Saturday, August 1, 2009


I'm not very good at remembering names. When I'm introduced to someone, unusually for a woman I can't concentrate on a firm handshake (there's nothing worse than someone putting a limp fish in your hand - tells you so much about a person don't you think?), looking them in the eye (in France eye contact is very important - especially when clinking glasses) and take in their name all at the same time - so inevitably something has to give and it's usually the latter. As a result, when BB refers to people in the village, their various distinctions are listed in parenthesis. For example:

BB: Met so-and-so in the post office this morning.

BC: Who?

BB: (The man with the eye).

BC: Ah! Gotcha.


BB: Saw so-and-so round at Mini-B's.

BC: Who?

BB: (The woman with the beard).

BC: Ah! Gotcha.

A veritable plethora of parentheses descended upon us this afternoon and judging by the way they wobbled down the grassy slope to our patio, they had been staring at each other, gimlet-eyed, and clinking glasses well before the apéro hour. There was: (the man with the comb-over), (the man who lives in a cave), (the woman who jumped out of a window), (micro-short man), (the knitter) and Mini-B - no parenthesis needed. Who needs telly when you're living in the midst of a real life soap opera?

P.S. All the rafters are on the roof now - as you can see from the photo.


Di Overton said...

I have never been good with names and use descriptions as you do. At least it means we haven't totally lost our memories if we can remember the quirky things about people :)

Kathie said...

To combat this same deficiency, I always say the person's name while we're being introduced, then repeat it at the end of our conversation when saying "Goodbye."

If I encounter someone again but can't recall his/her name, I apologize profusely and say, "I'm so sorry. I recognize your face but I'm afraid your name has eluded me for the moment. Please tell me your name again, so I can remember it next time we meet." This generally flatters the person into feeling that s/he matters that much to me, while getting me off the hook for my lousy memory!

Janet said...

I know what you mean. I'm very bad at names. I can remember everything we talked about except the person's name. It's a bad habit of mine and one I need to work on. I'm just glad I'm not the only one out there. Thanks!