Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Faceless Gym Member

At the gym last night, I headed for my favorite piece of cardio equipment, the Cybex Arc Trainer. There are only two of the model I like, and one was empty. As I got closer to it, I realized there was a sign on it that said "temporarily out of service", so it wasn't available after all. The women working out on the one right next to the broken one offered hers to me as soon as she finished, which would be in 7 minutes. I thankfully accepted and moved over a few feet to the next cardio machine and began to stretch.

I faced away from her so she would not feel like I was anxiously looking over her shoulder, and took out a magazine to page through as I waited. A few minutes later, a woman walked up, stood right in front of me and smiled politely, like she wanted to get on the machine I was using as a stretching post. I asked if she wanted to use it, and with a puzzled look on her face she said "No, I finished with the Arc Trainer, you can use it now."

These are the times when I feel stupid, or more correctly, feel I appear stupid. If the woman knew about my prosopagnosia, she would have immediately understood why I didn't recognize her but, of course, I would never try to explain it during such a brief encounter. And the truth is, it never occurred to me that I wouldn't recognize her.

Even after all these years (I've been faceblind since high school) it still surprises me how bad I am at recognizing faces. Its almost like I wake up every day expecting to be able to recognize people facially just like everyone else. Apparently I'm blindly optimistic.

3 comments:

What is a Bella Journista? said...

I've never heard of Prosopagnosia before.

Thank you for sharing your life experiences. I will be frequenting your blog. (^_^) or :c)

dori said...

Bella Journista, thank you so much for your comment. My whole purpose in keeping this blog is to introduce more people to prosopagnosia, and give some insight into what it like to have it :)

Zannie said...

You haven't always been faceblind? What happened in high school?

I was in high school when I figured out that most people could recognize others by face, but I have definitely always been face blind.