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August 31, 2022

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I have always figured I was pretty good at facial recognition, but never took a quiz until today. Turns out I was right--I correctly recognized 37 of 40 celebrity correctly, when average is 30 (and for about half could also identify the celebrity offered as the doppelganger, though that wasn't part of the quiz).

I tend to be super self-conscious about this because I KNOW I'm more likely to recognize someone and to remember their name than is average, and then am never sure whether it is therefore my obligation to bring up the connection in a social situation or whether that would make others feel bad for not remembering. I guess the video suggests it would actually make them feel better if it gave them the a-ha moment, but as an introvert (and more than that, an introvert who hates all introductions because of the how-to-pronounce-my-name speech that I have to give), I often feel reticent to go there. I'm thinking about situations like recently going to a neighborhood church's fundraiser that brings together people from a wide swath of my city, and seeing parents of my kids' classmates who are familiar to me but not my friends, and knowing I have no obligation to approach them and be social as we are all with the friends we came with, but do I even smile and wave as we pass by or do I pretend I didn't see them? Are they pretending not to see me, or do they truly not recognize me?

Still, even in that situation, I can know I recognize a face but mess up why I know it. (Case in point--at that same fundraiser I saw a woman who I thought was "[younger daughter's current classmate] Eli's mom" for a full half an hour until I saw the person I realized was ACTUALLY Eli's mom, and then put together that faux Eli's mom was my older-now-out-of-college daughter's elementary school classmate Philip's mom that I hadn't seen in at least 10 years. I never would have figured it out had Eli's mom not happened to also be there...which was wild. (OH and then I later mis-took Eli's mom for a closer friend of mine and almost said hi because from the back they have identical hairstyle and posture...that Eli's mom is a wily one!)

Sounds like you might be relatively worse at this! But just so you know, the faces they showed upside down in the video? They didn't show any of them for long enough for me to identify them before they put up the names. So that one is hard to say. (Upside down I thought the Tom Hanks face looked like Frankenstein's monster with scars removed and I was fully surprised to see that it was a real person.) I don't think i could have id'd RBG. (Should I feel guilty that in the quiz I took that I could id all the celebrities and many of their doppelgangers but not id RBG without her bun and lace collar? Maybe I would have if she'd been in the quiz next to some other similar looking person, though.)

Anyway, interesting stuff for sure!

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