sound familiar in any way, so it is safe to assume that they are NOT addressing you. Then after a few more moments of Skippy vs Jiffy contemplation, the person begins to speak again.
“Kali! Hey, how are you?!”
Hmm, now, what are the odds of another Kali standing at that exact moment in that exact same spot? Not very good, I have come to find. With a hopeful heart, I slowly step away from the peanut butter and turn around, expecting to see someone I know. As I do, I am hopeful that although the voice was unfamiliar, the face would ring a bell.
Not so lucky.
“Heeyyyyyyyyy there,” I utter, with the confidence of house cat standing over a pool of water. Meanwhile, in my head I am scanning my brain for this person’s face, and getting no hits.
They then proceed to ask my very personal details about my family, my children, my parents. They SEEM to know ME, but I have no idea who in the world THEY are.
After the initial shock wears off, I begin staring at specific features of theirs, hoping to see something familiar. Have I seen that hair before? Those teeth? Those earlobes? ANYTHING?
I then decide that this person is crazy, because I clearly have never met them before in my life. Then, all of a sudden, they ask me the deal breaker question: “Do you still live over there on the North Hill?”
WHAT?! They know where I live?!
I suppose I could have asked this person who they were at the beginning of the conversation, but at this point there is no turning back. I now have to ask THEM personal questions about THEIR families without sounding like a complete idiot, which I am able to do, and it seems as though they are buying my synthetically generated concern for their pet beagle that is losing its hearing.
As the conversation comes to a close, and I still have no idea who this person is, I have a terrible thought: How is this going to end? With a handshake? A high five? A slap to the back of the head or …? And then they go in for the kill — a HUG.
I smile sheepishly and attempt to hide the shock on my face, bid them adieu and JOG away, all the while wondering if it’s possible that I DID somehow know that person and possibly HAVE met the beagle they spoke of.
My only hope in all of this confusion is that somehow, someway, if we cross paths again I WILL remember who the heck they are, and can dodge another awkward hug.
Until then, my apologies to the woman in aisle 3 at Walmart. You’re a very nice lady — at least you seemed to be, anyway.