Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Have We Met?

I have a familiar face. Countless times I have had people approach me and start talking to me as if we were old friends, only I have had no clue who they were.

That is not to say I haven't had my share of embarrassing moments when I HAVE actually known the person. It's really nothing personal, it's just that I am not all that great at remembering people's names. If you will give me a little grace on that, I will give you grace on something you're not so great at, too.

Just the other day at Subway a woman I don't think I have ever seen before was very friendly to me, "Oh hey! How are you?" And I wondered if she really thought she knew me, or if she was thinking of my doppelganger:

This is Cynthia Stevenson. She has been in a bunch of TV shows and movies through the years, most notably (in my opinion, probably not hers) as the Mom in the "Air Bud" movies. I mean, c'mon, all my kids are still young and that has got to be the target audience for those movies. So you can see how it would happen: Someone's kid has an Air Bud movie on, the mom walks through the room and watches for a few minutes then sees me out and about and thinks she recognizes me. I, on the other hand, remain clueless.

(As a side note, I think Cynthia Stevenson seems really nice and I am pretty sure we would be friends if she lived in my neighborhood.)

And then there is the other matter of my name, which is the same (although spelled differently) of a famous Christian missionary and author, Elisabeth Elliot. She has lived an extraordinary life, lost her first husband to cannibals while on the mission field and has written several books.

Keep in mind that for both of us, Elliott -- or Elliot -- is our married name. But I have had all kinds of questions through the years, like "Did your mom know your name would be Elizabeth Elliott when she named you?" (Um, noooo ... ) Or some people who have confused the common tradition of passing down the male name in a family, and instead thought perhaps it was more usual to pass down the mother's name.

Like when I was in a Christian bookstore a few years ago and pulled out my credit card to pay, the salesclerk looked at my name and smiled sweetly at me. "Honey, I think I know your mom ..."

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