I graduated from high school in 1987 ... that was exactly 20 years ago this month. Now, I could write an entire post about what that fact means ... how old that fact makes me feel ... oh, there's an entire blog encapsulated in that two digit number.
But I only bring it up because, common ... twenty years is a long time ... and because I think it explains something that happened yesterday.
On Saturday, (my ex-husband) and I went out and had a nice day. You know how life is ... on a typical weekday there's a thousand little stresses that you balance throughout the course of a day. Well, yesterday was an oasis in a week full those stresses.
So, we stopped by a department store to pick up a new shirt for (my ex-husband) ... and, while checking out, I noticed that the woman behind the register looked familiar. Sure enough she said, "Wow, I haven't seen you in years ..." And here is where I made my fatal mistake ... I tried to guess her name.
"Well, hi there, Mary ... Julie ... Robin ... ummm." I had a better chance at curing cancer at that moment than at guessing her name. It's not that I didn't know her in high school ... we rode on the same bus for two years. I knew who she was ... I just couldn't remember her name.
At this point, she could've been gracious ... could've made the situation a little less awkward ... but the gaping hole in my memory obviously offended her. She let me dangle ... simply offering a "no" after every wrong name I blurted out. Finally, (my ex-husband) ... who should immediately be named ambassador because he's a fucking diplomat ... stepped into the conversation.
He smiled, laughed, and said, "Don't take it personally. She has no short-term memory. I'm lucky if she remembers my name." The tension broke ... she laughed ... and told me her name. And, of course, I had one of those "duh" moments ...
But for the record, I would've never guessed the correct name ... I would've guessed Rumpelstiltskin's moniker before I got around to hers. And why is that so wrong? It was twenty years ago.
I'm sure we'd all like to believe that we make such a memorable impression that everyone we will ever meet will speak our name in their dying breath ... but it's just not possible. And the older I get, I suspect it will become even more improbable ...
But, like the kids in South Park, I learned something today. I'm going to take my cue from George Bush ... and everyone I meet is going to be "buddy" or "chick." It's either that ... or spend the next week memorizing pictures in my old yearbooks.
So, given those two choices ... have a great week, buddy!
Say my name
You actin' kinda shady
Ain't callin' me baby
Better say my name
Destiny's Child - Say My Name