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Archive for November 6th, 2008

Hello… er, um… Man

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Life is chock-full of uncomfortable moments and awkward situations. It’s nice to know that no matter how cool, rich, sexy, smart of successful you are or become, no one is safe from these simple acts that keep us all in check, grounded and serve as a reminder that we’re only human.

The crime? Forgetting someones name. What could be worse than being so insignificant that a person can’t address you by your name? It’s one of the few things that makes you, you. Even John Smith and Mary Jones get to celebrate and relish in their name sake. It’s your name for God’s sake! It’s how the world knows you. It’s the first thing that you say to everyone you meet.

Some people are good with names. Usually sales people, but not always. I have always been horrible with names. I don’t know if it’s because I’m so introverted, I don’t really hear them ’cause I’m not paying attention, (thinking I’ll never see this person ever again) or the fact that I’m just not a “people person”. 

The one that I most recently fell victim to is the horrific “You know my name, but I couldn’t think of your name if I had eight centuries to think about it”. The kind of mind blank that leaves you so stumped, that you can’t recognize Susan being any better than Phil. I’m talking lost, totally lost, gone, no chance of ever pulling it out.

It always seems that the person who’s the victim is the one of those nicey-nice, people. They might not be a good friend or even someone you really want to hang out with, but you can’t deny that they are a nice person. It makes sense, negativity always makes a much more lasting impression.

Some encounters are far worst than others. Running into a friend of a friend of a friend that you met at a party three years ago is a far cry from running into your sister-in-law’s parents and completely blanking. The uneasy air that you breath in becomes toxic when the victim is someone that you should have remembered and been able to recall upon seeing them.

It never fails that they remember yours. That’s where the whole guilt trip starts. They see you and immediately start with, “Hey BOB!” Which in turn, puts the pressure on you to rebut, with certain arrogance, as if you can somehow hide the fact that their name has been wiped clean from your memory. “Hey!” “Hey man!” “What’s up?” “What’s goin’ on?” “Wow, how you been?” seem to be standard and well executed lines to conceal your ignorance. I’m sure they have no idea you’re a totally self absorbed idiot. I once had a neighbor come over and introduce himself to me, new guy in the neighborhood and all. A couple of weeks later he came by again and called me out, “Hey Ramblin’ Rooster! Do you remember my name?” What an ass. He must of noted my glazed over eyes and far away stare as he introduced himself.

This situation just plain sucks. There’s no good recovery, no smooth way of saying, “I’m sorry, what’s your name again?” You just have to play it off like you can’t feel the egg running down your face.

Egg On!

Um… er… Hacklin’ Hen?

Written by Ramblin' Rooster

November 6, 2008 at 4:31 am