Memory disclaimer. My mind used to be clear, but now it’s fuzzy. I often wonder why I went upstairs in the first place, where I parked my car and where I left my keys and phone. Keeping track of triplets plus one, a husband, a house, a cat and a dog in addition to my never-ending list of things to do has turned the area between my ears either to cotton candy or cotton balls. Either way, I am often unable to remember people’s names minutes (truth: seconds) after I’ve met them. I apologize! I’m sorry! Please forgive me! If people could just walk around with “Hello My Name is…” tags, life would be much easier, thank you very much.
The above memory disclaimer was stated as a preface to an upsetting social situation that happened two years ago. Invited to a mutual friend’s party, an acquaintance and I were getting drinks at the same time. I had run into this woman at other functions, maybe once a year. Maybe not. I don’t think we’d ever had a conversation but I’m sure we were introduced somewhere, sometime. So as we were both filling our cups, I said, “I apologize that I don’t remember your name. I should, but my brain is fuzzy.” She made a face that looked like she’d sucked on a lemon and replied, “Then you just shouldn’t say anything because it makes you sound rude!” And then she told me her name. After an awkward pause, I apologized. Again. She now looked like she’d swallowed the lemon whole as she stuck her nose in the air and humphed away.
My party-ready, friendly attitude burst like a balloon. I slinked over to my husband like a dog with her tail between her legs, wanting to leave the party and my apparent faux pas behind. I thought I was being polite by stating my memory disclaimer up front. She thought I was rude.
Either way, two things were certain: 1) I would never forget her name and 2) I would never say “hi” to her again.
Fast forward two years to this July. At another mutual friend’s party, guess who sauntered in through the garden gate? You got it, Miss Everybody Should Know My Name. And when I said “hello”, guess what Miss E.S.K.M.N. said. Still sucking on that lemon, she looked me straight in the eye and said, “My name is __________!” (fill in the blank with whoever is in the dog house in your neck of the woods)
Riff alert: I will now riff on Saturday Night Live’s “Really” with Seth Meyers (and if we’re lucky, Amy Poehler).
Really?!? Really, Miss Everybody Should Know My Name, just why should everybody know your name? Are you the queen of daytime television? A rock star? The president? The Pope? Why does it matter if I know your name or not? Really? I’m not your mother, father, husband or child so why does it bother you if I forgot your name? Really? You have nothing better to do than to hold onto every perceived insult that comes your way? Think of the amount of emotional energy it took to suck on that lemon for two whole years and then spit the seeds out at me once again. Really!!!
Hon, there’s a saying that girls from Baltimore are far enough North to be savvy but far enough South to have some Southern charm. To Miss Everybody Should Know My Name, I’m flat out of charm.
Who’s left holding the “R” now?