I have this funny quirk about me.
If I am walking anywhere, I have this habit of tunnel vision. I won't really notice people walking past me. Oh sure, I can see that there is a blonde girl or a short guy or a fat man with a dog, walking past me. But if it was someone I knew, a quick glace won't do anything for me.
But I could walk right past you and have no idea.
A friend of mine was upset the other day. She said I walked right by her in the gym and didn't say hello.
I tried to explain how it works, and that I can even look at people, briefly and it won't register who they are unless I really LOOK at them. By saying "LOOK", I mean I have to like stare at them for at least 2 seconds before my eyes and my brain say "Bingo! You know them!" Don't ask me to explain it, but I have been this way all my life.
And this can lead me into trouble.
I saw a girl sitting on a bench one day with blonde hair and a small build and it LOOKED like my friend Tina. I walked up, looked at her and she looked back at me....1....2...Oh, you aren't Tina, I thought and turned and walked away. But to her, i'm sure I looked like 'Joe Stalker'. She is writing on myspace.com, "Some tall freak was looking at me funny the other day..."
I remember once when I was at the Smithsonian as a kid with my mother, we split up and I wandered around the building. She caught up to me about 30 minutes later and was upset that I didn't acknowledge her.
"I was waving at you - you looked RIGHT AT ME and looked away!"
Nope. No recognition. I was probably scanning the crowd and the connection between what I saw and my brain decided to not work.
It is also frustrating because I have an aloof nature when I am alone, and people mix up my attitude with arrogance. Couple that with the chance I could walk right past you in a bar without saying hello and you have a recipe for disaster (for my more sensitive friends).
I was at a bar the other night. As soon as I walked in, there weren't many people in the bar, I saw some friends playing darts and I was chatting with them for about 30 minutes. At the other end of the bar, were friends I knew and I didn't even acknowlege them. No idea they were there. Sure, I knew people were down there but I had to like LOOK at them.
Oh well, now you know, so next time I pass you on the street, just tackle me to get my attention.