Padraig. Maire. Mairead. Sinead. Siobhan. Luisne. Nora. Deborah. Tony. Traolach. Donal.
These are just a few of the names of folks we know around here.
I’ve noticed since we’ve been here people always greet me using my first name.
This has both made me smile, and unnerved me.
It made me smile because I felt special; the fact that they remembered who I was.
Unnerved me because chances were I couldn’t remember their name, and I was embarrassed.
You see, I’ve always been truly horrible at remembering names. I’m the queen of greeting you without using your name, but making you feel like I remember. Usually using some sort of cute nickname when I say hello.
I hadn’t paid this too much conscious mind, though, until recently when I heard the DJ’s of my favorite morning radio show talking about this very thing.
They were talking about what to do when A) Someone calls you by the wrong name, and B) You can’t remember someone’s name you’ve known for ages. One DJ offered up to just be bubbly and say, “Hiya!” However, the other DJ’s in the booth were indignant at this notion.
That’s when I really started paying attention. Sure enough, just about everyone I pass in the school, at the shop, wherever uses my first name every time they greet me.
You guys, there are people we have known or had contact with the entire three and a half years we have been here and I still cannot for the life of me remember their name!! Suddenly I was mortified that I had been unconsciously committing what I now know to be quite the large social faux pas.
Now, I’m stuck in this crazy limbo land where I know I need to start using people’s names when I say hello…but I can’t remember so many of them!! And after 3 1/2 years, how do I ask?
Curse this foggy memory of mine. Of course, it doesn’t help that so many people have the same name, or a version of it. Take the name Mary. We know I don’t know how many Maire’s (the Irish form of Mary), Mairin’s (Maureen), Mairead’s (pronounced either MAH-rad, MAW-red, or muh-RAID, depending on who you ask)…sometimes its hard to keep them straight. And so then, at times I think I have an idea of the person’s name, but doubt stops me at the last second, terrifying me that I’m about to say the wrong name. Still not sure which evil is the lesser…
But, I’m not going to make excuses. I’m doing my best now to use the names that I know, and to find out the ones I can’t keep straight. And remember them.
So, what’s your best mnemonic device for names? And what do you do when you can’t remember someone’s name you’ve known for ages?
I’m linking up with The Better Mom