Author Topic: "Who am I?"  (Read 5102 times)

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gellchom

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"Who am I?"
« on: May 07, 2013, 02:57:53 PM »
It happened again the other night at a party.  This just drives me up the wall.

A woman came up to me at a party and said, "Do you remember me?  Who am I?" and then stood there waiting for an answer.

I dimly recognized her, and I had a pretty good idea about who she was (a friend of a friend whom I've met a couple of times when she came to our town for family events; my husband had mentioned the day before that "that friend of Durwood's who's Lulu's aunt" would be in town this weekend), but it didn't bubble up to the surface fast enough.  I certainly don't remember her name.  (I bet she didn't remember mine, either -- I'm probably just "Durwood's friend" to her, too, which is fine.)  I managed to get out of it fairly gracefully somehow.

What is the point of that question?  Haven't they ever been in that situation themselves?  Why would they do that to someone?  Yeesh. 

I hate hate hate when people do this.  I used to joke that if I ever had a huge pile of money, I'd fund a foundation to stamp out the practice. 

What do you say when people say that to you?  (If no one ever has, lucky you, and I sincerely wish no one ever will.)  All I can think of is "Oh, PLEASE don't do that to me!" or on a bad day, "Yes, I remember you -- you're one of those jerks who loves to put people on the spot and embarrass them by forcing them to insult you."  No, I'd never say that!  But I'm stumped for a polite answer.

Piratelvr1121

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Re: "Who am I?"
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2013, 03:03:23 PM »
"Captain Jack Sparrow? My that's some disguise! You've outdone yourself!"

Seriously though, I don't like this either.  Especially when they say "Oh I haven't seen you since you were about this big! I------I"

And you expect me to remember you...how?  Though to that kind of response SnarkyPirate would be tempted to say "Nope, but maybe with some hypnosis I'll be able to unearth the repressed memory."  >:D



Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

daen

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Re: "Who am I?"
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2013, 03:03:51 PM »
"No, but I'm horrible with faces - it's a curse."

Or, to the crowd at large, "Excuse me, we have a lady over here who has forgotten her identity. Can anyone help her?"  >:D Tempting, but no.

I'm reminded of a story a friend of mine told. He had been interning in a church for the summer, and a few weeks in, a lady came up to him after the service and said, "Do you remember me?"
He didn't, but he glanced down and saw that she was carrying a Bible with her name embossed on the cover. Unfortunately, her hand was obscuring part of the print. So he said, "I'm not sure of your surname, but I'm pretty sure your first name is Elizabeth."
She was charmed. And I was impressed at his ability to think on his feet.

<<edited because I finally remembered the word "surname.">>
« Last Edit: May 07, 2013, 03:25:07 PM by daen »

MrTango

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Re: "Who am I?"
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2013, 03:06:31 PM »
First of all: Wow...what a ridiculous way to treat someone. (Her putting you on the spot like that).

My response would have been: "You mean you don't remember?" [dramatic music starts] "You must have" [Pause that would make William Shatner cringe] "AMNESIA!" [dramatic music swells].

lowspark

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Re: "Who am I?"
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2013, 03:10:45 PM »
I'm just honest. I have a terrible memory for names anyway, plus, due to my personality (I stand out!) a lot of people know who I am whereas I don't always know them beyond their face being familiar (if that). So, just something like, "Oh sorry, I know that I know you but I can't place you." To be honest, I'm not that worried about hurting someone's feelings if they are not worried about putting me on the spot so it's just an attempt to be polite as opposed to trying to figure out how not to admit I don't know who they are.

Thinking about it, that exact thing doesn't happen to me all that often. It's usually more a case of someone talking to me and assuming that I know who they are. In that case, I will say something like "Please remind me what your name is" and comment on how I'm terrible with names (and often they don't remember mine either so we're in the same boat). But of course, that situation isn't what you're asking about, eh?

Kiara

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Re: "Who am I?"
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2013, 03:15:32 PM »
"You're Jean Valjean!"

No?

rose red

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Re: "Who am I?"
« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2013, 03:18:06 PM »
I know what I want to say >:D, but I go with "Sorry, I don't remember you.  Let's get reintroduced."

sweetonsno

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Re: "Who am I?"
« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2013, 03:19:37 PM »
I love, love, LOVE all of these creative and lighthearted responses that everyone has been coming up with. (Filing them away for later.)

I think it's odd for someone to ask (demand) that you tell them who they are in relation to you. However, I don't really object to "Do you remember me?" as an introduction. There's something very unsettling about having someone who you don't know know you.

The polite response, I think, is a short apology and admission that you don't remember them.

Thipu1

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Re: "Who am I?"
« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2013, 03:35:54 PM »
Librarians get this all the time.  A person may have spent a half-hour at the Library in September of 1989 to get an answer to a long-standing question.  No one else could help but we found the answer he needed in 20 minutes. 

We made a much larger impression on his mind that he did on ours.  For him, we performed an amazing piece of research.  for us, it was all in a day's work.  He remembers us and thinks we should remember him. It doesn't always work that way.

The best thing you can do when faced with a situation like this is to frankly admit you remember the face but not the name.   


nuit93

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Re: "Who am I?"
« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2013, 03:42:39 PM »
"2...4...6...0...1!!!!!!" with dramatic flair.

bansidhe

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Re: "Who am I?"
« Reply #10 on: May 07, 2013, 03:51:55 PM »
The best thing you can do when faced with a situation like this is to frankly admit you remember the face but not the name.   

Unless you're like me. I remember names quite well - even difficult ones - but I have a very tough time recognizing people. After some years of embarrassing situations, I've taken to explaining to people that I've got a fairly substantial degree of face blindness and asking them to either tell me their name or give me a clue about how I know them. That usually gives me enough information to come up with a name so at least the person knows I haven't entirely forgotten who they are.
Esan ozenki!

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DottyG

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Re: "Who am I?"
« Reply #11 on: May 07, 2013, 04:06:13 PM »
Quote
"You're Jean Valjean!"

:)


heartmug

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Re: "Who am I?"
« Reply #12 on: May 07, 2013, 04:10:03 PM »
"No, but I'm horrible with faces - it's a curse."

Or, to the crowd at large, "Excuse me, we have a lady over here who has forgotten her identity. Can anyone help her?"  >:D Tempting, but no.


LOL!  Sooooo tempting.
The trouble is not that the world is full of fools, it's just that lightening isn't distributed right.  - Mark Twain

Outdoor Girl

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Re: "Who am I?"
« Reply #13 on: May 07, 2013, 04:13:24 PM »
I always get thrown when I meet someone out of context.  Like running into the receptionist at your dentist office in the grocery store.  I know I recognize her but I can't figure out from where because the context is completely different.

The other issue I have is that my parents were well known in their relatively small town - My Dad is a retired teacher, my Mom was a home care nurse.  Mom was very active in various volunteer pursuits and my Dad still is, despite turning 79 in a few weeks.  So a lot of people know who I am but I have very little clue who they are.  And to make matters worse, my Dad has a terrible memory for names and faces.  It isn't unusual for us to be out together somewhere, have someone come up to us, greet us both by name and stand there having a conversation.  After they've walked away, one of us usually whispers to the other, 'Who was that?' and the other replies, 'I have no idea.  I was hoping you knew.'

So yes, I do hate the 'Do you know who I am?' line.  I want to do the 'This person can't remember who they are; can anyone help them?' thing but I don't.  I usually go with something like, 'I'm sorry, I just can't place you.  Remind me, please?'
I have CDO.  It is like OCD but with the letters in alphabetical order, as they should be.
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Margo

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Re: "Who am I?"
« Reply #14 on: May 07, 2013, 04:16:36 PM »
I've never had anyone ask me who they are - i agree it's a really rude thing to do, as it puts you on the spot. I also have face blindness, and I do normally tell people when I meet them, and explain that if I seem to ignore them, I'm not being deliberately rude.

Because it is so hard for me, I am always *really* impressed with those who can recognise and remember people.