Thursday, October 25, 2007

Faces or Names?

Faces or names? When you see someone after an extended period of time, are you more likely to remember their face or their name first? Or are you one of those gifted people who almost always unites the right name with the right face?

I'd say that in most instances, I'm more apt to remember a name, especially if it was unusual, or if their appearance is average and mundane. I'll have people coming up to me in public who don't seem familiar, who then act as if I should know them. I don't have much of a poker face and the blank expression on my face almost always alerts them that I don't have a clue who they are, so they usually supply their name at that point, which helps my powers of recall in about half the instances. But if they've got a name like "Mary Brown", then the probably is fairly high that I'll remain clueless.

There are other times, however, where I'll recognize a person by their appearance, but the name will escape me. This happens frequently when I meet a person I see often, but not where I expect to see them; like if I see the woman who works at the gas station when I'm at the mall, for instance. It also happens frequently if I happen to run into a woman whom I've had a one-night stand with some time well after the fact. After so many years, all the women tend to run together and blur. And, of course, with many of them, I never knew their name in the first place.

Of course, there are the times, I remember neither name nor face, but I manage not to give it away during the brief conversation. I nod and smile at whatever the "shared" memory is they are reliving, then manage to excuse myself before they realize I haven't a fucking clue who the hell they are.

Then I walk off scratching my head trying to figure them out.

Feel free to share similar experiences in the comment box.


Cyn said...


personally think we should all wear name tags! help me out considerably.

Patty said...

Anymore if someone comes up and starts talking to me like they know me, or call me by my name and they don't look like someone I remember, I come right out and say, do I know you? This one young man that use to live about a block from us, I always saw him with a ball cap when he was walking around the block with his wife and son. They moved and one day at our little shopping center, I was walking to my car, as this person was walking to the store, he smiled and said, Hello Mrs. Lincoln, how's Abe, and I said do I know you? He didn't have his cap on and he looked completely different to me. Hey, there have been a few times, when I was in a store, not expecting to see any of my own kids, and had to do a double take, when I saw one, because I wasn't expecting to see them and at first didn't realize it was them. I know what you mean, but I just ask anymore.