Next time I see you, I won’t say hello.

I was introduced to another Maths teacher on the first evening of a conference and made an arrangement to meet him, 2 days later, to talk about some maths software I had written, and some he had written. Sure enough, at the arranged time, he was sitting in the appointed seat in the bar, and we booted up our laptops and discussed the programs. Then we had some more beer and the conversation became more general – I learned something about the way I come across to other people. I discovered that I was “aloof”.

He queried why I had ignored him every time we met over the weekend, and I had to confess I had not recognised him, and almost certainly never would. I am quite severely faceblind.

If a person has no distinguishing features within a particular group, then the chances of my recognising them seem to be almost nil. This very pleasant, medium height, medium build, middle aged Maths teacher had no scars, no crazy eyebrows, no beard, stoop, limp, nothing. He was intrigued. He hadn’t come across the problem before and clearly found it quite hard to believe.

The following morning in the carpark I noticed him loading up his car. I went over and greeted him, and he grinned and said “you see, you CAN recognise me!”. No, sorry, I have to confess I recognised your laptop case…..

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