At least I didn’t scream “GO!”

11 Aug

Because during the day, an alligator avoids eating children.

The other night I whipped into Safeway on my walk home from work to pick up a few items for dinner. On my way in the door, I passed Melissa, the woman who bought my old condo. (I still live in the neighborhood so we shop at the same store and bump into each other occasionally.)

Naturally, I tapped the glass, waved and said, “Hey stranger!” as we passed each other.

She caught my eye, smiled, and — as soon as the door held still — said, “Hey back! It’s been forever! How are you doing?”

And as she said that, my mind finished its computer-like body scan of her and realized she was NOT, in fact, the woman living in my old place. She was a complete stranger. Albeit one who bore an uncanny resemblance to Melissa and was willing to humor me, but a stranger nonetheless.

Embarrassment must’ve registered on my face, because just as I started to say, “Oh my gosh! I’m so sorry! You look like someone I know –” she broke out in a huge grin, saying, “Wow! I totally thought you were someone I used to work with who lives in the neighborhood!”

And then, with the best-timed “jinx” ever, we both shrugged and said, “Small world!” at the exact same time. Had we met under different circumstances, I’m sure we would’ve been BFFs.

It’s always awkward when you mistake a stranger for someone you know — I think it harkens back to childhood, when (without looking up) you accidentally took a stranger’s hand, thinking it belonged to your mother. This instance (with the Melissa-look-alike) was about the best case scenario because we BOTH were confused.

Now let’s jump into the Way-Back Machine to check out the other end of the spectrum.

The year is 1988 and my friend Kelly has just gone to see a movie with a group of friends. As they leave the theatre, her brother Kyle pulls up to the curb, driving his blue pick-up truck. Kelly, with the enthusiasm unique to a middle schooler, runs out, jumps in the back of the truck and begins pounding on the cab yelling, “Go! Go! Go!”

And after getting off a series of about five GO’s, Kelly realizes that the person behind the wheel is NOT her brother. And that this truck (while similar) is clearly NOT Kyle’s truck.

Now put yourself in the shoes of the man driving. You’ve presumably gone to get your car so that you can provide your wife a curb-side pick up. And the next thing you know, out of the blue, there is a pre-teen standing in the truck bed, smacking the roof and shouting for you to GO.

I’m not sure who was more freaked out. But suffice it to say, there was no mutual “Small World!” shrug at the end of this encounter. If memory serves, Kelly screamed when she realized it wasn’t Kyle, then jumped off the truck as quickly as she had mounted it. As for the man? Given our proximity to the region’s psychiatric hospital, I’m pretty sure we can imagine his retelling of the event.

12 Responses to “At least I didn’t scream “GO!””

  1. Michelle August 11, 2011 at 7:40 am #

    This is great. We were camping this weekend in Grand Haven, MI. My daughter, who is 8. Says, mom I think that is Skylar from my school over there. I said wow, that is great you see her way out here (she goes to school about 200 miles away). I said you should go say hi to her and play. Jylian aka daughter sometimes gets a little shy. She says no, that is okay. A few minutes later she says okay I want to go say hi. A few moments later Jylian returns with a horrified look on her flushed face and says “that was akward” that wasn’t Skylar….She looked at me like I was crazy..

    A few moments later Skylar came to ask Jylian to play… to the playground they went.. You never know when you will meet a playmate!

    • pithypants August 11, 2011 at 8:38 am #

      Good! Another not-so-horrible outcome! But I’m sure it was mortifying for an 8-yr old!

  2. Kim Pugliano August 11, 2011 at 10:35 am #

    HAHAHA!! I can’t even come up with a good comment because you totally summed it all up in a pretty package. Hilarious!

  3. lexy3587 August 11, 2011 at 11:38 am #

    What if his first instinct had been to ‘GO!’, unsure of why, but sure it seems like the most reasonable thing to do 😛

    • pithypants August 12, 2011 at 10:08 am #

      Totally. Could’ve led to abduction!

  4. Danielle August 11, 2011 at 11:50 am #

    I can’t quit laughing, that was awesome. I’ve had so many similar situations I can’t even recant one right now. Possibly because of selective embarrassment blocks in my brain. Keep these coming Pithypants, I love your stories!

    • pithypants August 12, 2011 at 10:08 am #

      If you think of any of them, please share. Things that are embarrassing are usually hilarious!

  5. Lorna's Voice August 11, 2011 at 12:59 pm #

    People, trucks, they all look alike to me…

    Great stories of mistaken identity that happen every few decades. Not bad, really!

  6. Steven August 12, 2011 at 9:52 am #

    HILARIOUS!!! I’ve a friend that went out one evening with “the girls” to one of the local watering holes… after a few drinks she started talking with this guy and ended up giving him her number. A few days later he called and they scheduled a follow up dinner. However, she was a bit fuzzy on what he actually looked like! On the scheduled day, he arrived at her building and called her cell to let her know he was out front in the blue ford. She was relieved that she would be able to avoid any embarrassment. However, as you can guess, once she got out front of her building… there were 2 blue fords waiting in the drive… and yes… she got into the wrong one. While I am sure the unknown guy was thrilled to have a pretty girl just hop into his front seat and ask where there were going for dinner… I’m sure her real date was a bit put out… needless to say there was no follow up!

    • pithypants August 12, 2011 at 10:07 am #

      OMG. That is FABULOUS. And mortifying at the same time. I’d pretend I had a vision problem or something.

  7. Watching Seasons August 12, 2011 at 6:45 pm #

    This post brought back a seriously embarrassing memory of mine! Heh

    Fantastic signs in this post, by the way!

  8. Doug August 15, 2011 at 2:22 pm #

    Haha! I hear this “Kelly” is still up to her old tricks, but now pounds on the cockpit door of company jets…….hmm.

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