I was in the grocery store picking up a few necessities: fresh fruit (amazing how quickly that goes!), boneless skinless chicken breasts (a staple of my freezer), and a couple of other little things. While I was in there, I saw my doctor's wife, who's known me ever since I was born. She barely recognized me, and said, "If (she named my cousin) hadn't been telling me how you were doing, and I didn't know you'd lost so much weight -- well, I swear, I wouldn't have known you."
THEN coming out of the store, I had just returned the buggy to the outside corral, and I heard, "Nettiemac?"
Me: "Yes!" (I didn't recognize the person at first).
Him: "Nettiemac Real-last-name?"
Me: "Yes!!!!" (like, who else would it be?)
It was my former neighbor. I hadn't seen him and his wife in about 5 years. He couldn't believe it. He said, "Oh my God. I only thought it might be you because of the car tag!" I've had the same vanity plate for a dozen years now.
If those two things weren't enough to boost my ego for the next 100 years, I don't know what was. Two people whom I've known for years barely recognized me. THAT was worth everything.