We have a friend named Presh–short for Precious, I assume. Last week my son and I were rolling through the grocery store parking lot looking for a place to land when I saw Presh walking toward us, a few steps away. I stopped and rolled down my window to speak. She didn’t recognize our car or us; as she came even with the car, I said, “Hello, Presh.”
She gave me a quick, hard squint, then looked straight ahead and kept striding toward the grocery store as if she had neither seen nor heard me. Except that she clutched her purse tighter and quickened her step.

Far be it from me to criticize Presh in so public a forum as Jonathan-Rogers.com. But that was no way to treat a friend.

I turned to my son and gave him one of those significant looks that says, Where does she get off, big-timing me like that?

“That wasn’t Presh,” he said.

“Wasn’t Presh?” I said. “Of course it was Presh. I saw her with my own eyes.”

“She looked sort of like Presh,” my son said, “but she wasn’t Presh.”

I began to see things from the young woman’s perspective. She’s walking across the parking lot. A strange man at least ten years her senior stops his car nearly in her path, rolls down his window, and says, “Hello, Presh.”

It’s one thing to call a woman Presh when you know her and that’s her name. But to address a strange woman as Presh when her name is Jennifer or Sarah or something–well, it’s too familiar by half. No wonder she was alarmed. Still, the woman looked so much like Presh that I find it hard to believe I was the first person to make that mistake. Surely she was used to that sort of thing.

I looked for the woman in the grocery store to apologize and explain that it was a case of mistaken identity, but she eluded me. I think I saw her crouching behind a pyramid of LeSeur peas, but before I could get to her, she was gone.

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