Friday, March 5, 2010

Facial Recognition Issues

You know, there is actually a medical condition that stops some people having the same facial recognition capabilities that most people take for granted. The trumpet player in my old band had it. She told me how people she knew quite well would get mad at her when she didn't recognise them outside the context of when she normally saw them. It sounded like a really frustrating thing for her.

Sometimes I feel like I have just a small touch of this. There have been incidences at places I've worked where I will ask someone if they've been served when I myself have literally just served them. But, as with most things, I seem to have it in a weird way. I am always wandering down Rundle Mall thinking that I just spotted someone I went to high school with. That's usually pretty unlikely, but with the strange combination of Adelaide and Newcastle (resulting in bizarre situations such as the fact that there is a guy I went to high school with who moved across the country to Adelaide in year 11, only to finish his schooling at the same high school as Meattrain) it is sometimes hard to tell.

I was at the pub last night and with the Adelaide Fringe on there were a bunch of comedians there. One of whom I recognised (when I saw his name, mind) as a guy who was friends with my little sister at high school. And it actually was him, we had a brief chat. But the problem is that there were a bunch of other people in the bar that totally looked familiar and I had no idea whether I knew them, or whether it was just my brain misfiring.

Part of my facial recognition issues are that I am almost completely incapable of recognising someone from a photograph. I have learned this from my failed attempts at blind dates. What this means though is that with the Fringe Festival on, every time I have a random exchange with a vaguely familiar stranger, I think, 'Is that someone I should recognise? Is that someone I am actually a fan of?' 

This also kinda happened last night. I spoke to a guy while buying drinks at the bar and he seemed to have this twinkle in his eye that somehow said 'I am someone! Please recognise who I am!'. I kinda wanted to engage him in discussion, but I couldn't think of how I could possibly go about the situation. What was I going to say, 'Excuse me, but should I know who you are?'

The worst facial recognition thing I ever had was with a girl I went to drama camp with. She lived locally and I saw her quite often. The only problem was that every time I saw her I had literally no idea who she was. Every single time. It was peculiar in that this has only ever happened with this one girl. It got to the point that when someone came up and said hi and I didn't know who they were, I would just assume it was her. I was right every time.

-Smackie Onassis

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