Oh, these shackles of fame.
Last night I was in a store buying bananas and a cheesecake brownie, as one does. On my way out, a tall guy stopped me and said “hey!” and then had a conversation at me. He used to work where I work, and obviously knew me. We chatted for about about the company, our new mural, and then went our separate ways.
I have no idea who he was.
I feel super bad about that, because it feels so rude. The truth is, I don’t know most of the people at work. Yes, we’re spread out over three offices and 5 floors, I work solely with one department, I never go to social events .. but those are weak excuses. Is it possible to have imposter syndrome about yourself? I guess I’ve done a bunch of stuff company-wide that would make me stand out a little, but none of it is a huge deal. I know I stand out physically – every other person here is tall and willowy and effortlessly glamourous in that Anthropologie-catalogue kind of way, whereas I am short and squat and have blue hair – but that isn’t a good stand out, it’s a “hide in the corner and hope no one sees me” thing.
And okay, damnit, all you tall white hipster guys in the other offices look exactly the same.
But seriously. I feel terrible when people know me and I don’t know them, even it’s a case of mistaken identity (I’m sorry nice lady in Denny’s, I’m not who you think I am). It’s weird to be recognized, but weirder still to be known and not have a corresponding data link inside your brain.
I do have theories on this. The majority of my theories are based around smiling. I would never, ever suggest that people have to smile, or tell someone to smile if they’re not, but I do find it odd when someone has zero response to a friendly smile. I try to smile at everyone. Most of the time, they smile back. If someone smiles at me, they get a smile of varying degree in response, from a questioning half-smile to a balls-out grin. I may be too riddled with anxiety and social diseases to strike up a conversation with someone, but I will always smile at the people I pass. There are a lot of people (all women) at work who glare at me when I smile in greeting, or simply look away. I try to give them the benefit of the doubt – maybe they’re just as socially awkward as I am, and deal with it differently than I do – but it’s happened enough times that I have a membership list for the Unfriendly Blonde Squad in my head.
Where was I going with this? I actually don’t remember – I stepped away from writing this to get some really shitty news – but I think I had a point about smiling at people with blue hair while simultaneously having a large enough impact at work to leave an impression with people I don’t know.
Shit’s gettin’ weird.