Let me get this to you before I forget.

I just heard part of an NPR interview on Fresh Air with Martha Weinman Lear, who was discussing her book, Where Did I Leave My Glasses? The What, When and Why of Normal Memory Loss. (No, I haven’t read it. That’s your job.)

During the interview, Ms. Lear describes how she mitigates her memory when it is working slowly. She tells of being at a party and not remembering the name of someone she’s talking to. Another friend walks up and she can’t remember his name either. She says she has learned to simply not raise the issue, hoping that they already know each other. If one requests an introduction, she excuses herself to the bathroom.

I like this. Then again, if I’m going to spend the entire night in the bathroom, I’ll just stay home.

Does This Happen To You?
Let’s say you are at a restaurant.

You glance across the room and see someone who you know, but whose name eludes you. Let’s call him HWCBN (He Who Cannot Be Named). You fear that, within 20 minutes (if not immediately), HWCBN (oh, no, now waving at you!) will visit your table to say hello.

Etiquette will oblige you to introduce your tablemate, Chuck, to He Who Cannot Be Named.

Dang. I dislike that feeling. And it happens enough that I have come up with this foolproof solution.

And it’s free for you, as a perk for being a reader of Net Cotton Content.

A Foolproof Solution
Follow these four easy steps:

  1. Get up before HWCBN does.
  2. Go to HWCBN’s table.
  3. Offer a hearty hello!
  4. Lean down and say quietly, "I’m so glad to see you here. I have this awkward problem. I’m having lunch with a fellow and I simply can’t remember his name! Will you please help me out? Yes? Come over to my table, maybe when you’re leaving anyway, and introduce yourself to him."

If this makes you feel feeble, you can always add, "I think it’s ‘Chuck’."

That should clear up all your memory problems.

Let me know how this works for you. It’s never failed me.

(And I know something of forgetting names.)