Names

“Say my name, say my name…” - Destiny’s Child

“I don’t know it.”
- Me

I cant remember peoples names and it makes me feel like an asshole. And its not because Im worried people will think I dont care about them — because I dont. Thats no secret. Its for practical reasons — like when Im sitting next to someone and I need them to pass me that thing over there. If I knew their name I wouldnt have to stare at them for four straight minutes like a psychopath until they finally look up at me. “Can I borrow a pen?

When I run into someone on the street whose name I cant remember, I dont listen to a goddamn word they say. I just stare at their heads for the entire conversation and run through the alphabet. Fuck the alphabet.

What I really love is when Im talking to one person whose name I dont know and another person whose name I dont know comes over to say hi. So happy to see you! And now Im like fuckin Friendster and I’m supposed to introduce these idiots.

I usually just say, HEY! You know and then HOPE TO GOD one of them will cut me off before I finish speaking and fill in the blank with their name. Then I act surprised, apologize and pretend that I thought they knew each other even though we all know I’m completely full of shit.

But this time that didnt happen. Instead, after about three beats of intense awkward silence, I had to finish my sentence. So I just made up a name. I went with An-ge-la.

She goes, Who the FUCK is Angela? I’m Michelle. And why the fuck are you introducing me to the guy I live with? Hes my boyfriend, you idiot.

I wish people wore name tags. Would that be so bad? The janitors do it and theyre the dumbest people on the planet. People are more responsive when you know their names. Instead of saying, Hey, YOU, get on your goddamn hands and knees and clean up that puke right now. The principal can say, Carl, get on your goddamn hands and knees…etc. What do you think Carl is more likely to respond to? If you said both, youre right because Carls not gonna risk violating his parole again with another one of his angry outbursts. He knows if he does hes going right back to the hole.

I like the people who have the balls to call you on it:

Whatup, Steve? You remember me?
Yeah. (lie) Of I course I do!
Whats my name?

Motherfucker. I have no idea. I had no other choice but to use my secret weapon – reverse psychology people used to use it on me all the time when I was one.

Hey everyone, this guy doesnt know his own name!
Haha, funny – what’s my name?

Seriously? Why are you doing this to me? Please stop. But at the same time, why cant I just get myself to admit that I dont know it? If I could do that this would all be over. BUT I CANT! Finally he told me. So I go, “I know, dude.” Another lie.

The best feeling in the world though is KNOWING someones name. When I know someones name I use the shit out of it. Hey JAY! Hows it going JAY? This is Jay everybody! Oh, JAY thats a funny story. Do you know Jay? Jay, Jay, Jay!

But that doesnt happen very often. There are so many places I go to on a regular basis where I should know peoples names but definitely dont. Ive been going to the same gym for years and – even though I’ve talked to tons of people – I dont know anyone. Now I wear headphones from the moment I get out of my car to the moment I get back in it. Im constantly wearing headphones. Even when my ipods dead. I listen to nothing. And if somebody starts walking towards me I bob my head like I’m jamming out. Jamming out to nothing. Sometimes people come up to me to tell that my headphones arent connected to anything and then they show me the cord. I usually have no response to that.

I go to the same Starbucks everyday. The girl who works at the counter always remembers my name (which makes me feel good like Im the president of my own company) but I have no clue what her name is (which makes her feel bad like she works at Starbucks). Ive never even bothered to ask her. I guess its because shes just a stupid machine to me.

There’s a woman thats been living above me for over two years whos super loud. It sounds like she has hooves. Shes like a Minotaur or something. She loves to dance and blow on that wood flute thing while she weaves wild tales about Dionysus or whatever. Anyway about once a week when she gets too loud I bang my broomstick against the ceiling and shout, SHUT THE FUCK UP MINOTAUR! And she does. The following morning we’ll say hello to each other as if nothing ever happened. I wish I knew her name. Minotaur is such a long word to shout.

Does anybody know who my mailman is? How about my dry cleaner whose been scrubbing the cum stains off my pants for the last 5 years?

So what do we do, other than study Facebook everyday before you leave the house? I’m glad you asked. Ive developed a foolproof way to figure out someones name no matter where you are.

As the person you don’t remember approaches you call your best friend. Once the person gets there just hand them your phone. Chances are your best friend on the phone will be like, Who the hell is this? and the person standing in front of you will answer, Naaaamewhos this? They wont know each other so at that point ‘Name’ will just hand you back your phone. NOTE: If you forget ‘Name’s’ name from the time ‘Name’ says it to the time ‘Name’ hands you back the phone just call somebody else.

DISCLAIMER: Due to the nature of this story all characters in it will remain nameless at the present time.

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