After talking about my difficulties recognizing people out of context, I had someone I know fail to recognize me.
When I was at the bookstore earlier in the week, I noticed that one of the clerks was someone I worked with about three jobs ago. We've kept lightly in touch, but I hadn't seen him in a year or so. I chose his station and stepped up with my purchases.
"Will this be all?" he asked, neutrally. I looked at him closely, but there was no sign that he knew me.
"Yes," I said, and handed him my credit card, figuring he'd notice my name.
"May I see your driver's license?" he asked. Okay, I guess he didn't look at the name.
By then, the situation was getting Larry David-esque. It felt too late to say something, but I figured he'd read my name from my driver's license and then realize we knew each other.
He handed back the license. Apparently the whole license comparison thing is pretty darned cursory, because he evidentally had not read my name (which is distinctive enough that it would definitely have triggered recognition).
Now it was really too late to say something because he would be embarrassed. He handed me my receipt and purchase and thanked me for shopping there. I took my bag and left.
Now, I'm sure it didn't help that my hair color is dark brown now and it was blonde the last time he saw me. Still, you'd think my face would still be recognizable.
I guess I understand now how Superman gets away with his Clark Kent disguise.