General Etiquette > Life...in general

Awkward! But did I do ok?

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Mysticpizza:
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:
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:
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:
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.

Promise:
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.

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