December 5, 2005
Most forgettable, that's what you are.
Within a two-hour period on Sunday, I ran into three people who I have met on separate occasions within the past four months. Each of these individuals reintroduced themselves to me, stating emphatically that it was so good to meet me. "But we've met before," I wanted to say. "Don't you remember?"

To one, "it was a warm evening in October. You were having a cocktail in a scotch glass and I distinctly recall that there was a lime resting on the ice cubes. We discussed the gentrification of DC, how a neighborhood can be turned into an entirely new world within the span of five years. As evidence of your tightly-knit community, you told me about sitting your neighbor's cat - a man whose name I distinctly recall to be James - anytime he is on travel for work. I remember you mentioning the year you bought your apartment, and the irony of the story of the teacher who made the sale. How does the memory of even my face elude you?"

Context clues be damned (e.g., you have been a friend of the beau for years, you spent last Thanksgiving with my family in this very same house), this has happened to me since the dawn of time. I find it infuriating. It's also slightly confusing, given the fact that I have a face that many have told me is not run of the mill. You see, I have been afflicted with a chin that can only be explained as the likely result of my mother being a comedy club groupie in the early 70s. It is paired with a nose that lacks both cartilage and structure; think a ball of Play Dough smashed with a frying pan. I'm not easy to forget.

What might be even more insulting to my ego is that people cannot place the content of our discussions. I find many of these brief, informal encounters to be some of the richer interactions I have in life. The five-minute discussion with the housekeeper in Toronto who tearfully recounted a teaching life left behind in India. The colleague with whom I braved an uncomfortable icebreaking exercise. The couple whose Pleasantville role assumptions made me alarmingly uncomfortable while apparently working beautifully for them. The close friend of an ex who spent at least three days on my couch during his last visit.

I think if we're honest with ourselves, we will collectively admit to remembering exactly what we ordered the last time we went to IHOP. I bet most of us recall to the penny how much the last gallon of gas was that we got on the cheap. But isn't life in the human details?

Maybe therein lies the key. More unleaded plus and Belgian waffles coming to a memorable Kris conversation near you.

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57 Comments:

Blogger Jürgen Nation said...

Would you shut your ass? You do NOT have that kind of chin or nose.

Blogger Poppy Cede said...

Did you change your hair? The other day I was looking across the room at someone I've known for years and because his hair was longer I totally didn't recognize him. Maybe when you meet someone a second time and your hair is different they don't recognize you. And, not that this is supposed to make you feel any better, but it happens to me all the time that I'll have met someone and they reintroduce themselves the next time I see them. If it's at work I just go with it (cuz I'd rather not be well-known to my clients) but if it's in personal life I really don't have a problem with making the other person feel like an ass for forgetting me when I remind them about when we met. Hey, they made me feel like a forgettable ass, so screw them. :P

Anonymous Jorge said...

I wuold have to agree with Jürgen on this one.

In fact, you play down your beauty so often that when I met you for the first time, I wasn't sure it was you, even though I had seen photos.

You are quite a looker, my dear, and I would never forget those amazing eyes. :)

This is the truth.

Keep smiling, and remember, only the important and awesome people will always remember you.

Now call me back, you bastard.

J

Blogger Finn said...

Is it possible this person was drunk? That might explain it.

On the other hand, I think so many people simply don't pay attention. While in furniture sales, I spent no less than one hour with a couple, discussing different furnture, etc. When they came back to buy the furniture, I was off. They couldn't remember my name, but described me as a voluptuous blonde. I was a brunette, weighing 110 lbs. and an A-cup.

Don't take it personally; it's not you, it's them!

Blogger Jürgen Nation said...

Jorge, don't wait around for her call. She never calls ME back, either, the snob.

Maybe you're just not that memorable Jersey.

Shyeah!
I can't believe I said that with a straight face!
How could they NOT remember you?

I don't eat at IHOP, but I CAN tell you that I had the All American Slam the last time I was at Dennys.

Call me, we'll do breakfast.

Blogger Kiki said...

This happens to me all the time!! People will reintroduce us and I'll always be like, "We actually met back..." They never have a clue. What is it with us?? We're both hot. We're both intelligent. We're both obviously hilarious. It's a mystery. :)

Blogger Kristen said...

I am fascinated by this phenomenon because it suggests that these people that you meet are telling the exact same five minute conversation to every single person they meet and that is why they don't necessarily remember you (clearly you are VERY memorable and this is not your fault).

I always wondered about this myself because I have been known on occasion to say, "surely you remember our discussion on trust fund Congressional staffers" or "the benefits at having a year's supply of food in the basement should the world come to a near end."

Cue the crickets.

Blogger Amber said...

Anyone who doesn't remember you CLEARLY doesn't read your blog. Because I remember you and I've nver even met you. It makes no sense, I know, but cut me some slack -- it's Monday.

Blogger Dave said...

Jorge says the exact same things to me. He flirts, I get jealous; it's a little game we play.

My wife has a memory for details like you do. Although, her default is that she assumes people won't remember her. And then it's always, "Of course I remember you, ya fool."

Anonymous Jorge said...

Honestly, I think the best strategy is to make up something every time you meet them.

Why, Dave still thinks I am a guy!

Jorge

I am afflicted with your same disease. I alway remember people, and somehow I elude their thoughts. In the beginning it hurt my feelings -- how on earth can they not remember ME?

One day I decided to believe that it's because I am of such superior intellect. Their feeble minds just can't contend with such advanced details like other people's lives. :)

Blogger Jamie said...

Don't take it personally -- people only remember me because my hair is bright, fiery orange/red. I also have a play-dough nose, which makes for an arresting combination.

Blogger KlevaBich said...

God, I'm glad I'm not the only one. I've always figured it's because I have such a bland and forgettable face. Evidently not the scintillating personality I'd like to have, either.

Back in the day, the brother of a friend of mine NEVER could remember me. We were "introduced" about 20 times, but he never remembered. Finally, I figured out that he was stoned on his ass 90% of the time, so it wasn't me at all... I think you should assume that the people who are forgetting having met you are all idiots, don't you?

Blogger Megarita said...

Damn -- I'm totally the person who forgets people, too. Damn. I hate myself a little now. Fear not, it will pass...

Blogger kimmay said...

do i know you?

Blogger Jeff said...

The fact that people don't remember your face well is solid evidence that there's nothing they can find wrong with it.

Anyway, I'm curious, why do not consider it an option to say (out loud) "actually we've met before"?

It is really that rude? They're the ones who forgot, not you.

And is it really that rude to forget someone? It's not like it's totally forgotten, you just need a little reminder.

Blogger Shawn said...

Jorge and Jurgen - Don't feel bad, she's never called me...much less called back. And I think that old 'but I haven't ever actually met you and I don't have your number anyway...' excuse is getting a bit tired.

Kris - I used to wonder about people's lack of awareness. Now I just look at Bush in office...twice...and realize that a lot of the people around me just aren't very smart. If I ever meet you, I promise to remember...just remind me I promised, 'kay? TTFN, BFF!!!

Blogger Kim said...

So many points, so little time.

a.) Your chin and nose are fine dumbass.

b.) You're completely memorable. Too memorable. I've been trying to forget you forever. :oP

c.) I was at a party the other day where a girl reintroduced herself to me. We've hung out on a million occasions. Her boyfriend remembers me perfectly (or at least my breasts). She told me this last time that she would always remember me because her sister's name was the same as mine.

d.) The only reason I remember what I last ordered at IHOP is because I always order the same thing. Pigs in a blanket with a side of bacon. Hey, if you're going to pig out, you might as well do it right. Good thing I don't go to IHOP that often.

Anonymous some guy you've been dating since sept. '03 said...

Seriously, you need to stop complaining. I have to introduce myself to you every Thursday morning after you're Wednesday night wine-drenched Lost love-in. But you never have any problems remembering Bug and Cricket. And why is it they can wake you up to get food but when I do it...grumble grumble...And another thing...

Blogger NARDAC said...

My short term memory is permanently damaged. But, being forgettable has its priviledges. You could just pretend to be someone else the next time:

"That porno you gave me was really good! Do you have anything else with garden plants?"

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmm, it may be a reflection on the values we have in life. Face it, the majority of people focus more on reality tv than reality. And, as Mr. Williams would say, that's quite a concept.

That said, many people are conditioned to say 'nicetomeetyou' or 'hihowareyou' when they meet. Or, on the other hand, like me they could have a bad memory - if it weren't for this Hello, My Name Is Lefty badge I wouldn't know who I am half the time.

Or, it may be that you pay a lot of attention to detail and have an incredible memory.

Blogger Brookelina said...

I'm the one everyone thinks they know already. I look like their sister, college roommate, friend from high school, or the worst one - an ex-wife. That made for a difficule work relationship.
I often think I must have the most common face on the planet.

Blogger JJ said...

I have to admit that my brain simply shuts off during small talk. Pretty much if a conversation isn't going to bear fruit in the form of sex, alcohol, drugs, or food in the very near future, I have a tendency to lose focus.

Blogger DC Cookie said...

That is why I carry a camera with me everywhere.

Blogger Teri said...

Those with 20/20 eyesight can often not see. Just as those with perfect hearing often don't listen. Hmmm...playdough and frying pan, interesting combination.

Enjoy your posts...I see you just fine.

Ciao,

Teri

www.herestohappywomen.blogspot.com

Blogger Sizzle said...

i've got a really great memory, so much so that i go out of my way to avoid certain people...or maybe it is that i hang onto some details (rather unpleasant) more readily than I should.

i tend to be remembered for things i would often wish they would forget.

:) sizz
p.s. why haven't i ever seen a picture of you!?

Blogger erin said...

your most poetic post...you are so right about life being made up of the human details...
funny, i rarely forget a face, or where i've met someone...but i ALWAYS forget their names, a major piece of people's identity...

you continue to remind me that, as much as it is right now, life is not about school or my next deadline...i really need that right now too...thanks.=)

Blogger Bridget Jones said...

I'm wiht JN up there. Cannot believe you said that about your face! Have you read Zombieslayer's post tonight? It's about weight/looks and damn good.

hmmmm the timing!

Don't be mad at whoever they are, Kris. I can't remember a face to save my life and names are worse.

Wasn't always like this, I blame menopause. Plus being overwhelmed. Guess the point is, it definitely is not you, it's them. Really!
Bridg

Blogger tmaris said...

As someone who is unbelievably bad with names and faces, let me tell you it's not intentional. And I do feel bad when I don't remember people. But I can't remember what I ate for dinner last night. Seriously.

Blogger Washington Cube said...

I am one of those detail oriented horrors: I never seem to forget anything. I've always said, "A blessing AND a curse."

Blogger Sub Girl said...

i always remember people and they always tend to forgot who i am!

Blogger MKD said...

I say fuck with them. If they don’t remember you, then you could bring up the tidbits of personal information that they shared and mess with their minds. I mean, come on Kris, get in the Christmas spirit.

Blogger Danielle said...

You're the one with the big bangs, right?

Blogger Amanda said...

man, i so feel you on this one. i never forget a face and am rather good with names so i am SO often confronted with this. i always remind them that we've met. this probably makes the other person feel bad but i never know what else to say. it's an honest response. damn them!

Blogger rebecca_knox said...

thanks for your post:) if only i got 30-40 comments per post like you. what's it like? do you read them all?

more importantly how'd you do it!?

thanks, RK

Blogger The Zombie Lama said...

People suck. I hate when they do that. Or when you are talking to them, and in the middle of a sentence, they will start talking to somebody else.

Blogger babyjewels said...

I hate to say this, but I'm that person, that person who does not remember anyone she meets. It's embarassing and no reflection on the person forgotten. Just a prelude to my far off old age quirkiness?

But you. You I'd not forgot.

I'm convinced that there are people out there with such inferior memories... it's frightening. I'm the one with the freaky memory who remembers everyone (and EVERYONE) I have ever met, gone to school with, worked with, etc. So when I walk up to them and say hi... ohmigod, remember when you did that funny thing back in 3rd grade? they call me stalker and run like hell.

They are inferior. We are superior. (go with it... it works for me)

Blogger Lindsey said...

Maybe they were afraid that YOU wouldn't remember THEM. And THEY didn't want to be embarrassed by being forgettable. I've been in that situation before.

Blogger Sugarmama said...

I once had a woman re-introduce herself to me for the third time--and the first 2 times had been in the 2 days immediately preceding! The third time I made no pretence at politeness. I told her smiling face, "I've met you 3 times now, one of which was just last night." Her face fell and she was mortified. From then on, she always made a point of fawningly saying my name whenever she saw me.

Blogger la.dauphine said...

The not remember people or people not remembering me happens to me ALL THE TIME. I don't get perturbed when people don't remember me until it's like the 3rd or 4th time! Although, I'm terrible - can't remember names or faces. I've somehow gotten used to constant confusion...

Blogger Heather B. said...

I'm the person who will meet someone once and then the next time I see that person, I will recall to them the exact time and place that I met them- along with their first and last name (and social security number).

Blogger SugarHigh said...

you are superb. if i met you in real life I would never forget you because you crack me up while making me think at the same time, an absolutely intriguing quality.
i am also quite certain you are much prettier then you think. please remove the ugly mirror from your wall. thanks. ;)

oh and next time someone pulls this shit on you, flash em your ta-tas and ask if they remember you now. heehee. ;)

Blogger Croaker said...

Some people just don't have a mind for detail. I have a pretty good mind for detial if I'm interested in the person. If i'm not it goes in one ear and out the other.

Blogger rebecca_knox said...

There's no link for comments on the most recent post ... but go figure, I'm at Tryst. Stop by for some nutella ;) and some spiked cider ...

Blogger Slade said...

This just goes to show that you are an excellent listener! Keep remembering the details girlfriend!

Blogger Complacent Chase said...

I just have to say that I LOVE the title of this post! Fucking hilarious! ha ha

Blogger Marissa said...

I hear you ALL TOO WELL! That happens to me, too. Well, that AND people always think I'm someone else. It drives me crazy. Yesterday 3 different times, people approached me thinking I was someboy I wasn't. Grr!

Blogger Weary Hag said...

Someone else said it quite well on here already - but I'll repeat just 'cause I'm like that. They are INFERIOR!
Second to this epidemic, there's the thing where people don't have any recollection of a recent conversation you had with them. I mean friends or relatives! You say "remember we talked about 'this or that' three days ago? And they insist "Nah, you must have been talking to someone else about that."

Can you say "too many college parties?" Christ.

Anonymous sandra said...

Interesting...I forget people's names constantly (pretty much while I'm shaking their hand, actually), but tend to remember that I've talked to them, and about what.

A few years ago, I had a similar streak - with one guy in particular standing out. He was a good friend of my roommate's boyfriend and met me every weekend for...I'd say 5 months. At one point, I think I said, "you've fucking met me every weekend for the past few months - can you make an effort, here".

The next weekend...still no clue.

Blogger Kent said...

These people who don't remember previously meeting you are clearly idiots. End of story.

I have often wondered what makes one person more memorable than another. I, like you, have a distinctive look and am impossible to forget.

Damn. That sounds arrogant, doesn't it?

Trust me. I'm disabled, walk with a walker and am four feet tall. Talk to me once and I'll be permanantly burned into your memory bank.

Blogger Reya Mellicker said...

People never recognize me either, from one meeting to the next. It's quite bizarre. For myself I believe I learned early in life how to be "invisible" as a protective measure.

Of course I wasn't literally invisible. Do you know what I'm talking about? Is that something you've done? I think of your avatar, with the face turned away and the wine glass front and center. Is that really you?

Since you won't let me comment on the drool thing DIRECTLY (punk!), I shall do it here.

The other day I yawned and I drooled. Yeah, I bet I look REALLY cool. Mouth hanging open, eyes quinting and drool.
Nice

Anonymous Essy said...

I've got memories from the age of 2. I agree with Washington Cube: it's a blessing and a curse. As much as it sucks not being remembered, think of how much life would suck if you couldn't keep up with the details. I much prefer to remember...

Jersey.....now my "drool" thing looks silly.
No one has a frame of reference, and if they did....everybody would be telling them what a lovely reference it was.
"Oh, I absolutely LOVE that frame!"

Kiss-ass bastards.

Blogger Carolyn said...

Hey, I don't have cartilage in my nose either!

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