Sometimes… well, most of the time, I don’t notice details. More accurately, I notice different details than most. I see nuances of color and shadow, shape and space, reflections and patterns. I instantly detect a marginally crooked picture frame or a speck of dust left on the corner of a coffee table. When you look at the details, you see that I do notice the details. Just not… well, the obvious ones.
Oh, I could give you examples all day.
Like the time my husband dropped me off in front of the grocery store. I ran in to grab a couple of quick items while he waited in his white Jeep Cherokee. A few minutes later, grocery bag in hand, I jumped into the white vehicle in front. I know you can see this coming.
Without bothering to look up, I gibbered nonstop about why it took so long, what was on sale and the people I’d seen. Then it occurred to me that he wasn’t moving. Or responding. How rude! I turned toward him and there sat a well-known sportscaster. It took me a moment, because he was so familiar. I saw him almost every evening on TV.
My confusion soon turned to horror as I realized my mistake. In one breath, I prattled on about how I had a Durango just like his, except mine was red and my husband had dropped me off in this exact same spot and he drove a white car, just like he did. He gave me a withering stare. No doubt he thought I was a groupie or a stalker vying for his attention.
I searched the parking lot and spotted my husband nearby. “Okay, well… I’ll catch you later. Bye,” I babbled as I let myself out. He glowered as I slammed his door and ran to the white car with the correct driver. For some reason I never wanted to watch the guy on TV after that.
Another example was that time in the movie theatre.
The show was riveting, but I had to use the restroom and couldn’t wait any longer. “I’ll be right back,” I whispered. You might think you know what’s coming, but I doubt you’ll foresee the whole story this time. It went down like this:
I hurry as fast as humanly possible, and slip back into the theatre next to my husband. I must have missed a lot more than I thought, but I know I’ll catch up soon enough. I put my arm around the back of Dee’s chair and run my fingers through his hair, under his ball cap. He loves it when I do that. Feeling very affectionate, I rub my other hand on his arm and then move it slowly down onto his knee. It’s about that time I hear my name coming from the isle. Who would be disrupting a movie like this? So weird! I turn to see someone who looks exactly like Dee. “What are you doing?” he asks. He seems annoyed.
Huh? I look from him to the husband I have been fondling next to me. Only, it isn’t my husband. The man next to me is about Dee’s age, has curly hair and wears a baseball cap. He is sitting in the right place in the theatre, but, oops! It’s the wrong theatre. I notice for the first time what looks to be the guy’s son sitting next to him on the other side. I catch my breath and slip out into the isle. Dee and I stumble out and collapse onto the lobby floor in hysterics.
Fortunately, I don’t have to do a lot of explaining, as my track record supports my alibi. Unfortunately, the man who was my unintended victim probably had to re-explain the concept of stranger-danger to his son. Hopefully, he did it with a straight face. He seemed pretty happy about the misconduct.
I can’t count the times I have grabbed the hand of a person I assumed was my husband. Maybe it’s because Dee is just one of those people who look like someone you know. Or maybe it’s because he wears a hat and drives a white car.