Even as a very young child, my mother always seemed to get us confused. Well, maybe not us but certainly our names.
“Da… Ton… FADRA!!!”
She’d go through abbreviated versions of all four of her children until she happened to land on the right one. We joked about it. We thought it was funny, and probably certainly indicative of a mother losing her mind due to age or simply sheer volume of children.
Still, I’d wonder how she could get our names so confused. We didn’t have similar names like Sandy and Randy or Jimmy and Janie. We all had unusual names.
Dana, the oldest son.
Tonya, the oldest daughter.
Fadra, that’s me.
Aaron, the baby brother.
Don’t even get me started on middle names. But perhaps the problem was that we had four children and at any given time, up to four dogs and seven cats. That’s a lot of names to remember. And since I stuck with a nice neat family of three, in theory, I should never have this problem.
Oh, but I do.
My son EVAN often becomes Aaron (my brother) or Emma (the dog).
Yes. I did just say that I confuse my son and my dog.
My dog Roscoe becomes Holden (my departed dog who reminds me so much of him). My dog Emma becomes Evan (turnabout is fair play).
About the only name I ever seem to get right is my husband, Sean, and that’s probably because I call him Honey most of the time.
My memory is shot. It started going when I was pregnant and continued into motherhood. Now I think it continues to fade from simply being a mother and having to remember all those motherly things. Or from the wine that I drink because of all those motherly things. Or let’s face it. I’m getting older. Maybe my brain is just full.
I have the hardest time remembering names and sometimes even people, in general. Normally I can cover for my bad memory by faking it (I was a theater minor in college) or using contextual clues. If my husband’s with me, we have a spoken deal about how to help each other out. We see someone that one of us knows but can’t-for-the-life-of-me remember their name.
We say our hello and then I immediately extend my hand, “Hi, I’m Fadra. I’m Sean’s wife.” In response, the unnamed person will then reach out their hand and introduce themselves to me sparing my husband the awkwardness of trying to remember their name.
He’ll do the same for me as long as I remind him.
But when I go to blogging conferences, it’s not always as easy. I usually encounter hundreds of women that I may or may not have met in person before. And I may or may not have met online. And if I have met online, I might only know them from a teeny tiny avatar picture that was perhaps taken 10 years ago. And I might only know them by some Twitter handle that really doesn’t have much of a place in real, personal introductions.
(Oh, who am I kidding? Twitter handles are TOTALLY relevant in introductions at blogging conferences)
The worst part is the guilt I feel. I don’t want anyone to feel like they were unmemorable if I have in fact met them and just don’t remember. So I do fake it. And then I usually check them out on Twitter or Facebook and the bells whistle and I eventually remember them. Or not.
At the BlissDom conference last year, I famously confused my new friends Kim (@PrairieMama) and Rachel (@SthrnFairytale). And then when I attend the Type-A Parent conference, I did it again with friends I’ve known much longer, Kelly (@KPugs) and Catherine (@evolvingmommy) who wasn’t even in attendance.
I make plenty of social mistakes. I’ve been in my neighborhood almost a year and I think I’ve finally learned everyone’s names. It certainly doesn’t mean I remember their occupations or who they’re married too. I’ll save that for next year.
So my apologies to my son, my pets, my mother (because I understand it all now), my friends, my neighbors, and pretty much whoever else may happen to cross my path anytime soon or in Dallas this week.
You are all special to me. You may just have to remind me how special from time to time.