A couple of nights ago, I was making a late-ish run to Publix. As I walked in the door, I nodded to a man walking out. He was carrying a 24-pack of soda on his shoulder and really studying me. Nice-looking fellow.
Then he said, "Mary Ann. Mary Ann! I haven't seen you in so long!" He was looking right into my face and I figured that in just a split second, he would realize his mistake. But he just kept grinning at me.
I shook my head slightly and said, "Sorry, wrong person. I'm not Mary Ann."
And immediately, for some INSANE reason, I felt like I was lying. That I really WAS MARY ANN and didn't want to run into this guy.
(I am crazy. Also, why did I feel the need to apologize?)
Then, THEN, he goes, "But it is such a coincidence because your name came up at lunch today! And I said, 'Mary Ann! I haven't seen her in so long!'"
And I'm just shaking my head, like, nope, still not that person. Not a coincidence.
And then he seemed so crestfallen. And he goes, "And then there you were!"
So I said, ruefully by this point, "But it was not to be." Then he said, embarrassed, "Well, sorry to bother you, good night," and walked on.
But I don't know if he believed me! I think he thought I really was Mary Ann. I am not even kidding you right now!
Reader, I felt a little bit bad that I couldn't be Mary Ann for him. I mean, not in any particular way. But I don't know. It was odd being the obverse/wrong side of someone's fortuitous-encounter-that-wasn't. Now, the next time (if ever) he does run into Mary Ann, his meeting with her will be haunted by his failed meeting with her/me at Publix. And maybe he even left there harboring ill feelings toward Mary Ann if he did in fact think I was really her and that I/she didn't want to be recognized by him. Do you see? Problems!
I think I need to pour all of this out on Craigslist and see if we three can find each other and work it out.
Any missed/chance/misleading encounters you need to process?