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Sunday, February 26, 2012

I'm Not Snubbing You.....Really

All my life, I have had difficulty recognizing people when I run into them unexpectedly.  Until I found out about face blindness, I just assumed I was kind of a dorky spaz.  Or from the age of 19 to 26, drunk.  One night I watched a segment on face blindness and immediately felt a profound sense of relief.  I'm not a dork or drunk.  It's a weird condition that leads to hurt feelings, huffiness and some general inappropriate conversations when I guess wrong who a person is.

To sum it up quickly and easily, face blindness is a condition in which you have great difficulty recognizing people's faces and sometimes other objects, such as cars.  I have always had a problem with this.  When I was twelve I once passed my mother and a friend of hers on the street.  She called out to me and I turned and said, "Mom?".  Her friend asked her later if she saw me often.

When I was a young adult my friends used to mess with me in crowded bars and concerts by moving two feet to the left when I wandered off and then had a great time watching me try to find them.  I would stumble past them repeatedly, cursing until I finally saw them.  A cruel but entertaining drinking game.

It also led to some awkward encounters with guys I had hooked up with and would later not recognize.  It made me appear far sluttier than I actually was.  Well....not by much.

 what you get when you google "80's party chick"

Once I learned about face blindness, I took the online test.  My boyfriend did as well.  He scored around 88%.  I scored 33%.  You can take the test here  It was a pretty miserable experience for me.  I guessed a lot.  I'm not a good guesser.
 Image from test.  Still think it's the same dude in each one.

There's not a lot you can do for face blindness.  I recognize people by voices, the way they carry themselves or clothing.  I have a hard time with cars as well.  My boyfriend once described watching me search for the car.  He said I have this confused, annoyed expression as if someone has rearranged the world while I was gone.  That pretty much sums up what it's like.

So if I walk past you on the street, I'm not being a jerk.  I probably just don't recognize you.  Knowing what is wrong has helped a lot. 

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