Prosopagnosia sounds like something you order at Olive Garden


But it’s a thing — it’s a real, neurological thing.

I actually almost called this post, “No, you all really DO look alike to me” but I’m already going to the special hell for working on a stick figure tableau of the crucifixion….

Look, if we ever meet, chances are even if we meet several times, I will not know your name or know by sight that I’ve ever met you before. Even if you wear a nametag, I might be all “oh, hey, I know someone else with that name!” I suck at this.  It’s not that I’ve got a bad memory, it’s that faces don’t register in my brain for some reason. Probably, and this is my personal theory, it’s because God likes to troll me.

So faces don’t imprint.

I should never be allowed to be in charge of children. (I should never be allowed to be in charge of anything, really.  Me in charge of things is likely going to end in disappointment and alcoholism for everybody, so it’s better if it never happens.)

Jenny Lawson said all babies look alike to her and I’m so with her on this. But so do all toddlers, all adolescents and all adults. I might recognize a particular sparkly headband or remember that so-and-so has purple hair that is too anime to function, but faces are floating parts that fail to assemble in my long term memory. (This is why I draw stick figures, y’all….)

It's like this, but with more colours. Usually.

It’s like this, but with more colours. Usually.

But then I feel bad because somebody I’ve met 12 times in casual settings is offended when we have to go through that whole introduction ritual again because it doesn’t register that I’ve ever met this person before.  Seriously, people; if you want me to know you on sight, wear the same clothes all the time and never, ever cut your hair differently. Don’t change anything. Don’t even wear a ponytail.  And maybe on, like, the fifteenth meeting, I’ll know who you are.

So if we ever DO meet for the 37th time and I still don’t register that I’ve met you and just kind of look at you with a blank stare, it really is me, not you.  I’ve been this way my whole life; I called the wrong person dad more than once in the store and almost left a family get-together with the wrong nuclear unit. Mostly, I’m just gonna go around looking like this:

Note the blankest of stares.

Can you all just wear nametags or something?

And I’ll smile and hope I’m not offending you again for the billionth time and that this really is the first time I’ve asked you what your name is while you stare at me like I’m from an alternate dimension. But it’s not even limited to random people in my everyday life, either.  I can’t figure out actors, either.

I have a list of 3 actors that I recognize in everything and all three are Samuel L. Jackson. That’s why my movie reviews are full of stuff like “Brunette FBI guy #2” or other random nicknames I assign.  I can’t even recognize the same actor in a different role.  I was actually kind of freaked out when I learned that David Tennant (10th Doctor) was in Harry Potter (Barty Crouch, Jr.) and that Rory Pond’s Dad is Arthur Weasley.

So it’s not personal, I promise.  My brain is just broken in weirdass ways.



2 responses »

  1. I’ve got almost the exact opposite, and it creeps people out! “Hey you’re that mom I talked to six months ago in the grocery line!” I can’t find my keys to save my life but I can identify adult actors by the movies they were in as kids. Between the two of us we have a normal memory for faces. 😉

  2. The thought of people wearing the same clothes all the time makes me chuckle. 🙂 I saw a sign on the internet that had a great idea for helping with this condition. It went something like this: When you forget someone’s name ask, “What was your name again?” Then when they give it to you and look hurt you forgot say, “No, I knew that, what is your last name?” They’ll feel better and then you get both the first and last name.

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