Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Meijer and the face

here's the thing...I have "one of those faces."

you know the one, the face that looks like so many other faces, that all too often, you think you know me.

yep, that's me. you've politely waved to me as our cars pass, thinking I'm a neighbor down the street. you've waved at me with giddy vigor across the mall parking lot, thinking I'm your long lost high school sweetheart not responding to your annoying facebook or classmates.com requests. perhaps--if in 1988 you were summering in Colorado--you've even asked for my autograph. 

don't laugh!

one summer, I worked at a Colorado ski resort to earn money for the next semester of college. often, people would approach me all smiles, paper and pen in hand, and ask for my autograph. they chatted about Ted Danson, then graciously complimented me by saying I was much more attractive (and less annoying) than Shelley Long. experience taught me that denying the identity would only make the autograph seeker more persuasive; I learned to promptly sign "Kirstie Alley," smile and walk on. (I'm so shallow--I'm secretly thrilled that I am no longer mistaken for the current Kirstie Alley.)

other than ruining my dream of being an undercover CIA operative, it's not that bad being "one of those faces," I've learned to adapt.

my daughter and I were whizzing through the u-scan 12 items or less, we had a jam-packed day of Saturday activities. I would not, could not, let Meijer throw a wrench in my oh-so-tight-schedule. I paid, removed my bags from the bagging area, my daughter wraps her hands firmly around the cart's handle, we're off...

"did I show you the pictures yet?!" the u-scan cashier grabs the crook of my arm. "leave it to Jerry to bring home another cat! you know Jerry...you would think having five already--but none of the shelters would take him. wait! I've got some pictures on my phone."

the cashier flips through pics of the new kitty--Marvin--while I happily nod and exclaim, "oh, a black and white kitty!" as if black and white markings are rare, especially in cats. you know, doing my part to keep the conversation going, waiting for the inevitable let down of, "wait, you're not Agnes!" after praising her kindness to neglected kitties, and three minutes of tricky brain work to keep the illusion alive, my daughter and I walk toward the exit.

"who was that?" daughter asked. I explained the story of my face's life while we walked through the airlock and into the parking lot. just as I finished with, "I just have one of those faces..." a woman rolls down her window waving wildly. "hey, Tanya! see you tonight?"

without missing a beat, I shouted back, "I'll be there!"

oh yeah, I'll be there.