I have discovered my superhero ability.
I’ve wanted one for years. (Who hasn’t, really?) Possibilities have ranged from the impressive – being able to fly – to the hopelessly useless – being able to see under-ripe bananas through walls. And I think I’ve finally found it.
I can disappear.
No, I’m not invisible. It’s a long-term ability. You see, I have found that, while my personality is rather obnoxious and entertaining, my face apparently is entirely forgettable. Either that, or it just changes so quickly and so dramatically that people have no idea who I am year after year.
I’m not making this up. I have statistical evidence of this. It’s a recurring pattern in my life. I’ve “met” people who went to junior high and high school with me at least half a dozen times. I’ve had to re-introduce myself to coworkers when I wear a different colored sweatshirt, or I get a haircut, or change my hair color. I put on glasses, and I’m a different person entirely. (I’m like a female Clark Kent.) I recently showed up at an old workplace, and had to introduce myself again to three of the managers I worked with. They were very excited to see me… once they knew who I was. A few weeks ago, I had an entire conversation at work with an instructor who kept trying to figure out when the other Rachel had quit. Not knowing if there was another Rachel, I foolishly let her wonder for about five minutes before I realized the problem and informed her that I was the same Rachel, but with my hair up.
And it’s not just coworkers or long-lost friends. I once attended a wedding, and my aunt asked if I was the baby-sitter. I showed up to a Halloween party in dark hair and make-up and my best friends didn’t realize it was me until we’d had a ten-minute conversation. My own mother looked out the window this morning and thought the next-door neighbor was shoveling the drive. Ward members on my mission frequently introduced themselves to “the new Sister,” thinking I’d been transferred – despite the name tag I was wearing. Former roommates walk into a room, say hello to everyone else, and politely nod at me. Delighted squealing ensues when they suddenly realize (at least ten seconds later) who I am.
There’s a little voice in my head that says, “Remember, Rachel, you must use your powers for good, and not evil.” And then there’s another voice in my head that really wants to wear glasses on Monday, straighten my hair on Tuesday, wear it curly Wednesday, pinned up on Thursday, and then change my makeup on Friday. Just to see what happens. I could get away with a lot, really. Anything I do – one year later, I’m unrecognizable! It’s a plus, if I ever need to go into hiding. It’s really a shame I didn’t come up with any good schemes while I worked at FedEx, and the conveyor belt rubbed off my fingerprints every day. I could really get away with murder – I mean, small mischief.
Of course, until I find a good scheme, it may be in my favor to look boringly similar day by day, so nobody suspects. For the time being, I have curly hair, contact lenses, and a little eye makeup. Maybe one day you’ll see me do something drastic. Of course, you’ll never know it was me. ◊