Have you ever run into someone that you know and have had past interactions with but, when they see you, they give you the stank-side eye look as if they don’t know you? Or maybe they’re trying to figure out where they know you from and they make that face that tells you that they don’t know who the hell you are? So, you come out sounding desperate like, “Hey it’s me from….”, and you are so confident so sure, that your little reminder would trigger within them some memory of you but alas, they still stand there with their mouths open while slowly pulling out of the death grip you have on their hand.
I hate when that happens!
Face recognition generally activates a special area of the brain – the fusiform gyrus! This part of the right side of your brain is in the Cerebral Cortex, it helps you remember faces. I probably have a hyper fusiform gyrus! I never forget a face. That makes it awkward for me at times when I see someone that I remember but they don’t remember me and I’m faced with the “ok” this person obviously doesn’t think I’m important enough to remember me mode or I go into how I know them and why they should remember me. Did I mention that it was awkward?
Or how about the “Hood Celebrity”, him or her that you used to chill with, kick it with or perform with, they’ve gained an audience and some popularity. They may be on a marquee at a local show or even have a picture on a flyer or whatever and you go out to support them and when they see you they look through you and keep it moving. It’s that same debilitating feeling when someone you at least thought you know doesn’t know you or haven’t validated your existence enough to remember you.
What about teachers or old co-workers? These are people you spent years with, depending on how long you stayed in school or on the job but, these are faces you can hardly forget but they seem to have forgotten you so mercilessly.
I recently drove by a woman whom I hadn’t seen since my childhood. I clearly remembered her face and I almost had her name. After mentioning that I saw her to my mother I was told that she lived in that part of the neighborhood and she sees her from time to time.
Even some family members that I haven’t seen in a while act as if they didn’t know me when they see me on the streets, I’m just some random dude.
My face-photographic memory is a blessing don’t get me wrong but I hate the confused faces, the head scratching that goes on while these people try to figure out who the hell I am.
Imagine waking up in a world where you know everyone but no one knows you. Not family, friends, coworkers, not even your pet knows who you are. The man who never forgot a face, sounds like a Hitchcock movie but, it’s my life…or it feels that way sometimes.
Remind me to remember to forget!