Don’t play the name game

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Mary Robertson (graphic)

Mary Robertson (graphic)

So I forgot your name. Is it really that big of a deal?

I mean the first time we met at Jackie’s party—let’s face it—we were both drunk. I’m surprised that you even remembered my name. It looked like you had gone a little overboard on the peach schnapps.

It’s not like I don’t remember who you are. You wore that US Postal Service uniform that I never learned the backstory to. See? I remember things. We also had that epic conversation about who would win in a fight: Batman just after seeing his parents die or Superman with kryptonite right next to him.

Hell, I don’t even think we exchanged names that night. I think you left the party right before Stu brought out the karaoke machine but after that one girl projectile-vomited into the beer pong cups.

See, again, I’m usually great at details.

So when the school semester started two weeks later and you ended up sitting next to me in a psychology class, I thought, “Great! It is nice to see his familiar face.” But between listening in on the professor and me having to go straight to the next class, I didn’t have time to ask you your name.

By the next week in class, it was obvious that you knew my name, so it felt weird to ask you your name. I was hoping that you would introduce yourself to the person sitting next you, but that never happened. So instead I kept on referring to you as “you,” like “Hey, you! How are you doing?” or “Do you have any plans for the weekend?”

I tried to emphasize the “you,” as trying to unconsciously say, “Hey, I don’t remember your name. I thought you might notice it since I always call you a ‘you.’”

As soon as I saw you downtown while I was hanging out with a friend, I knew it would be bad news bears. I knew I had to introduce you. I really didn’t want a long awkward moment, so I just went right out and said it: “Shit, I’m sorry. I forgot your name.”

You laughed as if it was a joke, but your smile soon faded and your eyes showed signs of disappointment. You said your name, and we had a brief conversation; all the while, you just stared at me. You didn’t even say goodbye when we parted ways.

When I went to class the next day, you sat three rows directly behind me instead of to the right of me like old times. I could feel your icy stare once again on the back of my neck. And when class ended, you ran right in front of me, as if cutting me off, and said “Guess I’m not that memorable, huh?” and walked away. You never came to class again.

Thousands of people have done the same thing as me, and will continue to do so. Yet you had the balls to blame me as though I had just murdered your family. I’m sorry, but thank you for making an awkward moment even more awkward. Worst of all, if I ever see you again, I will still have no idea what your name is.

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