Forcing a Case of Mistaken Identity

This afternoon, I was waiting for a table at the usual location of the Thursday hour of me. A gentleman came up to me and the conversation went something like this:

Older Gentleman: Mike?
Me: Excuse me?
Older Gentleman: You’re Mike, right?
Me: No.
Older Gentleman: Oh wait, no, not Mike, Morgan…?
Me: No, that’s not me either. (Invisible thought balloon above my head: Not even close. Do I look like a Morgan? Or Mike Morgan?)
Older Gentleman: You don’t work at the hospital?
Me: No, I don’t. (Still wondering how he got me confused with someone named Morgan).
Older Gentleman: (clearly dejected) I’m sorry. I thought you were a friend of a friend. Works at a hospital.

Usually, I don’t mind it when someone mistakes me for someone else. And sometimes I feel bad for letting them down. For instance, if someone thinks I’m their long lost friend who they haven’t seen in a long time, and I’m not that person, I feel bad for them. But it just gets a little weird when someone is insistent that you are someone you are clearly not. Like they’re trying to shoehorn you into an identity and pulling out every link they can to get you to be who they want you to be.

It’s happened to me a few times, the most notable of which wasn’t actually that bad. About 10 years ago, I was in a bar/restaurant in Jersey when a group of drunk guys came up to me, asking me if I was Mats Sundin. They were extremely insistent that I was, to the point where I had to tell them I was just to get them to go away. I then turned to one of my associates and asked “who the hell is Matt’s son Dean”?

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