Could it be Prosopagnosia?

Remember back when you were a small child and someone, maybe a parent, perhaps a teacher, assured you that at some point you would discover your God-given talent? I do. And I’m still waiting. It’s not that I’m without any talents, it’s just that none of them seem worth developing.

For example, I still remember a license plate number my California cousins and I memorized when we were pre-teens. We were sitting outside a bank in Porterville, CA, waiting for my uncle to return from making a deposit when a man carrying an honest-to-goodness money bag hurried out of the building. We decided he was robbing the bank and memorized the number on his pickup truck. U19 671. I’m still prepared to testify as an eye witness some 50 years after the fact.

I also know the differences between four stroke and two stroke engines and can describe their respective firing sequences. In addition I can explain baseball’s infield fly rule and the reasoning behind it. And when given a multiple choice test on just about any subject I’m more likely to pass than to fail. Whoopee!

There are a great many more things, though, that I have no talent for. The one that’s driving me crazy right now is my inability to recognize faces, specifically faces of famous people; although, I often joke that I even make Studly Doright wear a name tag when he returns from a lengthy business trip.

I’ve been playing Ellen DeGeneres’s Hot Hands game on my iPhone lately. In this game one must try to call out the names of a succession of celebrities within a limited amount of time. I simply cannot do it. Tom Hanks becomes “Bob, Jim, Um, Rob!” Likewise Madonna becomes “Bob, Jim, Um, Rob?!” So do Oprah Winfrey, Sandra Bullock, and Denzel Washington.

As a result of playing this game I’ve come to believe I have a mild version of a condition know as prosopagnosia.

Prosopagnosia is a neurological disorder characterized by the inability to recognize faces. Prosopagnosia is also known as face blindness or facial agnosia. The term prosopagnosia comes from the Greek words for “face” and “lack of knowledge.”

Some folks with the condition can’t even recognize their own faces in the mirror! I’m not that bad, but I swear I’m struck dumb when trying to identify any celebrities. Do you think they’d mind wearing name tags just until I get the hang of the game?

All the Kardashians, or as I like to call them, “Bob, Jim, Um, Rob?”

Peace, people!

Author: nananoyz

I'm a semi-retired crazy person with one husband and two cats.

23 thoughts on “Could it be Prosopagnosia?”

  1. In nyc, we often see celebrities. Some are really recognizable, even if you can’t recall their names. Others though, look familiar, yet you’re never sure how you know the face. Me, and friends, have gone up to minor celebrities and asked did I work with you, or did you used to go to the dog park on union square?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha! I was in Las Vegas with a group of friends once. We’d just left a restaurant and I looked up to see a guy walking towards us who I knew was someone famous. My eyes widened and I saw him kind of cringe as he awaited my squeal. And honestly, if I’d been able to put a name to his face I might’ve squealed it out. Instead I just smiled winningly. He visibly relaxed and smiles back. I like to think he thought I was gonna über cool, when actually I just couldn’t remember who he was. I’m pretty sure it was either Paul Simon or a kardashian.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The joke is, if someone is wearing sunglasses and a hat in nyc, and it’s not sunny, it’s probably a celebrity trying to be on the down low. I try to be cool, and most of the time I act nonchalant, but sometimes…..

        Liked by 1 person

      2. All the moms were trying to act so cool, yet we were freaking out!! Of course one of the kids went up to her and said aren’t you the magazine, or something similar…..

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m mortified of being given the brushoff by someone famous, probably from when I was a kid and a local news anchor in Detroit did just that. I was in Hawaii once and was within about ten feet from Stephen Stills — at that time my musical hero — but I just couldn’t walk up to him. I didn’t want to ruin the good feelings I had about him. Anyone who can explain the infield fly rule is okay in my book. – Marty

    Liked by 1 person

    1. See, I love Stephen Stills, but if he were to sit down beside me and sip a coffee I wouldn’t recognize him. I think I’d recognize Stephen King. I’m pretty sure I’d know Howard Stern and Jay Leno. But that’s about it.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Just watching other people play that game makes me panic! I haven’t a hot clue what any of the names are until the game ends.

    I’m glad I’m not the only one to reach retirement and still not have discovered my one true gift.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Up describe my favorite conundrum. In Fox Lake I’d entertain friends by distinguishing Harley Davidson’s fron all other motorcycles by the sounds before we could see them coming up the hill, but I couldn’t remember my Pinochle partner’s name. Love. This. Post

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I have more errors in my responses on WP than there are stars in the sky! I wish there was an edit button! Some of mine are hysterical. Might make a good blog post one day.


  5. I can so relate, Leslie. I also have a mild case of prosopagnosia. It’s quite embarrassing sometimes. For example, it took me at least three years to recognize a new neighbor when I ran into her walking in the park. I’m pretty good with names, though, so that helps. As far as neighbors, though, I tend to recognize them by the dog they are walking. Dogs are easier than people to recognize!

    Liked by 1 person

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