Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Facial Recognition

Hello Blog,
I’m back from a weekend in Lisbon! There was a book launch, a workshop and a lot of picture books all around me:

Book launches are usually a trigger for one of my biggest fears, living in society: not recognizing people’s faces or not remembering their name. 
I feel like I have a very good memory for what people say, and memorize a bunch of pointless details about them, but not the faces. Let me demonstrate: 

I wish we could all live in a society where it's not rude to not recognize someone we have met before, and people would simply introduce themselves over and over until they are best friends. Can we all agree to do that, please? And not assume our faces are that special and unforgetable? Because they are not! Faces are all very similar, they usually have a nose, eyes, mouth and some type of hair surrounding the whole thing. (By the way, bearded faces are the worst of all! I gave up trying to tell bearded men apart. My brain says you are all the same person.)

As with other of my faults, I completely blame genetics for this. Both my parents are very bad at facial and name recognition and good at remembering everything else: I've heard my father talk about the car model and registration numbers of people he couldn't remember the name (and no, he is not a mechanic). And I’ve witnessed my mother talking to costumers like old time friends and, as soon as they leave the shop go “Ouf! No idea who she was!”. 

This family problem has led to one of my weirdest moments in my childhood: 
One time I was walking with my mum in the street and a man weaved at us and came to greet me. I assumed he was some distant relative I couldn’t remember and politely played along.
My mother thought he was someone from school she couldn’t recognize and did the same thing. 

NONE OF US KNEW HIM. But we only realized that he was stranger, and also drunk, when he lost balance and fell over while greeting me. I have a vague recollection of laying on the ground with a strange man on top of me and my mum very cartoonishly hitting him with an umbrella. 

 Afterwards my dad came along and helped the man get up and go somewhere. I would say I never saw him again but probably I did and just didn’t remember his face.

1 comment:

  1. Do you know Daniel Galera's novel "Barba ensopada de sangue"? This post made me think of it, because the main character has prosopagnosia, which is the kind of issue that you have, but, hum, times a thousand, maybe. :)