Monday, June 02, 2008

What's In a Name?

(The author would like to extend a heartfelt thanks to Amanda for inspiring this blog.)


I've always prided myself on learning names and using them pretty much every time I see a person. Maybe it's because when I have a conversation with someone I've met recently (or even if I haven't) and they don't use my name, I wonder if they've forgotten it what with all the important things to remember these days. I certainly don't want people to think I've forgotten their name, so I make it a point to use theirs during the conversation or in passing. Then again, what's in a name, after all? Why does that give me validation? I'm not sure. But for now, I'll keep on memorizing and using names until I figure it out. It can't hurt, right? Well, it might take up more brain space that I could be using to memorize acoustical formulas and Spanish vocabulary, but whatev. I like it.

Yesterday I was completely and utterly put in my place with regard to this whole name thing. Let me explain. Becca, Jordan, and I were riding up to the family's when we passed a couple people on the sidewalk, out to enjoy the Sunday afternoon weather, I suppose. I glanced over as I rode past, and one of the people said, "Hi Suzy!" I did a double take (or as close to one as you can do on a bike without crashing), expecting to see a friend from high school or some other familiar face...but no. I had no clue who that guy was! Let alone know his name. So I did the dreaded of dreadeds--said a confused "Hello" and rode on.

The funny thing is that I've done that so many times to other people--hi + name--in passing, and cracked up as soon as I passed them, their shocked, surprised, and confused faces imprinted in my mind. It's kinda fun. To be on the laughing end, that is. I definitely do NOT like being on the shocked, surprised, and confused end. Which is why I am so perturbed at this moment.

Which reminds me. Who the heck was that guy? In my ward maybe? How about one of my classes, past or present? He looked kind of like a guy in my D&C class that I've never before spoken to, but how in the world did he know my name? (And I know for a fact I've never introduced myself to, let alone talked to, the D&C boy.) Did he work at Brick Oven? A friend of one of my siblings? No, no, no, no, and no.

After much pondering, I have realized that the answer to my perplexing dilemma is this: we're both just having déjà vu from the premortal. Of course! Why didn't I see it before.

7 comments:

Kimberly said...

I've seen that smile somewhere before . . .

amanda said...

Was he cute? Maybe you can use that premortal deja vu for good! :) Thanks for the shout out. Hope classes are well. Ich liebe dich!

janel said...

I don't think it's a pride complex--your feeling validated by knowing people's names. I think it's more that you recognize the important (even though small) service you're trying to show people--by actually remembering them, and treating your meeting of them as something more significant than an encounter with one more fish in the ocean. You're telling them they are important enough to spend one (or more) brain cells worth of energy on. If there do, indeed, exist brain cells worth of energy. May you find Mr. Right again. And may he BE Mr. Right!

janel said...

Also, being seen bike riding is not the worst way you could be noticed...keep us posted.

Camille said...

I completely agree! It's so troubling when people say hi to you and you can't figure out who they are. There are people to this day from a year or more ago who said hi to me with my name and I haven't the foggiest

Danielle said...

How weird, I was going to say the exact same thing as Kim! And you come by it honestly- how many profs besides Dad work that hard just to memorize names? I also find it very satisfying to remember names.

L. said...

Like father, like daughter . . . two of my favorite people! --Mom