I have a problem.
Okay, to be completely honest and forthright, I have many problems (which I won’t go into detail about in this forum, but let’s just say most of them involve my body, brain, and extremities*), but without a doubt (okay, with some doubt because it’s actually really hard to assess the comparative importance of said problems), my number one (or two) problem is having total strangers come up to me and say, “I know you!”
I’ll be in line at the grocery store, or sitting in a waiting room, or hurtling through the air on an airplane, or walking down the street (always minding my own business, obvs) and complete strangers will approach me and insist that they “know me from somewhere.” They’ll stare at my face, tilt their heads, tap their bottom lip with their index finger (or, sometimes a pen), and hum and haw, trying to work out exactly how they “know” me.
Just to be clear: I never know them.
Last week I had a cashier at Fred Meyer say “I know you,” and then insist that we went to high school together in Bellingham, Washington… “Go Red Raiders!” I told her that I was a Canadian, and I had definitely attended high school in Canada. As she rang through my groceries, she occasionally glanced back up at me and shook her head dubiously – like she didn’t believe me.
There are four possibilities:
- I have a familiar, open, friendly face that reminds people of someone else that they have been previously acquianted with.
- I have face blindness, or prosopagnosia, a condition where a person has trouble recognizing familiar faces, and learning to recognize new ones, so I wouldn’t be able to recognize people the way that they recognize me.
- I have a twin that has seen it all, done it all, and attended high school in Bellingham, Washington with Candice (the cashier’s name was Candice).
- I am part of a Truman Show-type scenario, where I am the unsuspecting participant of a live reality TV show documenting my life, so people feel like they “know” me, when in fact they have only seen me on TV.
For a while I thought that the first possibility was the obvious explanation, but now I’m seriously starting to wonder if I am part of a Truman Show type situation – and if that’s the case, where’s the door?
* If you must know, I have a thyroid condition.