Monday, August 26, 2013

Who "Are" You?

I really need my eyes examined again, though I can’t blame less-than-perfect vision for what happened the other morning.

It’s early—sometime between 6:30 and 7 a.m. As I’m walking down my driveway, a young woman is walking on the other side of the street. Outfitted in workout clothes with earbuds traveling up to her head, it’s obvious she’s exercising.

“Hello!” she says with a cheery smile.

“Good morning!” I respond, trying to widen my squinted eyes as they meet sunlight.

“How far are you running?” she asks.

“About three and a half or four miles. What about you?”

Still smiling, she says, “Wow! I’m only walking about a half mile.”

“That’s good,” which I sincerely mean.

During this exchange and our good-byes, internally, I’m asking myself, “Who ‘is’ she? She seems to know who I am; not just being friendly. Is she my neighbor on the corner? Her hair is in a ponytail. Am I thrown off by that? She’s only 30 feet away from me. Hmmm…”

Sooo, I just say to myself, “Don’t say anything dumb to reveal my probable senior moment, like asking her how her boys are and then finding out that she doesn’t have any.”

I had another of these senior moments, recently, in the restroom at church. Charging in, I run into the co-pastor.



“How arrre you?

Chit chat chit chat chit chat…

A stall door opens and out comes a friend who I’ve known more than 15 years.

“Hi, uh…” (Why didn’t I just leave it at Hi?)

The pastor quickly recognizes my senior moment, spares me further awkwardness, and says, “Natalie.”

“Natalie. You know I’ve always wanted to give you another name. blah blah blah …digging myself deeper.

“It's usually Valerie,” she says in a forgiving voice.”

The pastor helps me again by changing the subject. She knows when to end something, even though I don’t.

Do you ever have the “I remember faces, but not names” conversation with your friends or relatives? Or the other way around—names, but not faces. Or maybe you don’t have a problem with either. Well I’ve had this conversation and I usually say that I’m good with faces, but apparently, based on recent tests, I’m not; and not good with names either.

Am I worried?


I’d like to think that in my 50++ years of living, I’ve known SO many people, that my brain…

Scratch that. That’s leading to the old age factor that I’m avoiding.

How about: My life is so full of events, people, responsibilities, interests, etc. that I’m always multitasking and concentrating on something important, therefore, experiencing an occasional lapse in memory.

How’s that?

One thing about this little condition is that it is shared by many, Darling Husband being one of them. (Shhh… don’t tell him I said so.) We have an agreement—When we’re out socializing and he doesn’t introduce me, that means he doesn’t recognize the person or has forgotten the person’s name. I am to quickly introduce myself which usually prompts the person to introduce him or herself. Not part of the plan, but DH will always say, after he gets the name, “Oh, I’m sorry John, yes, this is my wife, Anita.

And I do the same if I am the “forgetter.”

Now that this has happened to me twice in one week, I’m going to have to work harder in ID-ing all the people I know; like paying attention to their vehicle license tags, or pets, or by honing in on a physical trait. Or, I can just say “Hi,” keep the conversation very general (the weather… I like your shoes…), and hope that it will click.

How are you doing with forgetfulness (people, tasks, objects, etc.)?

Image from Microsoft clipart


Mari said...

I've had this happen to me a few to many times also. I really am usually good with faces, but the names are a problem. I like your hubby's plan!

joeh said...

I am the worst! I forget names of people that I used to see everyday for years, then I panic that I won't remember. Fine until like you say I have to introduce someone. Several times the name comes to me at just the last minute. Weird.

I also forget peoples names AS THEY ARE INTRODUCED TO ME! I keep meaning to repeat the name as I hear it, but always forget. This is why I'm not a politician.

Tabor said...

Learning new names from people who join volunteer groups has been my nemesis. I have to make a real effort to learn their names or I end up avoiding talking to them or about them!

MissKris said...

All the time! And I just laugh and tell whoever I'm talking to "It's a menopausal moment!" and everyone, male and female, nods knowingly and sagely and leaves it at that.

yonca said...

Oh, Anita..I'm not good with names either:( I'm working as a sales manager and seeing so many people all day. But I think the real reason my mind is always busy to do list all the time. Also maybe aging..
I'd like the way you cooperate with your husband :)

Shelly said...

Oh, it hits me all the time. Since I'm in the south, it's acceptable to call someone Darlin', Honey, or Sweetheart without using a name. In my church, a lot of people call someone Sister or Brother, so I can also use that, too!

Mage said...

Yes, if it moves, I forget what it is called. Usually when I first meet someone, I tell them I've had a stroke and forget everything and will repeatedly ask them what their name is. Mostly after that they put up with me.

Hilary said...

Oh yes, I think many of us can relate, Andrea.


Linda Hensley said...

I recently gave my standard disclaimer when meeting someone for the third time -- "So glad to see you again. I'm sorry, but I'm terrible at names..." and a friend pointed out to me that if the person really mattered to me I would make it a point to remember. (I didn't tell him that it took me 6 months to remember HIS name.) I've given up. I stick with "Hi"

Buckeroomama said...

I'm usually pretty good with names and faces... but on the rare occasion when I do forget a name, I come clean, apologize for not remembering their name and ask them for it. With a sheepish smile. :)

Abby said...

Oh yeah, the name thing. It's started happening. But now that I'm *cough* old, I just come right out with, "Sorry, I can't think of your name!" - exclamation point optional, depending on how big of a flub it is.

Your exerciser reminded me of a woman who recently went power walking by me while I was in our driveway. She said, "Oh, you guys still live here?" I had NO idea who she was.

Barb said...

I remember the people I don't want to forget - otherwise just smile and say, "How are you?. Hope you're having a restful weekend Anita. See - I remember YOU!

Rebecca S. said...

I'm very good with faces, but not with names. Instead of bumbling about trying to make up for my memory failure, I usually say, "I'm so sorry. I'm terrible with names, and I've forgotten yours."
It sort of saves the situation!