Stupidity Forgets Names

How many times have you forgotten a person’s name moments after you’ve been introduced? Don’t worry, such forgetfulness does not necessarily make one a stuper (short for an abjectly stupid person). However, if you continually (a minimum of three times) persist in forgetting a person’s name, getting it wrong or mispronouncing it after being reminded each and every time, then you are indeed wholeheartedly and wholeemptyheadedly a stuper. I should add that if you forget a unique or challenging name (for instance, Hephaestus or Saoirse), then continually is redefined to mean persistent forgetfulness a minimum of twelve times. Note, also, that this implies regular contact with the one whose name is neglected.

My friend, Ben, has an easy name. A deaf, one-eyed mariner could get it, even with a twitch in his good eye. I suppose there are those that could mispronounce it, giving it a long e sound in the middle or thinking the n was silent as in “know” (I realize I’m really stretching here; I do try to look at all options). But after being corrected, an authentic human should get it right.

Ben attended a local fundraiser and gave his name to a new acquaintance, Peter. Ben also wore a nametag clearly printed “Ben.” After they chatted, Peter said,

“Nice to meet you, Steve!”

Peter was not inebriated and appeared mentally sound, according to Ben. When they conversed, Peter spoke coherently and did not behave like a stuper.

Ben saw Peter a few days later at a meeting they both attended. Peter again called Ben, “Steve.”

Ben told me,

“I informed Peter very clearly that my name was not Steve. I told him slowly and clearly that I was called Ben. We talked for a few minutes, said goodbye and once again Peter said, ‘Bye Steve!’ I repeated my name firmly, but politely. The next time I saw Peter, I was still Steve. I’ll be seeing Peter again since we move in the same circles. I like talking to him, but I also like being called by my own name. What am I supposed to do?”

You can see how Peter got the names confused. They’re so similar. Steve and Ben. Jay and Jake. Ken and Kent. Ben and Steve. Anyone could trip over those. If that anyone is a stuper.

Stupers suffer from a preoccupation with themselves, meaning they listen to others intermittently, if at all. It’s selfishness, really, caused by a lack of understanding as well as disinterest. Short of gifting Peter with a long, thick chain to wear around the neck which Ben could soundly yank each time Peter called Ben by the wrong name, I suggested Ben take Peter aside and try this monologue:

Ben: Hey, Pete, it’s good to see you! It’s me, Ben! I was just telling myself, you know, Ben, you really should take Peter to lunch sometime. But then, I thought, Ben, Peter’s a busy man…

My point is that in order to get a stuper to remember your name: repeat. Then repeat again. And again, but do it at intervals or it may be too much for the profoundly vacant mind to process. Also, in Ben’s case, he could attempt to create a picture for Peter in this manner:

Ben: My name is Ben. You know, like the Big Clock. I actually think I may be a direct descendant of Ben Franklin. Do you know who sang that hit song, “Ben?”

These pictures may take form, stimulating the stuper mind to utilize his idle memory. In this way, Peter may actually remember Ben’s name.

If any of my dear readers should find themselves forgetting the name of a new acquaintance, I suggest truthfulness.

“I’m sorry, what was your name again?” or “Am I pronouncing it correctly?” 

People do like to hear their names spoken. Why not make a point of getting it right? It takes a little thought and immediately elevates you to the status of a thinker.

If we think kindly, we become kind. If we think cruelly, we become cruel. If we don’t think, we become stupers.

Just think.



11 Responses to “Stupidity Forgets Names”

  1. dawn says:

    Stupers suffer from a preoccupation with themselves, meaning they listen to others intermittently, if at all…

    That explains why my neighbor calls my daughter ‘Christine’ instead of ‘Justine’ despite the amount of times he’s been corrected… 🙂

  2. Sergio says:

    Kelli, Ben (I mean Steve) is a very patient person. If it was me, I would call Peter, Johnny, until he would get it.

  3. Elaine says:

    How very strange, normally when you correct someone on your name (be it pronunciation or wrong name) they apologize, thank you and make a conscious effort NOT to repeat their mistake.

    I have to agree with Dawn: “Stupers suffer from a preoccupation with themselves, meaning they listen to others intermittently, if at all…”

    Listening is a skill that many people never achieve.

  4. Agnes Mildew says:

    OK. My name isn’t actually Agnes, but my real name was bastardised repeatedly when I lived overseas. I became, in real life: Alexon Dolphin. I felt like I was a main character super-bitch from Dynasty…I actually think it is quite a cool name in some ways, but the Dolphin is too sweet. ‘Shark’ would have been better.
    It’s not just ‘stupid’ to not remember another’s name; it is arrogant and ignorant.

  5. new diva says:

    My company and the bank my company uses are in the same building. We are rather large depositors and I fairly regularly have to wire sums of money, which requires me to sit in the branch managers office for a period of time with papers that have my name on them, while she looks up our account online which also has my name on it. Yet, she persists in calling me either Becky or Beth…my name is Betsy. It is rather annoying.
    Hope Ben gets it worked out with Peter…I think Ben should just start calling Peter Roger by the way, maybe then he would get the point!

  6. Jenny says:

    The preponderance of my annoyance regarding my moniker comes from consistent misspelling of my surname … as in, it contains only one “B” but I am given an extra “B” about 99 percent of the time! I don’t need it! I don’t want it! Please keep it! Surely that “B” can be put to better use elsewhere!

    Someone’s report card, perhaps?

    Recently I was a “guest” in the Bank of America Corporate Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. Before going up in the tower you have to have your picture made so that they can put it on a badge which also features your name and the firm you are visiting.

    At least THREE times I told the man how to spell my name … I even made a little joke about it, telling him that my license plate is “NOT2BE” which it is.

    He still gave me that extra “B” … aaaarrrrrggggghhhhh.

    Keli, doll, I am fixing to leave something for you on me blog. Pick it up at your convenience.

  7. Keli says:

    It’s not easy being around stupers, is it? At least in Justine’s case, both names end in tine. That is somewhat encouraging.
    That is a very good suggestion, but I question whether it would work in the case of a true stuper. I will have to conduct an experiment and find out.
    The key words in your comment are “normally” and “conscious” neither of which consist with stupidity. I’m afraid, not being a stuper yourself, you can’t relate.

  8. Keli says:

    Is it at all possible that you bore a striking resemblance to Alexis Carrington (aka Joan Collins in her prime} and that was the reason for the name change? Alexon Dolphin does have a nice ring to it… But yes, those damn stupers are quite arrogant and ignorant.
    New Diva:
    I’ve just this minute concluded that stupers who get at least some of the name right, in your case, the “Be,” are wholly unable to go any further. Sorry to inform you a dead end has been reached by your banker.
    There is just little to no hope for stupers, is there short of putting the pen in their hand, placing your hand over their ponderous one and slowly moving it, while clearly enunciating the letters. Even then… I shudder to go on.
    Thanks, Jenny – I will be visiting soon!

  9. Cheryl says:

    It’s a good thing you give us stupers a second chance. My reply should work this time. And you know what I mean.

    Came here on Jenny’s recommendation. Great blog, Keli.

  10. Keli says:

    I always try to! Thanks very much for the visit and nice comment!

  11. kev says:

    Discovered your blog through Jenny’s. Liked this particular post so much I had to highlight it on my site!

    Keep up the funny. 😉

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