I Am A Master Of Disguise

Last week, I learned something about myself. I am a master of disguise. I can change my look instantly and effortlessly.

Clark Kent, argued by Jules Feiffer to be the ...

Clark Kent and I have one thing in common. It isn't the hat.

I discovered my ability at lunch. I was sitting in a restaurant by myself. It was quiet, and I was using the restaurant’s wi-fi to answer blog comments. I’d not gone out of my way to hide my true identity.

Things Get Strangely Ugly…

The door opened and someone I know from work came in. The hostess seated him at the table next to mine. As he walked to his table I looked up and asked “how’s it going?” He nodded, replied “good” without any particular feeling, then sat down without another word. I thought this was odd. I wasn’t finished having that thought. Another man came in. This gentleman had been in a class I had taught recently. He walked to the table where the first man sat. I greeted him, he nodded and sat down without speaking.

“Well, this is awkward”‘ I thought. I wondered what I could have done to offend these two. I’m pretty low-key most of the time, but sometimes I will agitate people. Or so I’m told.

I decided to focus on what I was doing, eat my lunch when it arrived, and leave. Leaving brought on another question. Should I say anything to these guys on my way out? Normally, I’d say goodbye, but since we really didn’t have much of a hello I didn’t think that was a good idea. Besides, I must have done something pretty heinous to be so completely ignored. I decided I would probably hear about it soon enough, I didn’t want to find out what I’d done in front of a restaurant full of people.

…And Then

Then, things got worse. The guy who supervises the first two came in. I greeted him. I got a head nod.

I am like Louis Gossett Jr. in Officer and A Gentleman. I train people to be my bosses. (image via

This last development was particularly disturbing. Like a significant number of people who are moving up the promotional ladder in my organization, this supervisor had once worked for me. He got his first promotion while he was working with me. We had parted ways well and he’d always been friendly before. Now, it seemed something was wrong.

I ate my awkward lunch while I thought back, trying to remember what I might have done to be treated with such indifference. I just could not come up with it. I am forgetful, but I usually remember doing things that get people mad enough that they pretend I am not in the room. It was clear to me that the best I could hope for was to slip out of the restaurant. I paid my bill, left a tip and began gathering my things. Then it happened.

Elvis Costello - Madison Square Garden - April...

Elvis Costello and I have one thing in common. It isn't the hat. (Image by starbright31 via Flickr)

I picked up my glasses, put them on and started to get up. The entire situation changed. My former employee looked up and smiled. “Oma”, he said, “it’s you!” I told him I knew that. The others turned, looked at me and gave me the greeting I thought I was going to get as they came in the door. And then the supervisor said aloud what I was beginning to realize – “you didn’t have your glasses on, I didn’t know it was you”.

It was as if I was a completely different person, then I put on the glasses and became the guy they knew. If we didn’t do the head nod thing when they walked in I would have guessed I’d been invisible before I put on the specs.

I’ve been wearing glasses since I was twelve. Or perhaps they’ve been wearing me.


41 Comments on “I Am A Master Of Disguise”

  1. That’s pretty funny. The same thing happens to me when I remove my contact lenses.

  2. Todd Pack says:

    So, I guess I should take back all those snarky remarks I’ve made over the years about Superman’s disguise, huh? Who’d a thunk it?

  3. Lenore Diane says:

    My 6yr old has been wearing glasses since he was 1yr old. I have to do a double-take if he walks into a room without his glasses. Fortunately, I’ve never greeted him with, “Who are you?”

  4. I was afraid you were going to suddenly realize that you were wearing your undergarments on your head. There’s no end to the awkward when I do that. People will often pretend they don’t know me. It hurts to be forgetful.

  5. Christy says:

    You are so good at disguise that I wouldnt know you if I ran into you with or without your glasses!

  6. shoutabyss says:

    Dammit. I was looking forward to the awkward ending when you snubbed them on the way out and they still didn’t realize you existed.

    Nice images. My grandmother wants to fly jets!!

    • omawarisan says:

      Maybe I take a cue from all the movie dvds that advertise alternate endings to the movies. I can have a seperate blog with alternate endings to all the posts. The writer’s cut!

      Only two things in Texas…

  7. You’re Superman in real life, aren’t you? Oma aka Clark Kent aka Superman.

  8. Katybeth says:

    These men are in the same type of work as you? MMM. Not a very observant bunch are they? Well, at least the mystery is solved and you know what to do when you want to go incognito.

  9. AiXeLsyD13 says:

    Wow, this lends credibility to all those years of Superman stories… ha ha.

  10. Spectra says:

    This worries me…is your only defining feature your glasses? If you switched to big red plastic Elton John Frames, would they be equally as confused? And, these guys got promotions?

    • omawarisan says:

      Yes, one of them did. It is remarkable.

      I’ll have to try the Elton John glasses thing. It would be fun to be able to change glasses and be completely different to folks.

  11. Laura says:

    I’d leave a comment, but now that I know you don’t even bother putting your glasses on to read them, I’m not sure it’s worth the effort.

  12. Hahaha!! Classic! I totally wish I could change my font and make it teeny tiny to see if you’d recognize me.

  13. Blogdramedy says:

    You fooled me. I thought the end would be… you put on your glasses and realized they were all complete strangers. Maybe you DO need to offer up alternate endings…get your readers to supply the lines. 🙂

  14. jennygoth says:

    would they have known you in black lenses though like men in black hmm xxjen

  15. Patricia says:

    Strange that other people can’t see when you don’t have your glasses on. When I don’t have my glasses on I can’t see but everyone else still can.

  16. Betty says:

    I’m dying because as I’m reading this I’m thinking, “well, out of context…but three people?” I’m not one who’s good with faces, better with names. But it is amazing how glasses can change a look!

  17. queensgirl says:

    The glasses-off thing sounds like it would be an interesting experiment, but I fear I would step into something unpleasant were I to attempt it.

  18. Snoring Dog Studio says:

    How disturbing to know your features are so remarkably altered when you put glasses on. What kind of glasses are you wearing? Do they come with a fake nose and moustache?

  19. planetross says:

    The person who takes photos of me for my driver’s licence doesn’t usually recognize me.
    … but that’s about the only one … except for the passport photo person.

  20. Pie says:

    I know where you’re coming from, Oma. That face furniture has come to define you. This is how Superman gets away with living among the people of Metropolis as Clark Kent. I really thought it was stuff and nonsense, until I experienced it myself when I wore contact lenses instead of glasses. I was still me, but people who I count as friends, didn’t recognise me without them. Those specs have become too dominant a feature in my life. It’s time for a change.

    *walks away, muttering something about looking into laser surgery*

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