Tuesday, April 24, 2007

As Far As I'm Concerned, It IS You

Please, don't make this difficult.
No, please, with the attitude.
Don't make this a racial-thing.
Don't try and make me out to be a snob.

In this case, it's not me, it is you. Yeah, you.

It happened again the other day. Someone was hurt, someone took offense...all because I didn't remember who they were.

You, not "you," know what I'm talking about. You are out somewhere, doing something and you accidentally make eye contact with someone. They can see it in your eyes that you can't quite recall who they are and they get offended like you've just run over their favorite aunt...backed up and ran her over again. Jeez, you wouldn't give Dubya that look, why do you have to dump that on me?

What I always want to do in that situation (though somehow I never get to) is to take three of the most disparate people I can find, and line them up. Three of the most diverse people, racialy and physically that happen to be on hand, and then line the offended person next to them. I'd then say, "look...you know what you all have in common? You all look alike, you are people I don't know." Then I'd just walk away.

I know that sounds cruel and that my empathy meter bottomed out, but:

A) I've attended eight different schools since kindergarten, that includes three different high schools that were some fifty miles apart.
B) During my three plus years in the grocery business, I worked six different stores in six different towns to get my minimum of weekly hours.
C) At the company I'm working for now, I've worked with some three thousand different people and have met conservatively, over five-hundred people.
D) I've lived in four cities around the World.
E) The Missus has worked four different jobs and a busload of temp jobs since I've known her. That's over a dozen Christmas parties and just because somehow you remember grabbing my ass after your fourth gin and tonic, doesn't mean I want to remember you.

Maybe we had a life-changing conversation on the streetcar over transcendental meditation or who makes the best hamburger...cool. That doesn't mean that out of the sea of people that I've swam across, that I can distinguish you.

I certainly feel some sadness when someone that I remember fondly, has no idea who I am. Yet, if you don't make the effort to remind me who you are, you don't get the right to give me the evil eye or the finger. Of the fifty states in America, the only one where I wouldn't stick out is Hawaii. Don't get me started on countries.

So please, introduce or contextualize yourself. Otherwise? It is you and it's not me.

9 Comments:

Blogger Chris said...

Excellent post!

Tue Apr 24, 07:27:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Coaster Punchman said...

Dear Write, it would help you to get into the great habit of saying "hi, how have you been?" when someone acts like they know you. Then you can engage in small talk for a few minutes until a) they say something that clues you in and jogs your memory, or b) you have enough info to ask follow up questions as if you're having a real conversation and that you give a shit. I do it all the time. Works wonders at family reunions, especially.

Tue Apr 24, 08:37:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Writeprocrastinator said...

Chris,

Thanks.

Coaster,

Good advice and I will genuinely take it heart, as what I've been doing has been painful, for all parties involved.

A big problem for me is that I'm an introvert and the only reason why I'm out of my shell at all, is that parents have to interact with each other at school functions.

It gets weird though when I'm at work at someone nods to me and I nod back. Then after several uncomfortable seconds, they get angry. This happened Sunday night and while I wasn't exactly making an effort, I don't feel like what I did merited the look that was cast my way.

Tue Apr 24, 11:06:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Amy said...

It was only one gin and tonic... and I can't believe you don't remember me. I'm crushed.

Really, though, I'm usually pretty impressed when anyone remembers me. It's fine with me if they don't. It pisses me off when they pretend they do, but clearly they don't. I prefer honesty.

And what CP said.

Tue Apr 24, 12:05:00 PM PDT  
Blogger BeckEye said...

I only get mad when men I've made out with don't remember me. Like, the night before seeing them again.

Tue Apr 24, 03:25:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Writeprocrastinator said...

Amy,

"It was only one gin and tonic... and I can't believe you don't remember me. I'm crushed."

Heh-heh-heh, I didn't recognize you without the gum bubble or Bogey. I agree, I'd be angry too if someone was faking it for an entire conversation at a party.

Becka,

Do like the Missus, a well-placed tap with a Circulon wok will get their attention for life.

Tue Apr 24, 08:39:00 PM PDT  
Blogger "jew" "girl" said...

so damn true. I can't remember names to save my life. I have to say the name three times before it sinks in.

it makes me crazy when people get upset becuase you can't remember them or their name. with so much to remember in life, build a bridge and get over it! so you remind the person, is that such a crime?

argh!

great post, wpeaser :)

Fri Apr 27, 11:12:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Writeprocrastinator said...

Katie-lah,

You should've seen the offended party after the evil eye. I could've swore I heard a "hummph" straight out of a cartoon.

Sat Apr 28, 12:02:00 PM PDT  
Blogger angel said...

bravo! oh bravo!
pity its so long, it would be spectacular on a t-shirt!

Sun Apr 29, 01:21:00 PM PDT  

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