I was at a party recently when, out of nowhere, one of the ladies there rushed over and said "Hello Trisha, how are you doing?!"
Instantly, I felt the familiar rush of panic accompanied by the feeling of wanting to run away quickly and never return. This was not because the lady looked grotesquely inhuman and had obscenely bad breath but simply because I just could not remember her name!
I have the world's worst memory when it comes to names. For some unfathomable reason I just cannot remember people's names! Faces are fine. I can always recognize a face but if you were to ask me to attach a name to it, I'd sooner be able to win American Idol while yodelling a Bollywood number and dancing around a tree.
The lady at the party looked really friendly and I was sure that we had been properly introduced but I had no idea what her name was - not a an idea, not a clue, not an inkling.
Unfortunately, most people who encounter my hesitation in speaking to them mistakenly believe that I'm something of a snob and eventually leave me alone. I'm left feeling even worse because, often, I'd really love to talk to them if I could just remember their darned names!
I have no idea how to ask them politely because they usually use my name in the conversation which means that they took the trouble to remember it! Instead, I stand there sweating, wondering how in the world I'm going to keep the conversation short enough so I don't have to address them in any way.
Fortunately (or maybe unfortunately) there are loads of other people who have the same problem.
After the lady at the party left, I turned to my friend to ask her the woman's name. She'd just had a ten minute conversation with the mystery woman herself and judging from the witty repartee and laughter, I thought they knew each other pretty well.
My friend looked at me and said: "I was going to ask you. I just can't remember!"
Poor, nameless soul!