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Author Topic: "Who am I?"  (Read 14669 times)

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Re: "Who am I?"
« Reply #30 on: May 09, 2013, 10:27:05 AM »
I have used the "Now, I know I know you, but I am horrible with names!" and that seems to work. It hits both that I recognize them (ego) and I have flaws and they can feel superior for remembering my name when I can't remember theirs, which glosses over the whole I really don't remember them part of my statement...
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Re: "Who am I?"
« Reply #31 on: May 09, 2013, 12:16:08 PM »
It is a pretty rude thing to do.  I think the correct thing is probably to say yes, but I'm terribly sorry that I've forgotten you name.  I'd be tempted to say yes, you embarrassed me like this the last time we met too. 

If I recall, gellchom, you are a rabbi's wife, which makes it even more awkward since you probably meet a lot of people in the congregation at the same time.  From their point of view, it's easy to remember who you are because of your role, so you can't even turn the question back to them.


Actually, he's a cantor, not a rabbi, but exactly the same situation.  And it's a very large congregation, and of course not everyone attends services and other events as much as others.  So I often find myself not knowing names I probably should, in addition to zillions that I couldn't reasonably be expected to.  I hope they don't realize!

But to be fair, this "who am I?" bit doesn't seem to come from congregants.  It's not even always older people.  I simply cannot fathom why anyone would do this.  But it's happened to me several times over the years, both when I was a kid and now, too. 

Do you suppose that the people who pull this tell themselves, "It's their own fault if they're embarrassed; they should remember me"?  I don't think they stop and consider that the person is a whole lot less likely to be thinking, "Oh, I'm so awful for not remembering this lovely person" than "!!%&$! you for putting me on the spot like this!"

Out of context is usually the problem, I agree.  And when it's only out of context for one person, that's doubly unfair!  I mean, if you run into your dentist at the supermarket, it's equally out of context for both of you.  But take this lady I wrote about.  I only know her at all because of a mutual friend in Israel.  She was in last week from Florida for a bat mitzvah.  Now, when she comes here, I'm one of the few people she knows in this city, and she knows I'm the cantor's wife, so she expects to see me at this synagogue.  But I'm not expecting to see her.  So I'm at a real disadvantage, because she could be anyone I've ever met, from anywhere -- if I had done it to her, she'd only have to go through at most a dozen names of women she knows, but only slightly, in this city.

I think I once posted about a time I was talking to some congregant's relative from out of town who said she had been here for "the bar mitzvah."  THE bar mitzvah?!  We've been here almost 31 years, and there are up to 50 in a year.  So, from her point of view, having only been here once, "the" -- but how could she possibly expect me to know what she meant?

I admit I'm not as good with names or faces as I'd like to be.  But I think that this is just mean -- forcing me to insult them if I can't immediately remember.  DavidH, I'll never say it aloud, but your response of "I'd be tempted to say yes, you embarrassed me like this the last time we met too" is just what I'll think inside to make myself feel a bit better!


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Re: "Who am I?"
« Reply #32 on: May 10, 2013, 12:38:20 PM »
I get the "Do you remember who I am?"

I always think, "If you thought there was the tiniest likelihood that I might forget, why didn't you just remind me from the get-go?"


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Re: "Who am I?"
« Reply #33 on: May 10, 2013, 03:42:19 PM »
Face Blindness!! Now I have a name for what I have. I just pictured large gaps in my brain, like swiss cheese, where those connections should be.

I can see someone 4 or 5 times, and then not recognize them the next time I see them. It is VERY embarrassing.

I am not completely face blind - I just figured out in my thirties that I must be a born dressmaker.

I spent several years "recognizing" people by their clothes (when your head is at or only slightly above the level of their belt buckle, you don't get a good look at people's faces).  About age nine or ten, I got tall enough that I wasn't craning my neck at a 90 degree angle backwards to see adult faces - but I was so near-sighted that clothes were easier to see from a long as not every guy at church wore a navy blue suit with a red tie.....then I got glasses at age ten. 

And I was lazy enough that I still looked at clothes first, then height, hair color, etc. and faces LAST - because they still didn't come into clear focus until I was fairly close.  By then, people with normal vision were already talking to me and calling me by name - so I had to try to figure out who they were BEFORE I could see their face!  As I got older and my glasses prescription got updated more often, it got easier to see things and I got better at faces.....but it is still easy to fall back into old habits sometimes, in a large crowd and remember that Second-Cousin-Twice-Removed Hattie (who played the piano at the wedding of my Mom & Dad) is wearing a light blue dress with blue & white flowers printed on it and has light blue hair (she was eighty the last time I saw her) and First-Cousin-Three-Times-Removed Franny is wearing a blue dress with red & white flowers on it and has silvery white hair.  And Great-Aunt Ginnie (who was a nurse in WWII in the Waves & married Grandpa's brother) is wearing a gray dress.  Or something like that......because at 80-something, they are all white haired, wearing similar glasses, and are shorter than they were the last time I saw them at a family reunion eighteen years ago.  Heck - I have more gray hairs than I did back then and my then-ten-year-old DD is now married, working, and has a kid of her own (And isn't free to come to the reunion!)
Let sleeping dragons be.......morning breath......need I explain?


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Re: "Who am I?"
« Reply #34 on: May 11, 2013, 01:57:12 PM »
It's rude to put people on the spot like that.  They would get an "I don't know who you are, my name is ________ from me.  If they kept on about remembering them from some random past event they would get the "Sorry but I absolutely do not remember you, if I did remember you I would have said so."
Always be polite, even to nasty people. Not because they are nice, but because you are.