So, I don’t think this is a problem, per se, but it’s sort of weird. I have a good memory for people’s faces (though not their names, unfortunately). If I meet you at a party, I just might see you again three years later in a different context and remember what you wore, where we stood, and what we talked about. In general I think it’s a strength, but it can also definitely freak people out.
I also adore playing the “oh, do you know so-and-so” game. You went to Mizzou? I know it’s a big school, but… You’re from Albuquerque? Do you know…? I like to place people, I guess… Or something.
So this weekend I was in an airport in Charlotte, NC, for several hours, and spent a good 20 minutes trying to place this girl I knew I’d met somewhere. Suddenly it hit me: she was the bartender when I watched part of the World Cup finals in Creede, CO, in July. Also, a girl I went to college with owns that very bar with her husband. I approached the girl, asked if she worked at Tommyknocker’s in Creede, and confirmed my theories.
Today I was talking to a new classmate who had just moved from Jackson, WY, a month or so ago for school. My friend Lacey is from Jackson, and I knew that my classmate and one of Lacey’s friends had gone to the same college, lived in Jackson at the same time, and were around the same age. I asked if they knew each other. “She’s my best friend!” And then it gets a little weird… I looked this Wyoming girl up on Facebook (why? because I can?), and discover that she knows a bunch of people I went to elementary school with in Arizona. People I haven’t been in touch with since ca. 1994. And yet I’m fairly certain that she won’t remember meeting me (I was just one of her friend’s friends), and when my classmate mentions “this girl who knows you,” she’ll have no idea what’s going on. Still.