Friday, July 31, 2009
I'm the guy you recognize:
"Hey, Equinox! Hey, Katana! Hey, Western!" (Western is what Michael Rosenbaum calls me. We both went to WKU)
This is because I'm not important enough to actually know. I validate parking, I lift the rope. My name is the place you see me.
And it's cool, because I'm the same way with a lot of people. Remember that scene from Swingers where the guy approaches Jon Favreau at a party in the hills and Jon Favreau pretends to remember him? I've been there so many times.
Forgetting a face is worse than forgetting a name. It's like the person never existed. Some people should never exist. Anyway, let's get to my overanalytical sensibilities:
1. The Initial Meeting
Wherein we shake hands and introduce ourselves. I'm usually not paying attention because most introductions in life are bullshit formalities that begin and end with both parties not giving a fuck who the other is. If nothing can be gained from the other person why reserve valuable brain space for something as inconsequential as a name? We're dumb enough as it is.
2. Forgetting Your Name
If I forget your name, I tend to forget it within seconds. Some people have the balls to call themselves out on this ("I'm sorry, I already forgot your name"). Not me. Once I realize I've forgotten your name, I spend the next few minutes trying to remember it. It's one of those tip-of-the-tongue feelings where you feel like a complete retard for not being able to remember something so simple. It makes things worse if you're using my name every chance you get. It's like you're daring me to say your name, even though I know it's just a device so you won't forget my name and be stuck in the same embarrassing position that I'm in.
3. Remembering Your Name
Wherein I shut the fuck up and play Encyclopedia Brown. At parties and other social events, introductions are usually solicited by a third party:
"This is my friend, Bob."
(Bonus points if you can figure out what this introduction really means. Answer at the end of the blog.)
This means I can play the child role and not speak unless spoken to. If I'm in a position where I need to remember your name, I shut the fuck up and listen for clues. Actually, no. There won't be any clues. I just listen for someone to say your name. It'll happen eventually. Either that or I'll extract myself from the situation, go somewhere else, and then find our mutual friend later and quietly ask her what your name was again.
4. Saying Your Name
This is key. If I haven't said your name the entire conversation and then spit it out after someone else says it, it's obvious that I forgot your name and am just piggybacking. Most people will overuse someone's name once they relearn it to compensate for all the times they didn't say it. This is socially transparent behavior (but then isn't most?). One well-placed "Bob" at the end of the conversation brackets it nicely and makes Bob feel special:
"Oh, wow. He remembered my name. Cool."
Then I can move on and forget someone else's name.
(Answer: Jill wants to fuck Jeff, or she used to fuck Jeff. Now she's fucking Bob, or is close to fucking Bob, and she wants Jeff to be made aware of this because she wants him to know what he's missing. Jeff doesn't give a fuck because he's already fucked Jill or doesn't care to fuck her. Jill's plan to make Jeff jealous backfires and she ends up sending Bob home early because she's upset, or she sleeps with him and fantasizes about Jeff. )
This is an entirely fictional scenario. Or maybe the names have just been changed.