When I know I’m going to be meeting someone and may not see them again for a while, like with interviews, doctor visits, and such, I try to make sure I’m not wearing my glasses. I have learned the hard way that if I wear my glasses in these circumstances, and I’m not wearing them the next time I see the person, then the person will not recognize me. It’s awkward and embarrassing all the way around, because I know who the person is, and the person has no idea who I am, and argh. It’s just bad.
Evidently, I have a very forgettable face, because my hair used to be my defining characteristic. When I came back from college for the summer after I’d cut my waist-length hair to shoulder-length, I went to my former high school’s graduation. Most of my teachers didn’t recognize me at all. And it’s not like I was an invisible high school student, either. I was Tracy Flick. All the teachers knew me, even the ones who’d never actually taught me. Because I was on the school TV show each morning, many students I’d never met knew who I was, too. I learned that little nugget in a really weird way when I was at the grocery store one time and the cashier, whom I’d never seen before in my life, starting asking me questions about how my senior year was going. He finally confessed that he knew me from the morning show, and it was just kind of odd and unsettling. So, yeah. I was well-known at my (not-very-big) high school, so it was very weird when I came back with little changed but my hairstyle, and people I ACTUALLY SPENT TIME WITH didn’t recognize me.
Now, my hair isn’t nearly the stand-out feature it used to be, and so my glasses are my defining characteristic. That’s problematic when they’re not something I wear daily. When I went to my choral union audition earlier this week, I made sure to wear my contacts. But my hair has gotten pretty long, and I knew I’d be cutting it off on Thursday, so I started to worry that if I didn’t have my glasses on, and I cut my hair between rehearsals, that the next time I came to rehearsal no one would remember me. So in addition to not wearing glasses, I wore my hair up.
All the rich old ladies at my salon tried to talk me out of cutting my hair off yesterday, but I’d made up my mind and I had Jonathan do his job and I’m very happy with the results so far.
But it’s fall, and in the fall I usually start wearing my glasses more often, and now I have different hair, and I have a bunch of things coming up in the next few weeks where I’ll run into people I don’t see often. And I’m kind of worried that no one’s going to recognize me.
You probably think I’m a narcissistic spaz, and you may be right, but seriously, this has happened so many times that I have a complex about it now.