Last night I went to a lit event downtown. My friend participated in the panel of experts, and at the end, we met up. As we put on our hats and gloves, a wan woman approached me. "Can I ask you a strange question?" she queried. I nodded. "Are you Suzanne Reisman?"
I had no idea who this person was. "Yeah," I said. She was a little disheveled looking. I hoped she was not some sort of deranged anti-choice activist who read one of the posts I've written at BlogHer in the past few weeks about the assault on abortion access.
"I'm Fakeyname McFakerson," she said.
"Oh, yeah," I said and smiled.
"I was friends with Dana in school," she continued.
Oh. I had confused her with another person with the same first name. This was even crazier. My sister is four years younger than me and had not been friends with Fakeyname in about 20 years. How the fuck did she recognize me? I told her that I thought it was remarkable that she recognized me, then felt good about myself. I still look the same after 20 or so years. Go me. I tried to engage her in conversation, asking her what she did and letting her know where my sister lived, but she had zero interest in anything I said and walked away. Strange.
After my encounter, my friend and I went to grab some grub. As we waited to cross the street, I looked at the women standing next to me on the corner. She was African American, lean and tall, had curly grayish hair in a pony tail, and funky glasses. She was Carla from "Top Chef." I love Carla from "Top Chef."
"Hey, you're Carla, right?" I asked her.
"Yes," she said.
"I think you are great." Then I said something about how the show would be on 45 minutes and I want to root for her to win but I can't because everyone I root for gets voted out.
"Definitely don't root for me then!" she said and smiled. I wished her luck, and then hoped like hell that I did not completely stick my foot in my mouth. She clearly was not watching that night's episode - what if she had been voted out and couldn't bear to watch? I didn't get home in time to watch the show or the recording, so I am curious to find out when I view it tonight if I created a situation as awkward as the one I found myself in with Fakeyname McFakerson.
This is one of the many things I love about living in New York. I never know who I will see as I go about my business.