I was at a party and a woman whom I have known for a few years walked over with her husband and introduced me as “Kathy”. I corrected her (of course) and we both laughed at how bad we are with names, but for a minute my ego got a little inflamed. It jumped up with it’s big peacock feathers screaming “don’t you know who I am?” and then I remembered that as I was approaching her I was struggling to remember her name, which by all accounts should have been a piece of cake since she shares a name with my Grandmother! Oh ego, you little beast. Of course everyone should know my name. Meanwhile I have walked by the same woman daily for a year saying hello but never calling her by name because I may not have been listening when she told it to me, or I may have never asked her for it to begin with. I know her face and I remember many of the stories she has told me, but I look at her and no name appears in my mind’s eye. No wonder celebrities name their kids ridiculous names like Apple and Pilot. How do you forget the girl named Apple? Then again, how do you write “Apple” on the top of the page of every homework assignment year after year without building up some really deep-seated resentment for your parents? I remember when my daughter was born and we were choosing names. We didn’t know the sex of our little nugget until she arrived sans penis. I told my Mom the names we had decided on were Riley for a girl and Finn for a boy. My mother looked me straight in the eye and said “Thank God it was a girl”. I guess Finn hits her ear the same way Apple hits mine. Oh well. If I had had my way our daughter’s name would have been Lola, and I would probably be driving poor little Lola Logan to her speech therapist right now. (No worries, I will be driving Riley to some form of therapist sooner or later.) No wonder she likes her Dad more than me, he had no intention of sticking her with a name that would cause her years of anguish. Little did we know that at age five she still has a hard time with her “r”s so many people think her name is Wiley.
But back to the point, what is it that got my panties all twisted up about someone forgetting my name? It’s not like she forgot me as a person, she simply couldn’t put the correct label on the spice jar. Just like I remembered the story she told me about how she was socially retarded and I was like “yeah, me too!”, she remembered some part of me and what drew her to connect with me, just not the label stamped on me. Sometimes a person’s name just fits them so perfectly that you can’t possibly forget it, but sometimes it just isn’t the first thing about them that sticks in your head. I should probably be happy that her brain found so many other fascinating things about me that it didn’t cling on to something that isn’t even really about me at all but about what my parents may or may not have flipped a coin over. Take that ego, and while we’re at it settle down that she didn’t laugh that hard when I said I was really bad at remembering names too. I do know one thing and that is next time I see my friend I am going to need her to remind me what her husand’s name is because I totally missed what she said. I was preoccupied wrestling a peacock.