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Not rude just Prosopagnostic

Dear Editor, Within our wonderful community of about 3,500, some 2.5 percent of us (85 people) are living with undiagnosed Prosopagnosia.

Dear Editor,

Within our wonderful community of about 3,500, some 2.5 percent of us (85 people) are living with undiagnosed Prosopagnosia.
This neurological condition is a form of autism that blocks one’s ability to remember people’s faces and it is commonly known as “Face Blindness.” Many people will say that they are bad at remembering people and names, however, Prosopagnosia can be much more severe, to the extent that some sufferers cannot even recognize the faces of their own family. Prosopagnostics learn other ways to recognize people such as hair style and colour, clothing, body shape, gait, and voice; however, such are not as reliable as facial memory. “Facial memory” appears to form a crucial link within the memory to recall other information about people.
In a community such as ours, when one does not recognize and acknowledge one’s neighbour, one’s friends’ spouses and children, or even the hairdresser, doctor, dentist and grocer when walking in the village, one is judged as  being either rude or arrogant - or both.
Of the well-known Posopognosiacs, Oliver Sacks’s, “Man who mistook his wife for a hat” is probably the most famous. The following example is from Sacks’s book:
Tom Uglow, a graphic designer in London, didn’t have a problem perceiving that it was a girl watching him across the bar. Her blond hair had a nice sheen. She seemed pretty. Uglow, walked her way and was about to introduce himself when she cut him off.
“Hi, Tom,” she said, no longer smiling. “Why were you making eyes at me?”
“Damn,” he thought. “This isn’t going as planned.”
Her voice sounded familiar. He searched her face but couldn’t place her. This happened more than he liked to admit.
“How’ve you been?” he asked, casually trying to fish for a clue as to who she was.
“Better now that we’re broken up.”
Ah! It was his ex-girlfriend. Once he’d had a moment to process her voice, he was able to place her. They had dated for a year. Definitely not a good person to be hitting on. It was a problem: Every time he saw a face, it felt like it was for the first time.
Throughout my life I have had many such experiences and am no doubt a Prosopagnostic. I realize that I tend to be reclusive and avoid situations where many people may know me as I will surely not know them. I would like to offer my sincere apologies to all those people that I have ignored and not acknowledged on the street, although we should know each other well.  On discovering Prosopagnosia I have felt somewhat exonerated from  this crime. It seems to explain so much about who I am.
If you seem to suffer from the same problems, I suggest that you Google Prosopagnosia and you will a great deal of helpful information. Alternately, feel free to contact me.
Should you run into me, please intercept me and tell me who you are, even if we spent time together as recently as yesterday or  last week.  I will really appreciate  your understanding.  Further, your understanding of Prosopagnosia will  make life so much easier for the other eighty-five Prosopagnostics on Bowen.
Best regards,   

Dai  Roberts