Tag Archives: mistaken identity

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.

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