Moving is amazing. The only thing better than packing up all your belongings and schlepping them to a completely different place is the process of rebuilding your social circle from scratch. We officially moved into our new community over a month ago and life is going swimmingly. The only problem is, well, I can’t recognize people. Children are easy to discern- they’re always running around shouting their names and declaring that so and so hit them, so remembering their names and differentiating little people is a snap. Adults? Not so much.
It’s to the point where if a man of similar size and build approached me on the street and was like “Hey sweetie, ready to go swimming with dolphins?” I’d be all “Dad! You always forget that I’m terrified of dolphins.” And “Is that moustache new?”
Our small community was rocked by a scandal recently. Our local provincial representative found himself at the epicenter of a sexual harassment lawsuit.
Gross. Super gross. But I was delighted because it’s a small community, meaning that I would see this knave, and could therefore take him to task.
I love telling off politicians. It’s my second favourite activity after eating hamburgers while watching people on ellipticals. I enjoy telling politicians off even when they haven’t done anything wrong. All that I require is that their political views that differ from mine. By the way my political views are that everyone should share everything always and belt out the 90’s heartthrob band Hanson once a day. Super reasonable and mainstream.
But in order for me to recognize the politician in question, the creep would have to be standing next to one of his election signs, sticking out his hand saying “I’m so and so, elected official for the area and confirmed dirty old man.”
Even then, I’d probably take in that scene and scratch my chin saying “I feel like I know you from somewhere.”
For serious most men look similar. They compound this problem by constantly dressing the same- shirt and pants or a suit for fancy occasions. My heart goes out to all those baby mamas on Jerry Springer who had their husband’s brother’s baby. When the women on daytime TV screech “Puddin’ I had no idea it was your brother- I thought it was you! I’m sorry five of our eight babies are his.” I nod in solemn solidarity because there but for the grace of God go I. For the longest time, I tried to date only men with sisters to avoid this problem.
So though I was all fired up and ready to rip the local MP a new one, even I recognized that calling out this man on his actions was a poor choice. I could even see it in my head. Last Tuesday evening, there was a massive town event. Everyone was in attendance. I pictured myself spotting the miscreant from across the curling rink.
“Oy! Pervert! You think you can harass women in private? Well I’m here to bring you your come uppance in public! Times up jerk!”
And there’d be an uncomfortable murmur through the crowd and some nice woman with a blonde bob who would later claim that we have multiple times would whisper in my ear.
And then I’d sheepishly say “Pastor Kent, I’m so sorry. I didn’t recognize you without your robe on, obviously I need to review to your last sermon about finding tranquility through God.”
So in spite of my great desire give our local politician what for, I’m going to focus my energy on learning the names of everyone in the community. Currently I have a list going by our front door. I add to it whenever I meet someone new. It looks something like this:
Sharon- grocery store, highlights, likes macrame
Max –church, tallish, weird gait, hockey buff
Cherise – church, chubby, toe ring, bakes
Fern – bowling alley, three children; one is a disappointment
Alex – park, black dog, unibrow
I’m not sure what I’ll do when Cherise takes off her toe ring or Max finally gets the orthopedic shoes he needs but I’ll cross that bridge when I get there. In the meantime, I’m blending in and trying not to introduce myself to the same person for the eighth time that week at the park and inquiring gently about Fern’s middle child. Also I should have made a note as to whether it was Alex who had a unibrow or his dog.