Author Topic: Awkward! But did I do ok?  (Read 3167 times)

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Mysticpizza

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Awkward! But did I do ok?
« on: September 20, 2013, 01:18:43 PM »
There's a lady I see at a certain discount grocery store on occasion that always asks how my elderly Mom is.  Now, I'm not good with faces out of context, i.e., I may not recognize someone if they're not where I know them from (think, I know you from the bank I go to, but I can't place where I know you from if I meet you at the Mall.) I'm sure I'm not unusual in that.

So, I never questioned where we knew each other from, just always gave a pleasant update and inquired politely as to her Mom as well. This has been going on for years.

Well, today I saw her in the store and the usual pleasantries ensued, then she asked if I'd moved my Mom as she had been to the facility and couldn't find her. Um, my Mom had never been in that facility. So, we did a little of the so-where-do-we-know-each-other-from and names of both Moms and locations and we both drew a blank!

So, I said, well I always enjoy seeing/talking to you and I'm sure there's some background somewhere! With a big smile and a bit of a giggle. She gave me a strange look, like embarrassed and just smiled.

She never told me her name. Next time, do I just say hello like nothing happened? 

jaxsue

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Re: Awkward! But did I do ok?
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2013, 01:26:36 PM »
I've had similar experiences. Once I was at a Target store in my then-town, and a guy I didn't recognize called me out by name - first and last. FTR, I'm actually very good at recognizing people, even out of context, so there was no question I didn't know this man. Weirdly enough, he did know someone with my name who looked very much like me.

They way you deal with it is just fine.

cwm

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Re: Awkward! But did I do ok?
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2013, 01:47:19 PM »
OP, I think you did fine. I've had whole conversations with people before, and at the end it turns out we didn't know each other at all. Yes, it was a bit awkward when the conversation was over, but the trick is to still handle it with grace and kindness, which you seem to have done.

People constantly mistake me for someone who looks similar but works in a field I've never been a part of. I'm getting used to letting them know that they must be thinking of someone else if I don't recognize them, and usually if they press I'll ask how they know me and go from there.

Curious Cat

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Re: Awkward! But did I do ok?
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2013, 02:00:54 PM »
I had something similar happen to me. I was at the grocery store and a woman (who looked very familiar) said hello and started. Chatting with me. We were having a nice conversation about an upcoming event in a neighboring town and she said "and it will be so great to see your parents" yeah, no my parents live 8 hours away and have no interest in that type of event. I must have looked confused because she said "you are Jane and John Doe's daughter aren't you."  Nope, I've never even heard of them! I think we were both a little embarrassed and went on our way.

I'd say hello the next time you see her but not stop to talk.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2013, 02:07:20 PM by Curious Cat »

Promise

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Re: Awkward! But did I do ok?
« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2013, 02:04:21 PM »
There was a woman in my community who looked just like me - not related. People thought I was her and would stop and talk assuming I was her. I didn't figure this out until later after wondering how these people knew me.

Missy2U

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Re: Awkward! But did I do ok?
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2013, 04:01:12 PM »
So I am at O'Hare picking up my son this summer - he was on leave from the Navy to meet his sister (she was put up for adoption 28 years ago and she found me and we met this summer).  Husband had driven as I had a TERRIBLE headache and my head was swimming - my contacts were giving me problems and my eyes were watering on top of it.  Plus the sun was at the back of the people walking into baggage claim so I was looking into it (the sun).

The poor boy who walked out of the doors into baggage claim and had me running up to him yelling "son's name" was particularly confused, as he wasn't my son.

In my defense, my husband even thought at first it was him - exact same build and haircut.  But yeesh - talk about embarassed.   :D

DollyPond

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Re: Awkward! But did I do ok?
« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2013, 04:06:37 PM »
This used to happen to a friend of mine in college.  It was so frequent, especially when he was out in bars, that he had a T-shirt made that said "I am not Ted Walker".  He never did get to meet the real Ted who was evidently very popular.

EllenS

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Re: Awkward! But did I do ok?
« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2013, 04:15:00 PM »
There was a woman in my community who looked just like me - not related. People thought I was her and would stop and talk assuming I was her. I didn't figure this out until later after wondering how these people knew me.

I actually used to have a friend who was very similar to me in height, build and coloring, same type glasses.  i don't think our faces looked that much alike, but we both have a superficial resemblance to Joan Cusack in slightly different ways.

We were mistaken for each other CONSTANTLY.  We did plays together, and the director would call us by each other's names. Neighbors would either greet or accost us when we visited each other. The worst was when my DH was using her DH's wood shop at work, and I walked in and kissed MY DH hello.  Friend's husbands' co-workers got very very wigged out.

OP, I think you did fine, and if you do run into her again, I think anything from a friendly wave to a lighthearted, "so how is your mom?" would be fine.  Personally, I'd start with a wave and smile and let her pursue it or not.  If the first wave/smile was not well received, I'd downgrade to nodding and kind of follow her lead.  You might wind up making a friend or friendly acquantance, but it would be easy to come off too pushy when that is totally not your intention.  That's why I'd let her set the tone.

Mysticpizza

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Re: Awkward! But did I do ok?
« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2013, 06:11:34 PM »
Thanks all, your stories made me feel better. But what I really want to know is the next time I see her (and I know I will) is should I greet her the same way I always have? I'd like to. Because even though we're only acquaintences (meaning we've never met outside of that store), she is a very pleasant person and I Do like talking to her in that scenario. Or would you think that would make her uncomfortable. And if I do, and she seems uncomfortable, what should I do then?

checkitnice

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Re: Awkward! But did I do ok?
« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2013, 08:43:58 PM »
I would definitely keep making small talk and being polite when you see her, after all, it's nice to be nice and a friendly face is always welcome. 

jpcher

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Re: Awkward! But did I do ok?
« Reply #10 on: September 21, 2013, 04:39:31 AM »
I think you should greet her the same way you have done in the past. Hopefully both of you can laugh about the situation. It sounds like she's the type of person that wouldn't be offended at all.

If she seems to feel uncomfortable (not wanting to engage in conversation), just smile and say "It's good to see you. Have a nice day!" and go on your merry way.

Winterlight

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Re: Awkward! But did I do ok?
« Reply #11 on: September 21, 2013, 08:26:45 AM »
I think you should greet her the same way you have done in the past. Hopefully both of you can laugh about the situation. It sounds like she's the type of person that wouldn't be offended at all.

If she seems to feel uncomfortable (not wanting to engage in conversation), just smile and say "It's good to see you. Have a nice day!" and go on your merry way.

Agreed. Nobody did anything wrong here, so I'd just roll with it and be friendly.
If wisdom’s ways you wisely seek,
Five things observe with care,
To whom you speak,
Of whom you speak,
And how, and when, and where.
Caroline Lake Ingalls

AuntyEm

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Re: Awkward! But did I do ok?
« Reply #12 on: September 21, 2013, 09:51:01 AM »
DH told me that on a boy's holiday many years ago (4 of them to the Faroe Islands, they are from Copenhagen), they phoned someone who they believed to be a friend of a mutual friend in Denmark and were told it would be fine to camp in their garden.  After nearly two days of being welcomed and entertained lavishly by the family, someone brought up the subject of the "mutual friend".  Turned out, they had the wrong family!

CakeEater

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Re: Awkward! But did I do ok?
« Reply #13 on: September 21, 2013, 07:46:13 PM »
Yes, you'll have to say hello, or you'll spend the next however many years trying to avoid eye-contact whenever you see her and half-smiling awkwardly if you do.

If you carry on pleasantly like normal, you'll mitigate her embarrassment somehwat at her own mistake.

Tea Drinker

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Re: Awkward! But did I do ok?
« Reply #14 on: September 21, 2013, 07:55:17 PM »
Smile, say hello, but if she makes an excuse or doesn't want to chat, don't push it. People are embarrassed by different things, and in different amounts. You know you would like to talk to her, so it makes sense to greet her, but since she seemed embarrassed last time, don't press. With luck she'll have thought it over and thought "well, we know each other from the grocery store, and I like her" rather than "I have no connection to this woman, I shouldn't impose/don't want her knowing about my business."
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