You Haven’t Changed A Bit!

When Kenn’s aunt died we, of course, attended both the visitation and the funeral. When we arrived at the funeral home for the visitation, I was surprised to see a guy I haven’t seen since we graduated from high school forty-three (!) years ago. I recognized him immediately and turned to tell Kenn “Look, it’s Scott!” (Kenn and I attended the same schools from third grade.) Just then, Scott turned and saw me. “Linda? Hi! You haven’t changed a bit!” We spoke and hugged and then Scott turned to Kenn, held out his hand, and said “And you are?” At this point, I was next to Scott so he couldn’t see me smirk. Kenn shook Scott’s hand and said “Scott. Seriously? I’m Kenn. We lived in the same neighborhood and rode the bus together.” There was a little awkwardness and then laughter all around.

Of course, all of us have changed. When we graduated, Scott’s hair was blond; it’s now gray. I’m heavier than I was then and my hair is much closer to the blonde side of the strawberry blonde spectrum. Admittedly, Kenn has changed more than Scott or I. In his teenage years, Kenn was so skinny his ribs showed and his hair was down to his shoulders. Kenn’s ribs no longer show while his hair is much thinner on top and is rarely more than half an inch in length.

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Now for a different scenario. A couple of years before I retired, I was walking down the hallway in my office building. It was late in the day and there were few people around. As I approached a man headed the other direction he said “Hi Linda”; I smiled, said “Hi” and continued on my way. I didn’t think twice about him knowing my name because I supported the entire organization so a lot of people knew my name. Then I heard from behind me “You don’t recognize me, do you?” I turned and studied the man and no, I didn’t recognize him. He finally said, “It’s me – Doug!” I could tell his feelings were hurt. Y’all, Doug and I had worked together for twelve years when I was in a different part of the organization. I had not seen him in at least ten years at the time of our hallway meeting. The last time I had seen Doug, his hair was brown and it was now white. Hair color change aside, I didn’t recognize him until he gave me his name and, only at that point, could I start to see the man I knew in the one in front of me.😬

Now, I wonder what it is that makes us see someone and immediately say (or think) “You haven’t changed a bit!” and yet, in a similar situation not even recognize the individual? Any ideas?

5 thoughts on “You Haven’t Changed A Bit!

    • You are absolutely correct and that is one thing I didn’t take into account. In addition to the other changes, Kenn now has a beard and mustache he didn’t have in high school. I didn’t even think about it; he’s had them so long they are just a part of him to me.

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  1. My mom had a friend who was a yo-yo dieter her entire life and kept two wardrobes to accommodate each size. Mrs. Gibbs came to visit for a long weekend and she did not drive, so came via Grayhound from Toronto to Detroit. I worked about a 1/2 mile away and I took the suburban bus daily to work in Detroit for decades. Simple enough … I would walk over to the Grayhound station and we’d take the bus home like I do every day. Her bus came in as I was getting off work. I hadn’t seen her in about five years … not a long time. Only two of us in the waiting area, an elderly woman, face had wrinkles like a Shar Pei and white hair. Me, I don’t think I changed any. Just the two of us in the waiting room mind you … I used the pay phone, called my mom and said “Mrs. Gibbs is not here – the bus came in on time and the last bus that brings us home is in a half-hour, otherwise we need to take a Detroit City bus and walk or get a cab the remaining three miles. I thought you told her to wait in the waiting room?” My mom said “well where the heck are you – Irene just called me and asked if you had to work?” I said “trust me, no one is here but an elderly woman with white hair and a lot of wrinkles.” My mom said “go over and ask if it’s her.” Sure enough, five years and what a difference, though I still maintain I did not change in five years. My mom accused both of us of being stupid. 🙂

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  2. I have no idea, but then again, I have changed surprisingly little over the years. It’s interesting how other men my age are gray, white, or bald, and look so much older. Genes are a funny thing.

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