Why I didn't fit in (partial explanation)
Posted Tuesday, October 31, 2023 10:14 PM

I'm fairly sure that at least some of  CHHS's students, faculty, and administrators made a sincere attempt to figure out M Kinsler without much success.  Many people there were kind, but it took effort, and not that many years ago I learned why.

I am face-blind and apparently always was.  It's a rare condition having to do with brain configuration: apparently something up there was too thin or too thick.  And what it means is that I cannot recognize or recall anyone's face or, in general, their facial expressions.  Most of us are able to rely on an exquitely-sensitive and reliably retentative registry of faces we have seen.  I don't have such a registry, and this adds drama and variety to one's career and social life. 

You can take a face-blindness test devised by Dartmouth's psychology department, and I passed with flying colors.  And that's why I seldom said hi to anyone passing in the hallways at CHHS.  I did not dislike you--I simply didn't know who you were. 

When I was small I could not understand TV detective shows because many relied on the viewer realizing that the police chief was the same person as the robbery suspect.,  I couldn't tell, so I'd ask my sister, for whom this became tedious.  I never wondered why Lois Lane never recognized Clark Kent as Superman because I couldn't, either.

As I grew older, I began to sense that there was something about the rest of society that I could not decode.  In the 1980's I'd listen to WCBS-AM in New York, and it was from one of their science features that I learned that I learned about face-blindness.  I felt bad for anyone who might be so afflicted and never thought about it again.

Except that maybe ten years ago--and I have no idea why--I found out what was wrong.  Natalie, my beloved five-foot-tall Pittsburgh Italian spouse probably did it, having learned to serve as my missing face registry.  (She can do anything.)

So there's no cure.  There's an on-line face-blindness journal from Britain that once reprinted one of my newspaper columns on my experiences.  And that's about it: I can remember people's voices, clothing, and circumstances in detail.  But never their faces.