Learning To Blend

I know it’s hard to believe, given the abundance of charm I spew all of this place, but I’m sort of a forgettable person. Now, now, I’m not saying this to illicit sympathy or disbelief, I just am. It comes from years of Blending Into The Wallpaper training and not saying any words outloud with my mouth. I don’t go out, when I do, I don’t say much, I don’t eat lunch in the breakroom, I don’t attend after-work social functions like staff appreciation days or Christmas parties, I don’t play sports or belong to any clubs or groups, and I don’t really keep in touch with anyone. I’ve made myself forgettable. That was sort of the end-goal and hurrah! I’ve succeeded!

Example 1:

“Your face looks so familiar.”

“I’ve worked with you for nine years.”

Actually happened. To be fair, we don’t work within the same department, but still. Same building. We’ve even been in meetings together with as few as four other people. But that’s ok. Like I said, I don’t blame anyone for not remembering me because I’m not memorable. By design.

I don’t think I’m confusing being forgettable with being unlikeable, but it’s possible. I mean, I’m pretty sure I’m nice enough. I use my manners, I smile if I have to, I laugh at people’s jokes, even if I’m just being polite. But then again, I don’t say much and I tend to find a good excuse to vacate the situation, so my shyness and awkwardness could certainly be described as cold and stand-offish which probably doesn’t make any friends, much like salad.

This is partly why I actively dodge people I recognize when I’m out in public. Besides all the usual dreaded small talk, I have the embarrassing task of having to answer “where do I know you from?,” and of re-introducing myself because they couldn’t leave that feeling of vague recognition alone, and of seeing the look on their faces when they either a) can’t place me even after I’ve told them why they should or b) realize that they never liked me in the first place and then they have to fake enthusiasm.

You know what? It’s ok. I’ll just go. “Where do I know you from,” if you think about it long enough, can just as easily be “my mind has other, more important things to remember than you” but that’s only if you think about it for too long. On the flip side to this is that I have impeccable facial recognition, so I always know where I’ve seen their face before, even if it was from grade school and they were two grades ahead of me, if I once was standing behind them in the line at the grocery store, or if their kid was baptisted the same day as one of mine. Names, not so much, but I’m good with faces. I remember every one of them almost immediately and know with much certainty that I have no interest in making with the small talk with such a face.

And then there’s this Internet business. This is a confusing sort of place because for the first time in my life, I do want to be memorable up in this mess. I want you to know my name (at least the Jen O. part) and be familiar with my blog and enjoy my Twitter feed, which are here to entertain you. I’m better with the typed word rather than the spoken variety and so this whole “communicating with people” thing is like a joyous novelty to me. My words on these virtual pages are permanent and sometimes people even pay attention.

Here, I can say things and once in a while people will read my words and be compelled to comment on them. AND THAT’S ALMOST LIKE HAVING A CONVERSATION, BITCHES. Who SAYS I have no social skills? LOOK AT ME NOW! And if there’s even the slightest sense of “where do I know you from”, I can easily refer you to Post #1 and you can go from there. I can be vaguely memorable without having to speak to anyone! This Internet dohickey is the GREATEST INVENTION OF ALL TIME.

I want to be Someone while still being No One. Make sense?

So maybe no one in my life knows I’m a real thing. That’s ok. I’m fine with that because that’s what my entire life has been leading up to. If you don’t say anything, no one will remember you were there, right? Well, I’ve got my family and my books and maple walnut frozen yogurt and my comfy pants and my computer screen to validate my existence. They’ll remember me when I’m gone. That’s enough.

Leave a Reply