Monday, June 10, 2019

OBSERVANT OR OBLIVIOUS ??


I recently had something happen that reminded me of a post from 2011. 
My water bill this month doubled and I was told by the company that I had a water leak which meant hiring a plumber. Yikes. Last time that cost me $900.00. 

Fortunately a friend recommended a plumber that was quite reasonable so I gave him a shot.  He checked the obvious in the house then dug up my two out door hydrants which were the culprits last time.   

While he really didn't do anything in particular, the leak stopped.  He showed me how to check the meter to see if the leak truly had stopped. I am in that process now and so far it is still showing zeros three days later. 

I was so grateful to this man for he has charged me nothing yet and I understand getting him to take any money is not easy but I will try.   I hoped if I ran into him again around town that I would be able to convey my gratitude in person.  The problem is that I have trouble recognizing people when I have only had a brief encounter.  

I have a feeling that if I run into this delightful plumber again, I may need him to turn around and bend over before I would recognize him. I am not observant.    

Thus the abbreviated post from 2011 that explains that condition. 

I think I have a gene missing.  I am miserable with detail, especially when it applies to my friends. They have to lose at least 50 to 100 pounds for me to notice. Hair can't just change color or style, it has to be gone over night before I comment.

Unless you are practically naked, I probably won’t notice  your smashing new apparel. 

Yes, I am that bad and this flaw has kept me from any artistic pursuit. Detail is the artist's tool.

Twice I have had to try to pick a suspect out of a police line up and could not do it.  Police are careful to put like types in a line up and to me, they all looked alike. I tend to put appearances into an overall category, pleasant or unpleasant, attractive or not.

If I meet you once, I will probably walk right past you without acknowledgement the next time I see you. 

What I do notice is how the person is feeling. I  quickly sense emotions and can "see" your mood. I can usually tell right away if something is not quite “right” with someone no matter how they try to hide it.  

Just don’t expect me to notice  that you no longer wear glasses or are sporting  a new mustache. Well I might notice a new mustache on a girl though that is not a given. 

Please tell me I am not alone. Are you observant or oblivious?

48 comments :

  1. I'm also not good in recognizing folk out of context, Patti. Also starting to have trouble keeping characters straight in TV crime dramas. And yes, my eyesight is 20/20.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Out to Pasture,
      Me too, maybe we are just putting our concentration to a different use. I prefer to think that.

      Delete
  2. You are not alone. I am not alone! I am not observant about people, what they wearn and their names.

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    1. Olga,
      Ah, it is good to be part of a group and I think the oblivious group is growing.

      Delete
  3. I can remember faces quite well but I don't remember names or where I know someone from. It can get quite embarrassing when others remember me and I'm trying to place them without showing that I don't have a clue who they are.

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    1. Jean,
      I know, it is embarrassing. I had a guy call my name and give me a hug in Walmarts and I haven't the foggiest who he was.

      Delete
  4. It happens to me often, more now that I'm old. I remember faces, though, better than names or what someone might be wearing. Some people get really offended if you don't notice their new hairdo or glasses. So I guess you can say I'm the same as you about details. :-)

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    1. Djan,
      Nothing is more scary to me than someone saying, "Do you notice anything different about me?"

      Delete
  5. I love those that are not observant. I am terribly flawed and notice the most minute things. I could walk into your home and only be there for 3 minutes and could put it back together for you the same way. It notice everything and it drives my spouse mad.

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    1. Peggy,
      You would make the perfect wing girl to fill in the blank spaces when meeting someone who knows you and I but I draw a blank.

      Delete
    2. I'd be a good witness of a crime too. Once on Oprah they had this simulated crime and then poof it was off the screen. You had to tell what you saw. My husband looked at me after I listed all I saw and said, "you're a freak!" Yep I am. But I NEVER remember names. So go figure.

      Delete
    3. Peggy,
      Hopefully someday you will be able to put that talent to use. Great tool to have handy.

      Delete
  6. Mostly oblivious. I have learned that when I see a lady that I have not seen in a while to always say, "Did you change your hair? I really like it."

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    1. joeh,
      You can't go wrong with that for most of us had done something different and would love to be noticed. Nice move.

      Delete
  7. I think good observation is part instinct but mostly a learned behavior. I was a coronary care nurse for years so I developed keen observation skills because in that instance it could mean the difference between life and death. That said, I do tend to ignore physical characteristics now that I am retired. I think it's mostly my attempt to be non-judgmental and accepting and I suspect that is also why you do not notice a lot of physical detail.

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    1. Carolyn,
      I guess a lot of us develop the skills we need and when those are no longer needed we can relax and just take in the big picture.

      Delete
  8. I tend to be observant. I remember faces, but hardly ever names. You made me laugh out loud about only recognizing the plumber if he bent over. Thank you for the laugh!

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    1. robin,
      Ha ha, glad you caught that for that was what I saw most the hour he was here. I think he had a mustache or a beard not sure which but I do know he had worn jeans and a black belt.

      Delete
  9. Loved this post. Mainly because DH and I discuss this a lot. He observes people, remembers their names (even clerks in stores that we frequent), notices clothes, etc. whereas I let these things go right by without noticing. However... I do notice things specific to my interests that he doesn't - regarding nature, art, children, etc. So perhaps being observant is specific to our personality? I find that he is unaware of his surroundings when we walk whereas for security sake (or just being a woman), I'm very observant of who is around me.

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    1. Rian,
      Well you compliment eachother perfectly. One is strong where the other is weak. A great match.

      Delete
  10. I'm oblivious. But apparently I'm memorable. When I'm on a cruise ship, I will frequently strike up conversations with others. If I don't see them in the same place/situation I can't recall even when they know who I am. It's a bit embarrassing.

    I'm not emotionally in tune most times either. Too much time spent in my own head.

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    1. Eileen,
      You nailed it. I to am too memorable or I wouldn't be faced with trying to remember people all the time. If they were like you and I, we would just pass each other with vague smiles.

      Delete
  11. I used to be EXCELLENT at remembering a name. I lost that ability about 20 years ago. Passage of time, or lack of effort...not sure which. LOL

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    1. Silver Willow,
      Perhaps our interests just drifted in other directions. Let's hope it is not lack of interest.

      Delete
  12. Not that observant but I am genuinely interested in what people say rather than what they are wearing.

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    1. Fun60,
      Me too. Once I have figured out who you are, you have my complete attentio.

      Delete
  13. No wonder I like you so much, Patti. You and I are are sisters in this category. I am oblivious in the exact same way. But yes, I do react to emotions. I sure hope I don't have to identify someone in a police line up. My family all know I'd be no good.

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  14. Kay,
    The police line up is impossible for our types Kay. I couldn't believe I was no help for the two I took part in. Also I think you and I would make bad witnesses. Lets hope we are never tested:))

    ReplyDelete
  15. If I neglect to shave, you will then promise to not notice my chin?

    I am observant in appearances, but gimme your name, chat a minute, and I'll ask your name again. Forget it by the time I get home.

    I want a free plumber.

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    1. Hootin Annie,
      Ha ha, Pretty much guarantee I'll not notice.
      Well he wasn't really free, I finally got him to take $10 for gas yesterday. What a guy.

      Delete
  16. Recognizing the plumber by his rear end gave me a belly laugh. You are too funny sweet Patti. If I am around someone for long I can remember what they had on and their face but if for a brief time I will remember what we talked about but nothing else. I have a real difficult time remembering names. I have spent nights awake a lot trying to remember someone's name...I don't enjoy those nights. Hugs

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    1. Maggie,
      Ha ha, well that was what I saw the most of.
      Know that frustrating feeling trying to remember a name.

      Delete
  17. Boy am I jealous — a free plumber — after I just had to forego a deposit on my reservation for a trip to outer space in order to pay my plumber’s bill.

    I always remember a face but am terrible about remembering names. I probably tend to be more sensitive to a person’s emotional state than other particulars, unless they’re really strange, unusual, or really bizarre.

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    1. Joared,
      I know that fear of a plumber's bill. Think if I was raising a young man, I'd suggest he forgo collage and seek a trade like plumbing. It really pays well.
      Like I told Annie, I finally got him to accept $10. He said that was for gas. He really is a fine man. Not sure how he makes a living though. I am not the only one he has done this for.

      Delete
  18. I'm completely oblivious. Unless I see someone everyday, I probably won't recognise them out on the street. Although clothing has something to do with that too. I got to recognise my fellow workers in their blue shirt/black pants uniform, but seeing them on the street in regular clothes meant I didn't know them and would walk right past them.

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    1. River,
      I know, seeing them out of context like my doctor's nurse in street clothes makes them invisible to me also.

      Delete
  19. Like you a single meeting does not work for me.

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    1. Heidrun,
      I think we should feel comfortable. Most it seems are like us.

      Delete
  20. I now have the same problem. I didn't when I was younger, but now I do. Living in a small town, I always worry about offending someone I only met a couple of times. Or worse, someone I'm supposed to know. So glad I'm not alone.

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    1. Inger,
      Me too on small town. How many times I see someone who looks familiar but can't put a name or place to them but they know me right off. Sigh.

      Delete
  21. A casual encounter, I won't recall. I saw a man at work out in the 'wild' so to speak and could not put my finger on who he was or how I knew him...then few days later I see him at work with his uniform and recognized him. Something like a line up from a crime and I will remember...I was rear ended in my car in dec 2012 and 3 or 4 months later I was able to pick the driver out of a photo line up.

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    1. Nawm,
      That was great that you could pick out the right person from a lineup. Congrats, you are evidently very observant. I am pitiful at that.

      Delete
  22. Dear Patti, like you, I am not observant of outer detail. I immediately tune in to facial expression and the way the person if holding his/her body--the body speech so to speak. It's the feeling/emotions I pick up on. So when people say, "What was he wearing?" I have no idea. But I can tell you how I think he was feeling! So I guess, I'm part of the oblivious to detail type! Peace.

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    1. Dee,
      I like to think you and I see the important part of a person but it would be nice to have both emotional and physical in our tool kits.

      Delete
  23. Unless I see someone regularly, I flat out don't remember them. This leads to some great embarrassments.

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    1. Mage,
      I so agree on the embarrassment. Wonder if it is too late to work on remembering details? Maybe for you but I am just too old and cursed.

      Delete
  24. Interesting post but what I latched onto was that you actually had 2 experiences of trying to identify someone in a lineup. I have never done that and would hate to have to choose since I am like you in the remembering department. I have a friend who swore she had the right man and it turned out to be one of the police officers. OOPS.

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    1. Ginnie,
      Yes, one was a criminal that opened a bad account with me at the bank and the other was an assault of my group by a gang. Yes, they do put ringers and like types in the line ups. Your friend must have felt embarrassed.

      Delete