The second possible sighting happened today, actually.
While at the rec center with my son, a man walked in with his daughter. I'm guessing he's in his mid-thirties, has a round face shape, light hair, hipster glasses... it was enough of a resemblance for me to consider it being Joe. Of course, it has been so long since seeing Joe that I really have no clue what he looks like. I'm sure his appearance has changed just as much as mine has over the years.
As I watched him, I grew more certain it wasn't him. In fact, I pretty much talked myself out of the possibility.
But during parachute time he made eye contact with me and I thought for a second that maybe it was him and there was some recognition happening.
The class dismissed and everyone went into the play area where we let our tots wander and bounce and explore. I saw him take out his phone and I quickly glanced again at his profile.
Here's the thing: I knew I'd regret not asking so I rehearsed in my mind how to approach him and decided it was probably best to keep it short.
Smiling, I said over my son's head, "You look familiar. Does your name happen to be Joe?" My face grew hot. Sweaty palms. Sweaty face.
Seemingly confused, he squinted and said plainly, "No. My wife's name is Jo, though."
Embarrassed, I began to do what I usually do when flustered, which is stammer and say more than I really need to... "Oh," I laughed nervously. "I'm just looking for an old Kiwi friend by that name and you sort of look like him but I guess..."
I didn't need to finish because he walked away.
Now, I know we were there with our kids so it's easy to get distracted, but his child was still playing by mine, near me.
Eventually he sauntered toward his child again, which meant he was coming back toward me. He stayed focused on his phone, not looking up and we stood together in complete silence.
"Yep, that's me," I thought. "The crazy lady asking every guy in Wellington if his name is Joe!"
After living in the Northeast part of the States for awhile, I often heard the word "awkward" in reference to just about anything. And this was completely. totally. awkward.
I spent the rest of the time playing with my son and was relieved when it was time to leave. For someone who grew up doing musical theater, you'd think I have more courage than that! But for some reason, I was very nervous and I think it's because I knew deep down...
...it definitely was not Joe Wellington.