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Mistaken Identity

September 7, 2012


People I have never met constantly wave hello as if we know each other. I wave back because I don’t want to embarrass them by looking puzzled, or to embarrass myself  by looking confused when maybe we had dinner together the night before.

 It happens all the time—one guy even yelled “Jessica!” across the entire gym and then made his way over to chat.  I was on a slant board and all the blood had gone to my head but I did know my name’s not Jessica.  Still, he was so sure he knew me he made me doubt my own memory.  So to be on the safe side,  I waved ‘hi’ back with equal enthusiasm.  When he got close he said, “Oh! Sorry! I thought you were my ex-wife.”

“Right,” my husband said later staring into the refrigerator. “His ex-wife. That’s a good one.”

Write about a mistaken identity from your past or make one up. Did you or your character take someone else’s grocery cart? Try to start the wrong car? Grab the wrong hand in a crowd? Open mail that wasn’t yours? Get an invitation meant for someone else? Accuse the wrong person of a grievance? Accuse and discipline the wrong child?  Did you or your character brazen it out? Call for security? Begin a new relationship? Discover something new? Was it hilarious? Frightening? What about you or your character was altered after the incident?



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