I don’t remember faces well. People who do remember faces don’t quite get this:

Face Rememberer: “Oh, I’m bad at remembering names, too. Terrible.”
Me: “No, I can’t remember faces. I don’t realize I’ve met the person talking to me.”
FR: “I know, it’s awful to not remember their name.”
Me: [Sigh.]

But if someone’s not in front of me, I can’t pull up a clear mental image of them–even loved ones. So random acquaintances or classmates from long ago are even more of a crap shoot, because there’s nothing to pull up to help me remember them. I always dread hearing “Karen! Hi!” from a stranger, because it’s really not a stranger, just someone I don’t recall seeing despite having been in three years of classes together.

So my post from a week ago about a long-lost classmate who’s now the poet laureate with published books and a doctorate? Yeah, my classmate isn’t that woman. She had the same name–I’m not crazy, just bad with faces–and similar dark hair and she looked poetic, so I just assumed it was she. It took Mr. Isbell pointing out that she got her B.A. in 1980 to make me realize last night that all that angst and lyrics and the “sad little blog post” were spent on the wrong person.

So, to the Utah Poet Laureate: I’m sorry I was making fun of your hair. And to the rest of the world: Why can’t everyone just wear name tags?