I am as guilty as anyone when it comes to forgetting names. I must make a concentrated effort to retain the name of people I meet. To hang on to the name of a new acquaintance, I normally play with word association. I might rhyme the name with a word and make up a phrase. Example: “I like Mike.” Or: “Glenda drinks Splenda."
That kind of thing works well in the short term.
In the long term, however, I am filled with blanks. I recognize faces, but names tend to evade me like cockroaches when the lights turn on. If I bump into a face I recognize, I don’t even try to throw a name out there. I simply engage in a friendly conversation and part by saying: “Nice to see you again.”
I know I am not alone in this.
There is business owner in Helena that I have known and interacted with for many years. I know his name. He has lost mine. As it turns out, we have chanced to meet regularly over the last year or so.
I saw him again just yesterday.
He is the type who likes to throw names out there. In the last year his has called me Jim, John, and Frank. I never bother to correct him. Furthermore, I am not offended by his failed efforts.
Yesterday, I was John.
A good, solid name, that.
I give him credit for trying. So long as I still remember who I am, all is well.