Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Hey, Don't I Know You?

Seems no matter what town I'm in (and I've been through a few), what age I am, what color my hair is, or what I'm up to, somebody manages to spot me, come up to me and announce, "Hey, don't I know you?" Or, "You look familiar, have we met before?"

Seriously. In every possible town and at every stage of my adult life. It's starting to get a little freaky.

I used to think it was mostly a pick-up line used on me by men, with me sometimes playing along knowingly, willingly, (wink, wink), absolutely certain they had never met me in their life. Ah, wishful thinking, guys.

I've even used the same tactic when I thought a guy was potentially hot and wanted to "acquire" him. "Hey, have we met before?" I'd smile, throwing him off his guard, forcing him to look closer and find common ground in the rolodex of his mind. It's such a tired approach. At least "have we slept together before?" would have been a fresher take on the same old line.

But lately as I get older, and continue to hear this from more and more women as well as men, across a huge range of environments, ages, and cities, I have become thoroughly perplexed.

Do you all know me?

What is it you recognize about me?

Do I look so common, so similar to everyone else?

Have I touched you in some way?

Do you know something I can't remember?

Have our lives, perhaps, truly crossed somewhere along the continuum?

I had a totally unfamiliar (to me) woman practically assault me recently at a preschool birthday party, sure she knew me. We couldn't figure it out. She didn't have kids and she didn't even live here. She was just visiting the host. It happened again last week in a store in Minneapolis, a town I was just visiting, a town I left years ago. Nope, I don't live here anymore. You can't possibly know me.

I don't even know what "I" look like. Over the years I have been a size 4, a size 16, and everything in-between. I have had short red hair, long blonde hair and been wavy dark brunette. I have gone from a flat 34A to an overflowing 38 DD while engaged in being a giant milkbag for my daughter. Not much about me has stayed the same, except maybe my height. (At least for a few years now.) Even my feet have widened, not to mention my backside.

So how do you think you know me?

Did I wait on you, feed you, rub elbows with you at some swank event? Have you seen me onstage, on air, at the grocery store? Do you have small children and we've run in concentric circles at the park, the preschool circuit, walking around the neighborhood? Did we take yoga class, step class or aerobic class together?

Were you a dancer, a performer, a singer, a musician too? Did we ever do any gigs together? Sessions? Shows? Shots at the bar? Or were you in the audience at any point of this long and varied career of mine?

Have you lived in Minneapolis, Boston, New York City, upstate New York, Louisville or Los Angeles? Have we met while traveling through Chicago, Nashville, Austin, Memphis, Dallas, Cincinnati, Indianapolis or even Europe perhaps? Did we sit across from each other at an airport terminal waiting for our planes? Did we sit next to each other on the subway? In the kitchen? At the bank? On the beach? What do you do that I do too?

Have you been married, renovated a home, designed a kitchen, landscaped a cement slab of a yard? Did we meet in the aisles of Home Depot, Target or Bed, Bath and Beyond? Are you also a Ross or Trader Joe's junkie? Do you stand in line at Peet's for fresh beans? Where do you get your hair done? Where do you purchase your appliances? Detail your car?

Who's your OB or your pediatrician? Do we see the same dermatologist? Are you part of the same online mama groups I am? What's your screen name? Your married name? Your professional name?

Could we really know each other? Have we really met?

Or are you recognizing in me the universal truth that I am what you are and we are all truly connected. We are all the same one person.

I am every woman.

We are all One.

"I'm every woman, it's all in me…"


jennifer said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
jennifer said...

Great post! Great writing!

Love this: I'd smile, throwing him off his guard, forcing him to look closer and find common ground in the rolodex of his mind. .

I get this all the time...and you know what...they do know you. Buddhists say, everyone has been our mother and we have been theirs...that's how many lives we've lives (OY!).

Carrie Wilson Link said...

I get this all the time, too! I LOVE this post, Tanya, it's fabulous! Love how it chronicles your life in lists, it tells so muc with so few words. Excellent.

Suzy said...

I think they recognize that fantastic soul of yours that is wide open to life......