Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Miss Short-Term Memory (AKA Hey, it's Tony Randall syndrome)

IN THE NEWS: According to World Magazine, "British grandmother Tracey Wenn says she was just messing around when she stabbed (accidentally) her boyfriend in the leg with a utensil after he made off with leftovers in the fridge she had set aside for herself. In court testimony, Wenn's companion Anthony Donkin reported that Wenn was drunk and only meant to poke him when she blurted out, "Eat my pork, feel my fork"—a line from a popular television commercial in the Isles. But police in Great Britain took a dim view of the incident, charging Wenn with wounding her beau and giving her a nine-month suspended sentence."

I really do feel like I'm Miss Short-Term Memory. (Did you ever see that Saturday Night Live skit with Tom Hanks and Tony Randall? Oh. Well, too bad. They didn't have it on YouTube for me to show you. Funny stuff. But if you did see it, then you'll know that's me.)

I've told people on many occasions that I'm terrible with names--and faces. Terrible. I have nothing to work with if I meet somebody a second time, so I feel like I'm meeting them for the first time.

Here's an example: The family and I went to the boardwalk for some pizza last night. We've eaten and the hubby is now paying at the register. I'm standing there behind him and one of the workers at the far end of the place waves to me. Actually, since he didn't look at all familiar, I assumed he wasn't waving to me, but just to be sure, I smiled. Then when he looked down, I looked behind me to make sure he wasn't waving to anyone else. Nope. The place was empty.

Huh. How odd. So I thought the guy was just nice. You know, waving to me. But then he looked up again and smiled and nodded. So now I'm thinking, should I know this guy?

Well, we walked by him to go out the door and he proceeds to speak to me. "How have you been?" he asks.

I'm still thinking this guy is just a nice guy or maybe he has me confused with somebody else. So I continue to just smile and walk out. After we were outside, my hubby shakes his head at me and laughs. "You just snubbed that guy back there. He obviously knows you."

"He does?" I ask.

"Yes! Do you think people ask random strangers, 'Hey, how have you been?'"

Yes. Yes, I did.

I thought it was all apart of those generic questions people ask but expect no answer to. Like, "How you doing? and "What's happening?" If a stranger asks you that, it's there way of saying hi. Right?

Well, no. But only because I finally remembered I DID know this guy--after I was miles away, of course. In fact, I remembered I'd met him through a friend. Our daughters played together at the beach a few weeks ago. We talked extensively about baseball--particularly the Phillies and the Mets. So, yes. I DID know him.

Honestly, he must think I need my head examined. And I would have to agree. I do need my head examined. Or maybe I just need to cut down on the artificial sweeteners. They must clogging up good brain tissue, because I am really terrible with remembering people.

Now I'm totally embarrassed and since this is such a small town, I KNOW I will run into him again and will have explain my temporary Alzheimer's. I'm such a dope.

Are you good at remembering people?


Chicki said...

If I didn't know how young you are, I'd say you had a "senior moment!"

I'm not great with remembering names either, and I've embarrassed myself several times. Now when a situation like that occurs, I try to warmly greet the person and hope they'll say something to remind me of where we met.

Not long ago inspirational author Debby Giusti spoke to my writers group. A month or two later two of the members went with me to a Georgia Romance Writers meeting. Debby saw us sitting at the table, came over and greeted them by name. She'd only met them ONCE! I was so impressed.

I don't know if I'll ever be able to remember people like Debby does, but when I meet someone new I write down something about them on any available piece of paper. Also if I add someone to my e-mail address book, I put a note in the personal section about who they are and how we met.

Kristen Painter said...

Names and I don't go well together, but I find that making a point of using someone's name in conversation with them when I first met them helps.

Chelle Sandell said...

I'm not great at it but if they look familiar I try to fake it until my blonde moment passes...if it doesn't I just smile and freak out later.

Stephanie said...

I'm the very same way...I'm usually too nervous when I introduce myself to commit names to memory. So yes, I wind up asking them a bazillion times what they're names and kid's names are. I'm with you on that one!

Patricia W. said...

Not so good with names. Faces and where we met, yes.

I like Chicki's comment about the email addresses because I got a ton of email addreses that I have no idea what the original connection was.

Babe King said...

Yup, I forget names unless I attach them to an image. For example, I met a big girl whose name was Anita. I thought to myself "an eater" and that way I don't forget the name. :-) Just the twisted way my head works.