Coming Out of Left Field

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

My mind is as sharp as a whatchamacallit

The other day, the wife and I were at the drugstore picking up a few things when I recognized someone waiting at the pharmacy counter. He saw me at the same time, and we both said, "Hey!"

Immediately after that, I thought, "Oh, shit."

I knew his face. I knew that we'd both worked at the same place several years earlier. I even remembered scraps of a conversation we'd had once at a party concerning a drum set that he was thinking about getting.

Did I remember his first name? Of course not.

What compounded the problem is that there's someone at my work now whose first name starts with the same initial, and whose last name is exactly the same as X's. Also, a blogging acquaintance has the same last name, and the same first and middle initials as another former co-worker. So every time I tried to remember X's name, I kept getting stuck on those two other combinations that I knew for sure were wrong.

I chose the cowardly route and didn't refer to X by name, but made sure to ask about the drum set so he would realize that, yes, I did really know who he was. Later on, I did a little searching and found his name so that I know it for the next time I run into him. Maybe by then, he'll have done a little searching of his own and found my correct first name. ;)

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I had a similar incident yesterday when The Girl got me to go to THE MALL with her. That's a whole other story, but the relevant piece here is that as we were heading back to the garage via Macy's, I saw a woman from my old job. We'd worked together on various projects, and I couldn't recall her name at all. And since The Girl was with me, I would have been in the really bad position of feeling obligated to introduce this person. Fortunately (for awkwardness' sake), either she didn't see me or she spotted me before I spotted her and she was going through the same thing, because we passed without eye contact. If I'd remembered her name I would have said, "Hey, [whateveryournameis] - how ARE you?" But I didn't, so I didn't and the moment passed.
 

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