Last night was the first volleyball game of my daughter’s senior year in high school. We’re not going to discuss how this year will fly by or how busy it’s going to be or how much money I’m will sink into things because senior year = expensive…no we’re not going to talk about any of that today because I enjoy living in denial. I like pretending that my girl is still two years old and sticking her feet in my face while giggling hysterically. I prefer to disregard any and all notions that this time next year she will not be living in my house. Ignorance is bliss, y’all.
What we are going to talk about is the fact that no less than three people – parents of some of the girls on the team – came up to me last night and asked which player I belonged to.
What the what???
My daughter has been playing volleyball since 7th grade. My husband and I have been to nearly every home game, sometimes together, sometimes only one of us, but for the most part I have been sitting in those same bleachers with those same parents all this time. My daughter is captain of the team this year – all the parents know who she is – but apparently they thought she was an orphan or something because each of these 3 parents who I talked to (separately, at different times during the game) had no idea who I was. They were so surprised when I said I was her mom.
I mean COME ON. Really?
Maybe I should be working as a spy because I seem to blend in seamlessly with the background. I could drop a briefcase full of important spy documents in the middle of Times Square and NO ONE WOULD NOTICE ME. Apparently.
I could be a private eye and solve mysteries because I could be in the same room while the guilty party monologues to their henchmen and I would never be noticed BECAUSE I AM INVISIBLE. Apparently.
I’m going to go hang out at a bank and follow the VP around and when he goes to unlock the vault, I’ll waltz right in and take a couple of bills and no one will remember BECAUSE I AM COMPLETELY FORGETTABLE. Apparently.
I mean, really. Am I so vanilla, so bland, so unnoticeable that these parents really had no idea who I was? Not that I expect everyone should know me and be my biggest fan, but when I’ve been sitting 6 feet away from them in the same bleachers for 5 years, I’d at least expect them to know whose mom I am (I’m not one of those quiet parents either – I cheer. Loudly. A lot.)
But honestly, this isn’t the first time something like this has happened, and it happens more than I’d like to admit. Every once in a while I’ll run into a friend of a friend I’ve spent time with or someone I am a casual acquaintance with and at some point in the conversation they’ll say “I’m sorry, but I can’t remember your name…” Or they’ll look right through me as if they’ve never seen me before when I see them in the store and smile. Once I saw my neighbor’s mother at the airport. This is a woman I have spent time with and have had many conversations with. When I saw her, I gave her a hug and we talked about where I was going and where she was going and ten minutes into the conversation she says “I’m sorry, who are you again?” Oy. That was awkward. For whatever reason, people don’t remember me. I don’t make enough of an impression to last beyond a few minutes.
I’m not super bothered by this – I was kind of amused by it last night really – but it just makes me wonder what is it about me that is so unremarkable, and should I do something with this knowledge? Is it a call to action to change my appearance into something that will strike a chord ? Is it a prompting to be more confident and outspoken when I meet people so they’ll remember me? Or should I just delight in my anonymity and be thankful I blend in with the wallpaper?
I guess if I’m going to be an international spy and solve mysteries, I should keep a low profile, right? So maybe it’s better this way.