Saturday, August 7, 2010

mistake me...

When you look at someone, what do you see? Can you look past the ethnic color or their skin, the ethnic shape of their face, and all of the other characteristics that set us all apart?

It's a long running "joke" on Tv shows where people say things like, "you all look alike to me" to people of other races. But i have never got this joke. People all have characteristics that make them different from others - no matter what their race.

The reason i am bringing this up is that i had someone mistake me for someone else the other day....

unknown girl: hey, can you give me my ticket?
me: i'm sorry, i do not know you. *feeling awkward*
unknown girl: just give me my ticket to the movie so i can go in.
me: let me rephrase this... i do not know you and you do not know me...
*people all around us starting to stare and making me feel weird*
unknown girl: what? c'mon just give me my ticket, Britney.
me: *laughing a bit* i've never met you... and i don't have a ticket for you.
Michael: what's going on?
unknown girl: wait. what?
unknown girl #2: Hey! i've got your ticket right here!
unknown girl: oops, sorry!

This girl was standing as close to me as another person can get. We looked each other in the eye several times during our small back and forth. Plenty of opportunity for her to look me in the eyes and figure out that i was not the person she was with at the theatre - which was the person holding her ticket.

The girl who yelled to her that she had her ticket was much shorter than me. Anyone who had stood next to the other girl and then next to me would have noticed the extreme height difference.  The other girl had brown eyes. My eyes are bright blue/grey. True that we were both pale white girls. And true we both had longish brown hair. Beyond the hair, we looked nothing alike.

The girl who mistook me for another person was asian, but from America. Her english was perfect. She was in her mid to late 20's and seemed intelligent enough.

So is it true that for the most part, people of the same race see people of other races as looking all the same? And if so, how shallow is that.

I admit that i sometimes think i see people i know from a great distance and might even shout their name. But i won't argue with someone standing 1 foot in front of me that i know them. If i am that close, i can tell if i do or do not know them from memory. i have a strange knack for never forgetting a face. i drive hubby kind of crazy because if i see a child act in a movie (even if i have not seen it since i was a kid) and they are in another movie all grown up, i can pick them out and proof that they are the same person. Although it gets hard sometimes because hollywood loves to hire people who "look" like people just to have that effect on their movie. But when it comes to faces, i can just remember people. i might not always remember their name... but i will never forget their face.

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