Mistaken Identity … November 28, 2012

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It happens–just never twice in the same night.

But last evening I got a double dose of mistaken identity. It began with a lady coming to my table and asking that frightening question. “Do you remember me?”

I always dodge it by saying, “You look familiar,” hoping that the person will fill in the details. She did. She was quite convinced that I had been the DJ at her son’s wedding. As I contemplated how to contradict her assertion, she launched into details about the reception, the recent birth of children and what name these offspring referred to her as when lovingly addressing their grandma. We were in the full swing of a mistaken identity–one which I had no idea whatsoever how to escape. So please pray for me–I went along with it.

She came back two or three times, reminding me of certain aspects of the evening which she felt we had shared in common, and once even brought along the sponsor of the concert, to share the irony of our re-crossing paths. He looked a bit bewildered as she told her story and squinted at me for either confirmation or denial and I just sat there with a blank look on my face–similar to someone who just discovered he was one number away from winning the lottery.

On the heels of my proposed DJ performance, another man came to the table and said how glad he was to see me again, because he had enjoyed me so much last year when I was performing at the Lexington Civic Center. Once again, before I could jump in and point out that I had never been to the Lexington Civic Center, he recited the details of my performance, including a duet I had sung with a young black boy. Once again, I was unable to escape and found myself in the midst of a great nod-fest.

Mistaken identity. I know I probably should have corrected these folks, but you see, at the heart of this particular event is a blessing. People meet you for the first time and really want to establish a connection, so they go ahead and manufacture one based on a similar experience they once had with someone who might have resembled you. I think it’s just a way of saying “I love you” without having to mouth the words.

Matter of fact, maybe the world would be better if we had MORE mistaken identity. If all bigots believed that black people were Denzel Washington and Oprah Winfrey, maybe there would be less prejudice. Those who have problems with the gay community may wish to project that all gay men and women are Rock Hudson and Ellen DeGeneres. How about politics? That’s easy.  All Republicans are Abraham Lincoln and all Democrats are Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

It may be a bit embarrassing when we do discover that all people with long hair, playing guitar are not the Beatles, but in the meantime, it might increase our toleration for one another and project some love out into a world that is starving to death for some of that good stuff.

I occasionally get mistaken for someone else.  Last night it was a DJ and a performer at a civic center. That’s not bad.  It has been worse. One night long ago in Michigan, a guy was convinced that I was the janitor at the local Goodwill store.  By the way–that one I denied. Sometimes people project that I’m Orson Wells or Dom Delouise or any one of a number of fat, aging men. Interesting though–so far, no Brad Pitt.

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Really interesting, Jon! It is said that ‘everyone has a double.’ Guess you have two!

    Like


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