Facing up to familiarity

Ron Nagasawa
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Wednesday - April 29, 2009
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Ron Nagasawa is on leave. This column was published originally in March 2001.

Writing this column definitely has given me some public recognition. Not by name, mind you, but by a kind of universal label. Most people don’t like to be “labeled,” but I get a kick when people say, “Hey, aren’t you the MidWeek guy?”

I’m finding more often that people who don’t know me from the publication refer to me according to things I consume or personal services they provide for me. For instance, I’ll be in line at the grocery store and run into the woman that serves me espresso coffee nearly every morning.


She’ll look at me, pointing her finger, and say, “Grande Americano with room for cream, right?” Naturally, she’s right and throughout the week it becomes apparent just how many people refer to me that way.

Like seeing the guy who changes the oil in my truck. He’ll say, “You’re the black Dodge Ram that’s never washed.” I guess people connect with you like that and it’s pretty nice that at least they remember who you are even though it’s not by your name.

When you’re out and about on your own, these descriptive referrals are quite harmless. However, when you’re with your spouse, they can be a little too revealing about your habits when your significant other is not around.

I was with my wife one day when a man I recognized from the plate lunch restaurant I frequent near work stopped us. He looked at me smiling and said, “Howzit, you’re the super deluxe mixed plate with double mac salad and three scoops rice.”

With no change in expression on my face, I looked at my wife, then back at the plate lunch man and said, “Sir, I believe you’ve mistaken me for someone else.”

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