Throughout my life I wondered who I looked like, in families this is easy, you look like Mom, Dad, or Grandma. It’s not easy when you’ve never met anyone you are biologically related to. When I went shopping I wondered, did I have any brothers or sisters out there? Had I ever walked by them, saw them at a basketball game, or on T.V.? What if I was related to my husband? We have been married 25 years! What if we are a bad hillbilly joke? This is going to require some dysfunctional greeting cards.
Evidentially I may look like several people I don’t know because I have had occasions of mistaken identity occur. Not like when someone gets close and they realize you’re not the person they thought you were type either, I have had full-blown, people insisting they knew me when I have never seen them before in my life. The last time someone insisted they knew me was in Nashville, Tennessee in of all places a Library at a book sale, because I am addicted to books and can’t help buying them, even on vacation. I was over 400 miles from home when a women and her daughter rather adamantly insisted they knew me. I said I had no clue who they were, they felt I was blowing them off so they accused me of being a snot. It shocked me. I was in a library, isn’t there decorum in a library? I reached in my purse and pulled out my driver’s license to prove my identity, I was frankly shocked.
My identity proven, they apologized. They thought I was pretending not to know them. While this was the most disturbing of the incidents, it was not the first that occurred and I don’t think it will be the last. After the fact, I wondered who the other woman was? Could I actually be related to her? Was she a sister or a cousin I don’t know?
What I know in my ‘non-identifying information’ is scant. I assume I don’t have relatives in Tennessee, I could be wrong. People are quite mobile and move great distances for work and family relocation. I also know that faces are basically all the same layout and there are people who look-alike but aren’t related. If I knew my family I could easily shrug this off and maybe not think another thing of it. No big deal. Not knowing is the crux, secrecy is the festering point.
I’m blaming all those Nancy Drew and Agatha Christie books. You, Miss Marple, you made my brain ask the big why? Hercule Poirot, you made me see the details. To ask if there could be something else behind the what if and the why. To ask questions and demand answers that others are born into. I want to fill in blanks with answers on my medical forms and on my family tree. It’s not too much to ask, to come into the light from the shadow of the past.