Saturday, November 03, 2007

I Cannot Remember

I had two fairly extended conversations with people tonight whose names I could not remember. One of these people I not only had no idea what her name was, but I had no real recollection that we had reached the point in our relationship where I should be expected to remember her name. I had though we were still in that "oh, hi, uh... I'm sorry, I've forgotten your name - oh, Jessica, that's right, I remember now, thank you" stage, which is a stage I usually remain in until the point when I'm called upon to give the best man toast, like I did for that guy that I grew up with. But in this case, I was sure we were still firmly in the "acquaintance" stage, but instead our conversation was littered with "ever since I've known you, you've had so much car trouble," and "I haven't talked to you since that 'People's Court' video." I was panicked that I would be required at some point to come up with some relevant details about her life, or how I knew her, or reference her name. It's a terrible feeling; this deep dread sitting in my stomach, leaving me constantly terrified throughout the conversation.

But then it got even worse. On my way out the door, I ran into someone I swear I have never seen in my entire life. I had no idea who this guy was. And he gave me a hug. I couldn't even bring up something general to try to get closer to where I knew this guy from - y'know, "so, were you at church this Sunday?" I didn't even have "gee, I haven't seen you since we went out together in that group that one time a while back." I had no frame of reference, nothing. It was so bad I actually thought maybe I was being pranked in some way, and the guy was about to say "I'm just kidding, Joe put me up to it, I've never seen you in my life! You shoulda seen your face! Priceless!" I made about as fast a retreat as I've ever made to my car, terrified that he might say something like "hey, I've still got those DVDs I borrowed, swing by the house and pick 'em up on your way home," and I would have to break down and admit, weeping, I had no idea who he was.

In a perfect world, my life would be more like The Devil Wears Prada, where two assistants would follow me constantly, available to whisper the names of each acquaintance to me as I came across them. Naturally, my wardrobe would be substantially improved. And ideally, those assistants would still be Anne Hathaway and Emily Blunt.

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At November 03, 2007 10:05 AM, Blogger Erin said...

I love how you constantly reference chick flicks. As long as you don't start comparing yourself to Ugly Betty characters, though, I think I'm okay.

Is it possible the second person was just one of those weird friendly people? Did he just ask about you generally or did he make any direct references that he actually knew you? If it was the former, my guess is it's just one of those "I'm friends with everyone and love to give random strangers hugs and ask them how their day was" guys.

At November 03, 2007 11:53 AM, Blogger Wyman said...

No, he definitely knew me. I was on my way out of the restaurant and he was calling "Ben! Hey, Ben!" as he was running up to me. But I swear, I really do, that I'd never seen him before.

At November 03, 2007 1:24 PM, Blogger Assistant Village Idiot said...

I ran into a guy at Margarita's and remembered that he lived on a dirt road in Deering, went to Colby-Sawyer and played soccer, graduated with Jonathan, was a hunter, and that his grandfather had died while he was in highschool, but couldn't click his name for the life of me.

John Green. No, I didn't remember it, he told me.

As to people knowing you, well, you're a big fish pretty quickly at that church, and you will begin to attract the hangers-on of fame.

At November 03, 2007 5:20 PM, Anonymous Laura said...

I'm taking bets on whether this happens at your wedding.

At November 04, 2007 12:08 AM, Blogger Erin said...

Last year we got a Christmas card from someone Mom and Dad couldn't remember. Nor could they make out the name that great. I think it ended up being a high school friend or maybe even someone in/at their wedding.

At November 05, 2007 11:02 PM, Blogger Dubbahdee said...

I was there when your dad started reeling off all the information about John Green. Most astounding what his recollection of his social security number, mother's maiden name, and the three digit C.I.D. code on the back of his Visa card.



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