Awkward Conversational Pratfall
I know alot of people say they're bad with names-- but I'm simply awful. Because my default position when introduced to anyone is, 'I'm never gonna remember that person's name so I'm better off just sticking with not knowing.' It's actually less risk to just go around knowing no names at all. That way you can't get burned with a misintroduction or something.
Anyway, the other day I was walking around with Roscoe and I bumped into this dude who I've seen at dog park a bunch of times and probably have spoken with him 4-5x total. He has the same kind of dog as I do etc. His wife was with him and all that. He knew my name. I didn't know his name-- but I had the security blanket of remembering what he did for a living. He writes children books. Our last brief conversation which was probably 8 months ago and I told him he'd have to sign one of his book for my niece and all that.
Whatever. I'm chatting it up with him and his wife about dogs and street stuff or whatever. A really nice conversation. Laughing it up for like ten minutes! His wife was nice too. I was like, 'Look at me! I'm like making actual friends! New friends! I'm gonna be friends with the children's book guy and wife!' I was proud of myself for being outgoing and funny. At the end of the conversation I said to him, 'By the way, you gotta swing by one day and sign a book for my niece!'
All good humor stopped.
After a pause he was like, 'Why...?'
As soon as he said, 'Why?' I knew I wasn't talking to children's book guy! Children's book people don't say 'Why?' when people ask them to sign a book! My brain turned like a Rubix Cube until I lined up another side. Immediately I was flooded with conversational memories of the person I was talking to. Duh! Not children's book guy! Of course! That's the other guy! And in that split second of massive embarrassment and awkwardnicty I scrambled for a plausible way out of my weirdo question.
I checked off the possibilities...
1. Just be honest! Tell him you make a mistake and thought he was someone else! (Wrong!! Gone too far for that! That would be smart and easy and mildly insulting! Next!)
2. Tell him you didn't say Sign a book... You said, 'Mime... a rook...' (Wrong! Mime/chess lies never sell!)
3. Say something stupid to make yourself look crazy and just write it off...
After a good two-second silence I mumbled, 'I'm... I'm... working on a... new project.'
He gave me the, 'I see. This guy is crazy, honey.' nod. And I could psychically feel him and his wife fold up their friendship invitation and file it away in her back pocket. I mean, what kind of project is it where you need random dude on the street to 'Sign a book for your niece...'?
I said my goodbyes and wandered off slapping myself in the forehead repeating my mantra. 'Ohhmmmm..... Whenn not sure don't assummmme! Ohmmm.....Whenn not sure don't assummmme!'
PS. Yes, I realize my problem with name memory is rooted in me being a bit of a self-centered jerk...----------------------------------------------