Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Hey friend! - I have a friend-assumption issue.

I spent some time back in good ol' Daviess County in Southern Indiana recently. Whenever I'm home, I like to make rounds and visit some of my favorite people and places. One of those places happens to be the newspaper office, where I held my first full-time job as a reporter. While there, I was told by Todd Lancaster, sports editor, that my blog needs to have some funny in it, not so much serious. Since Todd, one of the funniest people I know, was recently awarded a "Columnist of the Year" award, I thought perhaps I should heed his advice and try it; although, I'm not exact sure written humor is my thing.

I have a problem. Instantly after meeting an individual, I think he/she and I are friends. Even if I don't meet them, if I just read their name on a name tag in a restaurant or store, I remember it and think we're friends. I guess this problem shouldn't surprise me. When I was probably 8 or 9, I told my mom "Every stranger is just a friend you haven't met." (She makes fun of me for that all the time. lol.)

This problem has been the root of some awkward encounters in the past. The beginning of my senior year of college, I met this freshman girl. She told me all the intro facts: her name, where she's from, her major, her dorm, etc. I didn't see her again until the end of the school year, and, strangely, I remembered her name, where she was from, her major and her dorm. When I excitedly stopped her to ask how her first year in the criminal justice program was and if she was living in Morton Hall again the following year, she looked at me weirdly and said, "Good, and no" and walked away. She had no clue who I was.

Then it's always evident that what I perceived as a friendship was just an acquaintanceship when after a person pops into my head, I go to write on her Facebook wall only to find out she's unfriended me. That's happened many times. And every time, it makes me laugh.

And most recently, I was hit with this reality at Walmart. One night while paying for a few items, I had a friendly conversation with the cashier who thought she knew someone in my family. She told me she thought I went to her church and was an artsy photographer. Laughing, I said I'd like to be an artsy photographer and that I go to a different church. As if the friendly talk didn't seal the friendship, I thought for sure the church connection would. I read her name tag and said, "Bye, Heidi! Have a good night!" as I walked way. A few days later, while walking through one of the aisles, I saw Heidi, only this time she was shopping. I started to smile and say hi to her when she made eye contact and immediately looked away. And I realized yet again, she has no clue who I am.

I am absolutely not seeking pity. I actually think it's kind of funny. I'm sure Heidi has loads of conversations with customers every shift, and it's not her problem I have a friend-assumption issue. Basically, I'm coming clean about this with all of you today so you understand this: If I know your name, I think we're friends. :)