This morning, I ran by the post office on my way to work to pick up some stamps. I was there before the post office actually opened (about 7:30AM) and had planned on just getting some stamps out of the machine. The machine was of course, broken, and did not have anything to offer me but a handwritten sign that stated, "OUT OF ORDER." I should have known. It is seldom that those machines are actually working. At any rate, as I went to leave, I ran into this woman who looked vaguely familiar. I thought I could get away with just a lovely, polite smile and a "hello," but that was simply not to be.
She reached out and touched my arm, and said, "Hey - how are you doing? Wow! You must be letting your hair grow, huh? It looks good." UH-OH. I was trapped, trapped, trapped. I was scanning my brain as fast as I could, trying to figure out just where I might know this woman from. "Oh, I'm not too bad," I said and smiled. Oh crap....who is this woman? And how long until she figures out that I don't have a clue who she is? "How about you? How are you doing?" I asked. "C'mon," I thought....."give me a clue here...." I was hoping that somewhere in her answer I may be able to discern some hint as to where our worlds had collided. But, she just delivered another form of the same pat answer I had given.
Unfortunately, I didn't have Chris with me to ask, "where do I know this woman from?" Not that that usually helps. He almost always looks at me and says, "How do I know? Why do you always ask me that?"
There were so many possibilities to consider: Have I met this woman through my job I have now, or perhaps a former one? Did we go to school together once? Did she date a friend of mine? Did I meet her at church? Do our kids go to school together?????? Oh help!
I had to think of something that could help me gain some information, without looking like I'm fishing, so I asked, "Can you believe it's back to school time already?" I was pretty proud of myself for thinking of such a non-suspect question. Unfortunately, her reply was, "I know! I was stuck behind a school bus picking up a kid for a few minutes this morning." Hmm...that one yielded no gold, did it?
Although only perhaps a minute or two had passed, I was growing more uncomfortable by the second, because clearly, this lady had no doubt in her mind that I knew who she was. I knew if I stuck around, it was only a matter of time before I was discovered. Saying that I needed to head off to work, I made my exit. She told me it was good to see me, and I claimed the same as she headed into the post office (probably to discover the broken stamp giver for herself.) I got in my car and congratulated myself on such a good performance.
and the Oscar goes to. . .