Always meeting for the first time
"It’s like I'm always meeting them for the first time."
My husband often laments that every time he runs into certain people, it’s like he’s meeting them for the first time because they don’t remember him even though they’ve met in social settings or at work several times. This often makes him annoyed. No one wants to be forgotten especially when they remember you.
On the other end of that the being-remembered-or-forgotten-spectrum is me. I feel guilty that so many people come up to me and remember my unique first name and not only don’t I remember their names, I don’t remember them.
Sometimes it’s because their appearance has changed – but then, so has mine. Other times, as soon as they smile or remind me where we knew each other – the recognition floods back. Still other times, I simply don’t remember them whether the encounter was brief – as when I facilitated a workshop that they attended - or more frequent – as when we were co-workers.
It is not that people are forgettable, it’s that I forget. I’ve always had a spotty memory. Some people and events I remember deeply, whether they were memorable or not, other people and events that were deeply important or repetitive I don’t recollect. This is especially true of events that were big – positive or negative.
I ask that people forgive me when it’s clear that I don’t remember who you are. You are not forgettable. I’m forgetful.
Having said that, I add this side note to my husband. In the most recent instance you mentioned – the woman is a bit crazy and a bit of a "b" and has been for years. Several of us have discussed this over the years. She will act like you don’t exist and she’s never met you during one encounter, looking at you dismissively with her nose stuck up in the air, and then at another encounter will smile at you as though you are best buds. She’s got issues.
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Unforgetable, except by me sometimes