I always think that people won’t remember my name. When I run into someone, I quickly concoct a story that presents an opportunity for me to say my own name, so that I can help them out. Because in my mind, they are, at that moment, wracking their brain to remember my name. It would go something like this. We see each other and I immediately blurt out, “Hi, Jenny! The last time I saw you was at that party and you almost spilled your wine on me and you were like, ‘Jill!!! Watch out!!! … So, how’ve you been since then?” I feel like I’m doing Jenny a solid by doing this, but what if she did remember my name? If so, in that moment, she is likely thinking that this girl Jill is way too wired for 10am on a Sunday in a Coffee Bean. And, what if her take away from this experience is a big mental note that she makes to herself that the next time we run into each other, she must remember that Jill is the crazy girl who, upon first sight, blurts out excessive information and she should quickly walk the other way.
Maybe I’m not giving everyone else enough credit. I’m also probably not giving myself enough credit as far as making a first impression goes. Why would I assume that people wouldn’t remember my name? It’s not like my first name is Ivory Willow Sue. It’s Jill. Pretty plain. Pretty simple. In 9th grade, I dressed it up and went with Jyl for a minute. Super bad ass. But, I’m back to Jill now and both spellings would be pronounced the same, anyway. And come to think of it, if I were to look at it from everyone else’s point of view, it’s not like I regularly forget people’s names when I run into them. Aside from those occasions where we’re knowingly about to put ourselves in a situation where there’s a good chance that we could blank on someone’s name and we preempt it before we step into that situation. You know, when you’re walking into a crowded event and you’ve brought someone with you, who will likely know no one inside. So, you’re well aware that you’re going to spend the next couple hours rolling introductions. Therefore, when I’m in that position, as we’re walking into the event, I’ll say to my friend, “Dude, if I don’t introduce you to someone right away, please do that thing where you jump in and say, “Hi, I’m Blake”, and I’ll be like, “Did I not introduce you two!? Sorry, I’m such an idiot!” But come on, I think we all do that in those situations. If we all don’t do that in those situations, please lie to me and say that we all do that in those situations. Thanks, buddies.
There’s another possibility. I could be, just maybe, possibly over-thinking the moment when I run into people. Because, I have a pretty decent personality. I don’t think I’m forgettable and I do think I make an impression when I meet people. Especially when I touch them inappropriately. That was just to see if you were paying attention. I only touch people inappropriately who want to be touched inappropriately and who know my name. But really, don’t touch people inappropriately. Especially, if they don’t know your name. I mean, didn’t our parents raise us better than that? I think, even Nell, wouldn’t let people touch her inappropriately unless they knew her name and she’s not one that really says her name or much of anything that frequently. She just seems to talk about blowing in the wind all of the time. Then again, she didn’t seem to run into many people in the woods until she ran into Liam Neeson. With that in mind, perhaps Nell wasn’t the best example to include in this piece about me always thinking that people won’t remember my name. A piece that I’ve suddenly turned into another piece about me making passes at people and then obviously, a piece about Nell. Because I’m nothing if not timely.
Here’s what I’m going to do. I like calls to action, so I’m going to make an effort to not allow myself to feel the pressure to find a (possibly thinly veiled) way to rapid fire force my name into the first five seconds of when I’ve run into someone. I’m not a shrink (I’m a rocket scientist. And, you can’t be both.), but I’m assuming that this panic mode I go into when I run into someone is largely self-imposed. Am I trying to make sure that they don’t panic (because maybe they can’t think of my name) and in turn, I panic to find a way to sneak it to them? This seems like a lot of panic-based work. All happening in my head. Which is actually quite normal for me. But really, what’s the worst that could happen? Someone might not remember my name. And then what? Life would go on. Unless this not remembering of my name occurs on December 21st. In which case, some Mayan dudes might argue that life would, in fact, not go on. Alright, it’s decided then. The next time I run into someone, if I feel that whole ‘What-If-They-Don’t-Remember-My-Name-Panic’, I’m going to shake it off and not permit myself to find a clever way to say my name right off the bat. I will let the moment happen. The irony is, all of these people probably remember my name (read: Please god, I hope everyone remembers my name.). You know what? Do me a favor, would you guys? Pass a photo of me with JILL KUSHNER printed on it around. To everyone in the entire world and anyone that you’re in contact with in other worlds (you can probably do this via Richard Branson). Seriously. Agh. I feel like you’re not gonna do it. And that I’m gonna keep doing it. I think this went well.
Image Courtesy of AMC.