I am bad with names.
My son has learned, somewhere along the line, that everything has a name. He knows the difference between a bear and a ball, a book and doll. It is a ton of fun, finding out what he knows.
It makes me wonder when his skill will surpass my own. Because I am really, really bad with names.
This is a normal enough foible, and hardly crippling. I will remember you, after all, and I will remember how I feel about you. I will see you and have a sense of familiarity and comfort. I know we are connected. I know how well we connected. But I do not remember your name.
This is sometimes quite tenacious. If you find me in a dreamy, reflective state, or in the midst of a crowd of people, I might not remember my own name, for a moment. I will try to introduce myself and need to pause while I recall what I am called.
I don't think I'm losing my mind or anything. I am a new dad who doesn't always get six hours of sleep at night, that's probably got something to do with it. But I've never been particularly good at this.
When our brains are taxed, we reduce the load. "It might be nice to remember that person's name, but right now let's just try and focus on walking while carrying my child and taking my keys out of my pocket and trying not to let the diaper bag slip off my shoulder and clutching the mail in my other hand," for example.
Maybe it isn't so important that I know your name. I can love you without that. I can sympathize with you whether you have a name or not. The people walking on the sidewalk don't have names, and I certainly have sympathy with them. Waiters and waitresses don't have names, and I think they're generally a pretty great bunch of people. And those nameless people at that party I went to at so-in-so's house--they were all really neat!
Wait, those people do have names? Crap.