Wednesday, 30 June 2010

'It's All Too familiar'*

(*"Do I Know You" by Toby Keith)

Incoming patient two days ago and instantly I knew that I knew her but for the life of me I wasn't sure from where it was that I knew her. Under hospital rules I couldn't really ask her personal questions unless it was clear that she knew me and she was showing no signs of recognising me.

She looked to be of Greek origin but her name was East European. Was she a waitress at a frequented restaurant? I could picture that but couldn't recall which one. No, maybe she was from a frequented delicatessen or fruit and vegetable store? Perhaps, but I wasn't all that convinced.

Racked my memory for two days and I could picture her in a setting yet couldn't quite work that setting out.

Then today, walking along Broadway to meet up with Kn for lunch at a Chinese eatery near to his workplace it hit me...out of the blue. She was the wife of my local newsagent, or at least she was that until they sold the business to some young Korean men about eighteen months ago. I'd purchased newspapers and other items from her for the best part of two decades.

Strange how difficult it can be to identify someone you meet outside of the usual context you are used to seeing them.


  1. I truly am the worst when it comes to not recognising people out of context - and every time they seem able to remember me and I end up feeling all embarrassed and daft because I have a head like a sieve!

  2. Very much! During high school and college, I worked in a dietary department of a hospital. Black pants, white shirt, and blue surgical cap. People who'd talk to me all the time wouldn't recognize me outside of the hospital.

  3. Where I used to live, my neighbours would say hi to me at the grocery store and I'd have no clue who they were until I saw them again from home. 'Oh, that's who that strange man at the store was'