Wednesday 4 May 2011


Do you ever forget someone’s name over and over again until it gets somewhat embarrassing? Or in crude and simple terms, do you never remember people’s names when you meet them no matter how hard you try? 

Usually I’d say it’s a sign of total disinterest, but sometimes, and ahem, in my defense of course, sometimes you simply have far too much on the brain. Lately the King and I have been meeting a large group of Mothers and their children. His social calendar dwarfs mine in a serious way. The problem is, usually when I meet these women, I’m either half asleep, trying to find something of the King’s I’ve stuffed somewhere (like that missing sock that never seems to stay on his foot!) or am trying to get the King to stop pulling their child’s hair or poke them in the eyes, or any other gesture of his that in baby language apparently means, 'hey, how ya doin?' 

So when these women say their name, or their child’s, it’s highly probable that I’m either remembering one, or nothing at all. Usually I remember their child’s for some reason. This means of course that when I run into them I direct all questions to him or her and use their kid's name repeatedly to make me look like I’m totally on top of things. I then try to eavesdrop on their conversations with others in an attempt to learn their name. Sometimes if I feel daring, I throw out a very generic name and see if it sticks. For some reason half the women in the park are named Sarah or Emma, so this often proves effective. 

Forgetting someone’s name always reminds me of the Seinfeld episode where he couldn’t remember the woman’s name he dated. It rhymed with a body part of course. Ah, good ol’ Dolores. Basically what ends up happening is that you find yourself beginning to use phrases that make you sound like an ambiguous idiot. The ‘Hey You’s’ and ‘Hey Lady!’ And as you're doing this, you know they know you have no clue what their name is, but damn it, you'll make it sound good and feign total ignorance....Lady!

If you get really desperate you can make a real operation out of it and bribe some stranger to go up to the person and ask them what their name is and report back to you, but this sometimes makes you look like a freaky stalker. Not good when you're hanging out at playgrounds. Other times I get lucky and will run into people when I’m out with my partner. I of course madly whisper to him as we approach the person, 'this is the woman I can’t remember her name!!' My partner is as smooth as ever and introduces himself before I get a chance to – Ah Eureka! Then of course, the sheer victory of learning their name sends me into a non subtle turrets driven mantra: "Great to see you Emma, love your shoes, Emma, isn’t this weather great, Emma!" My partner gives me that nod that means, you’re starting to sound like a wackjob, quit while you’re ahead honey.

I suppose the mature thing would be to simply ask the next time I can’t remember someone’s name. I did this other day to this lovely Japanese woman. The problem is, each time she told me her name, it was so complicated and impossible to pronounce, I couldn’t remember it if I wanted to. IT’s either Giimchi, or Kimchimau, I think. Seriously, I can barely remember when the King gets lunch let alone that mouthful. These days, I just keep repeating that I’m an insomniac with a 9 month old and to take pity on me
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