Friday, July 18, 2008

Recognition and saying "HI"

So I'm the type of girl that will walk a different direction in the store to avoid saying hi to someone I know. There is probably a handful of people I don't do this to. I am always afraid of getting their name wrong, them not recognizing me, or just an awkward situation occurring. There have been many times that friends have had to introduce me to the same people multiple times. There is one instance where Mrs. B introduced me to the same person about 4 times before we realized it wasn't that she didn't remember me she just didn't care to say hi! Now you are starting to see where my fears are coming from!

We pick up our mail for our business at a UPS Store. The beginning of June the owners sold the business and there were new workers in there. I always said Hi to the old workers, so with the new workers I had to force myself to say hi. I did really well. Then I realized I recognized one of the men there. I couldn't place my finger on it. I thought maybe he was an actor from this fabulous comedy group I use to go watch when I live in the Salt Lake Valley, I assumed that was where it must be, since I seemed to recognize him but he didn't recognize me. I decided to continue to say hi because why not? It was good for me to be brave but since he would have no idea who I was I wouldn't let on that I recognized him. Baby steps.

One day after getting our mail, I sat in the car and pondered his name over and over in my mind, where was it that I met him? Finally it hit me! Then I had to get up the nerve to let him know I remembered him. A few weeks later I am mailing something inside the store and he is helping me and I think of my husband and how friendly he is and how talking to a complete stranger is no big deal for him. That is one of my favorite qualities of my husband so why not? I need to not be afraid and just let him know where I recognized him from. I never expected to get the response I did. The conversation went something like this:

Me: Do you want to know something weird? (Clever opener don't you think?)
Him: Okay (Said in a very nice, interested way)

Me: I know you from somewhere. When I was living in Salt Lake City, 6 years ago, you managed those bright blue apartments I lived in.
Him: Yes, that's right! I knew I recognized you from somewhere but I couldn't remember where. I looked up your name and couldn't place it, (he even said my maiden name which is not easy to pronouce or remember.) You lived up in the back right? I totally remember you! (He seemed very excited that I was able to solve this mystery for him.)

Not only did he remember me but he remembered where I lived and everything! I was really shocked. It made my day. The longer I conquer my fears the more I realize how good it makes me feel. I felt so great all day that someone from 6 years ago remembered me and that I ran into him in my home town over 800 miles away. Very random!

So all that happened a few weeks ago. Last night I got a date night, someone offered to watch the kids (how often does that happen?) so we went to dinner with my parents and then grocery shopping. At dinner my dad and husband were wanting steamed clams, the waitress said they had this fancy form of clams but no plain steamed clams. The guys passed on the appetizer since the waitress wasn't willing to figure how to get the chef to steam clams. The waitress leaves and my husband, who should be listed on the blog as GG (because he looks just like an actor from Heroes), realizes he recognizes the waitress. Just like with my situation he couldn't place her, and instead of analyzing it to death and since he isn't afraid of anything he says to her when she returns, "I know you from somewhere." He asks her a few questions and realizes he knew her from a college course over 5 years ago. After they banter back and forth and she takes our order she is able to produce steamed clams for the guys. My point? By not being afraid and befriending the waitress GG was able to get what he wanted. I have so much to learn!

I have so much to learn! During the grocery shopping part of the date we walk by someone I know, very nice woman, I've talked to her numerous times, she doesn't see me so I continue walking and even avoid running into her so I don't have to say hi. My reasoning? I can never pronounce her name right, and I would have had to introduce her to my husband and then ask again how to pronouce her name. Two steps forward, one step back.


Bean said...

That is so cool that you stepped out of your comfort zone and talked to that guy from your past! I have a hard time in our church saying hi to people walking my way in the halls. It's stupid, I know!I don't know why I have such a hard time sometimes? I just need to be brave like you and say hi and if they say it back great, if not, oh well.

Mrs. B said...

Bean, I changed my ID because I love having you comment on here and it was getting confusing on the blog anyway (going by Mrs. B and posting as Bean). But I still think it's a lovely nickname.

YONF - I think GG should stand for GET GOING (as in - your wife invited friends over to swim - now take off!)

(I don't think that's a funny in print as it is in my head.)

Tana said...

I didn't think this was a fear. I just like to avoid people unless I care to hear small talk. Sometimes it's just too much to be nice to people! :)

Bean said...

mrs. b, I'm sorry we had the same name and you felt you had to change it because of my comments. I think you are so awsome and I don't even know you!

Mrs. B said...

Bean, no worries! I had been planning to do it anyway, and I don't mind a bit!

I've heard of you lots - we have several common friends, but I don't think we've ever actually met (although I know our daughters have). We'll have to have YONF connect us!

Bean said...

Mrs.b, If you are who I think you are, you take the best pictures! Are you still taking pictures? If so, we need to talk. Our family needs a new family picture!

Anonymous said...

YONF-Way to go! I have had similar issues but can never put my finger on why. I went to my class reunion and it semed like everyone was taking there station in the high school food chain, me being on the lower end. I realized how lame that was and began chatting with people and introducing myself to ones that I wasn't sure if they knew me or not. I had a fabulous reunion and felt very cleansed. To this day when I run into people that I have not seen in a long time I play my "pretending" game and I pretend that I am way more confident than they are. It makes it easier to start communication when I feel like I have the upper hand...even when it is a pseudo-upper hand

Mrs. B said...

Bean, I would love to take your pictures! My email address is (Or get it from YONF.)