Tuesday, December 22, 2015
Excuse me. What's your name again?
There is a specific part of the brain that remembers names. I don't recall where it is exactly. Or where I got that information from. But I think it's called the embarrassebellum. Because I can never remember names. This is especially problematic since I live in a world where people use names to identify themselves.
And yes, I've tried the tricks. I met one of the fathers at my daughter's school and thought, I'll remember his name because it's the same name as my cousin. But...I have several male cousins. Every time I see him I think: Is it Bill? Mark? Jim? Kirk? Michael? Oh, no. The problem is when I'm introduced to someone a horrible loud fuzzy noise fills my ears so that I hear, "Arthur I'd like you to meet BZZZZZZZZZZ and GZZZZZZZZZ." "Great to meet you. How many z's is that in your name?"
Or, even worse, is when the social situation calls upon me to introduce people to each other. For example, let's say I'm at a bookstore talking to someone I've known for years and another person I've known for years walks up. This situation demands that I introduce these two people. I will suddenly feel as if a spotlight has been lasered down on my position and a Bond-villain voice whispers, "You are standing on a trapdoor and if you mess up this introduction you will fall into a tank of author-eating sharks. HA HA HA." I wipe the sweat beading on my forehead and turn to these people I've known for years and say, "Umm. What'syourname I'd like you to meet Whathisname. You have a lot in common. You both have names. And I can't remember either of them."
Gah! Bring on the sharks.
Dante's Inferno has a special circle of Hell called the author's signing table. It's a place where people have braved hail, wind, rain or meteorites to attend your book launch then paid good money for your book and are now lined up to get your signature on that book and all those people in the line up have names. I tell you they all have names. "And who would you like me to sign the book to?" I ask the man I've known since high school. "To me, please." "Oh, and how do you spell your name again?" "Really? It's Bob. Don't forget the second B."
It's time to hire a full time name whisperer. Or maybe, just maybe, there's an app for that.
Anyway, pleased to meet you. I hope to remember your name.
Photo credit: striatic via Visualhunt.com / CC BY