Just as my subject line states, I don’t think I will ever get used to people not recognizing me. It’s happened with people at work, family, friends…. everyone! It’s really difficult to keep in mind sometimes that while the changes in my appearance seem to have taken forever to ME… they really haven’t taken that long in grand scheme of things. I would imagine it’s probably pretty jarring for someone that hasn’t seem me in a really long time to all of a sudden see a version of me that is 223 lbs lighter – especially since nobody in the town that I live in now has known the thinner version of me (I started gaining weight when I went to college).
Today, I’m presenting two different sessions at a faculty event for the University. I’ve been working all day at the conference center and I was standing outside of the room I was going to present in at 11:00 a.m. with a couple of other people waiting for the previous presenter to finish. Well, he was running late… so it was about 11:02 a.m. The event organizer, whom I met last year at this time during last year’s event, was standing RIGHT next to me for about 5 minutes and he seemed to be agitated. He kept looking through his phone and I heard him mumbled, “Where is SHE!”
After a second or two… it occurred to me that he’s probably referring to me. I turned to him and I said, “The presenter?” to which he replied, “Yes!” I said, “Oh, that’s me! Sorry… I was just waiting for this guy to finish, I didn’t know if I was supposed to go in there or not.”
Clearly you could tell the guy was embarrassed. He was apologizing and saying “Sorry, I didn’t realize you were here. I shouldn’t have been so rude and to assume….” and that’s all he said. Now, I don’t think it’s unreasonable for me to assume that he remembered me well enough that he was expecting a 444 lb woman to come waddling up to the room LOL. If he didn’t remember what I looked like AT ALL then he would have assumed one of the people standing outside of the door was the presenter. He was expecting the old me and had no idea who I was, despite walking past me several times when I was the ONLY person waiting outside of the room, and then returning and literally RIGHT next to me for at least 5 minutes.
It was quite a scene. I actually felt bad for him because he seemed embarrassed. As someone that has coordinated large events, I understand the anxiety that you feel when you think a presenter hasn’t shown up (it’s terrible!) I’m certainly not offended that he didn’t recognize me either – it happens with my own family!
However, I really don’t think I’m going to get used to it. It’s so strange! I actually went to a convenience store the other day where a woman waited on me that I used to work with at the University for a year and a half (she works at the store part-time). When I used to go there and she waited on me, we’d have long conversations and catch up with each other. This time when I said, “Hey, how are you?” – she gave me the “Fine” response and not a hint of recognition was in her eyes! At that point, I just let it go and didn’t say anything… it would’ve been too awkward to say, “Hey… it’s me!” haha
Has this happened to you?
((Random side note: My husband and I went out to dinner last weekend and were not asked if we wanted separate checks – AGAIN! LOL… hasn’t happened in a LONG time and I don’t think it’s a coincidence!))