You’re not Peggy

At work I bumped into an old friend of mine. We were formerly co-workers in the paint department at Sears in my early years of college. We would spend days, hours in the summertime waiting for someone to purchase something, anything from us. In between being bored we would paint the paint shakers, we would paint examples of faux finishes and we would talk about the most random of things. She even kindly laughed at my dumb jokes with a pained look in her eye, but laughed anyway out of politeness. We got to know each other well enough that we became roommates for a little over a year. We would host parties (well she would). We would do late night runs to Wal-mart together while we were stalked by “security” in the toy aisle. Eventually she would introduce me to many movies I needed to know, one of them being The Breakfast Club.

      Judging from everything you have just read dear readers, you’ve probably come to understand Peggy’s face would be one that is hard to forget for this Quirky Girl. As we were talking in the aspirin aisle, I saw the same familiar smile, the same warm laughter and everything picked up as if we had stayed in touch. We talked for a bit about our adventures in education, but I had to get back to stocking the aisles and she had to get back to her new roommate and their shenanigans. She left smiling saying we will catch up again.


     A few days later I was surprised to see her so soon. This time she had a new roommate; or girlfriend. At first I thought this was the news she wanted to catch up on. The store was getting full but Peggy hadn’t yet noticed me. My register was open and I was desperately trying to get her attention to save her time by ringing her out. I shouted, “I can help the next person here!” Hoping she and her new girlfriend would turn around. Nobody was taking my offer. So I saw her walking with this new girl toward the crowded front register, I said, “Peggy!?” Peggy and the woman turned around. Peggy had the same, friendly, pained expression on her face, just like we did when we lived together and I said something really ridiculous. She stood frozen, with one foot forward waiting for me to say something else. I reiterated I could get them at another register, and I said again, “Peggy?”  

      “Nooo…”, she said with an uncomfortable grin.

    In my head I’m thinking someone kidnapped Peggy, there must have been an invasion of body snatchers that new her dialect, syntax and facial expressions. They even knew how she stood when she was surprised. Since this is not possible, I had to come to terms that this wasn’t Peggy.

     Instead of another pleasant conversation with an old friend, this one quickly dissolved into awkward bumbling and me trying to explain to a couple that I mistook one of them for my college roommate.

     Peggy, if you’ve just read this, I hope you’re laughing.

     When have you mistaken someone for an old friend? How did it play out? Did they understand or think you were weird?



4 thoughts on “You’re not Peggy

  1. There was that girl who was always around in the same computer lab I frequently used in my university days back then. And whenever we were encountering she kinda awkwardly semi-greeted or smiled at me. I was not interested in her at all but involuntarily took note of her.

    A year later or so, I had meanwhile finished studies, hence did no longer encounter that lady, I bumped into her in the street. And since she was just vaguely “stored” in my memory, I mixed her up with a friend of a close friend I had met a few months earlier. So I was cheerfully greeting her and asked her whereabouts – AND even referred to my friend who she could not know of course. But she did not indicate at all she was the wrong person. In the end she gave me her name card as we parted.

    As I read her name on the card on my way to the office later – embarrassment punched me in the face. I suddenly remembered who she actually was. And I told my coworkee about it once I reached at my desk. He was laughing and then mock-praising me: “Well done pal! THAT’s exactly how you do it, how you pick up girls!”

      • Okay attempt 2- if the 1st one posted too, I apologize.
        Yes I am smiling, this post made my day. I can’t believe i introduced you to The Breakfast Club (you are welcome).
        My mistaken identity story is how I met my current roommate. We both worked at Sears and I approached her in the break room one day thinking she was a girl I had taken a class with, but she wasn’t. We talked and discovered we were both education majors, and she later helped me get my first teaching job at the school where she worked. We have been friends now for almost 15 years… craziness.
        It was great seeing you the other day and I really appreciate the trip down memory lane!

  2. I did read it, and yes I am smiling. I can’t believe I introduced you to The Breakfast Club (and you are welcome by the way).
    My similar story is actually how I met my current roommate back in the days of working at Sears. I approached her in the break room thinking she was someone I had taken a class with. Both of us were in education, and later she told me of an opening at her school which became my first teaching job…we’ve been friends now for almost 15 years.

    Thanks for some fun memories- it was great seeing you the other day!

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