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 Definitely Not George

Monday morning, in a five minute break between an overload of meetings, I got a text message that read, “Hey,  Good seeing you this weekend.”  The number was saved under “Definitely Not George.” I vaguely remember entering this name in my phone, but I couldn’t quite recall why…or who “Definitely Not George” was.

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Monday morning, in a five minute break between an overload of meetings, I got a text message that read, “Hey,  Good seeing you this weekend.”  The number was saved under “Definitely Not George.” I vaguely remember entering this name in my phone, but I couldn’t quite recall why…or who “Definitely Not George” was.

They say the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem, so here it goes: My name is Alan and I am the guy that introduces himself to you at least three or four times before I remember you.  

This is not a character trait which I am especially proud of. It is actually quite embarrassing.  It comes from a combination of being bad with faces, worse with names, and the fact that in most social situations, I am either intoxicated or eventually will be.  

Years ago, my friend Alan began dating a guy named Jeff.  Considering my boyfriend was named Jeff, one would imagine these would not be difficult names to remember.  Unfortunately, I’m a social idiot, so I would re-introduce myself to Jeff each time we met.  This happened approximately five or six times over the course of a couple of months before Jeff finally lost his temper with me.

I re-introduced myself to my friend, Quincy about nine times. Naturally, Quincy assumed I was one of those crackers who thinks all African American people look alike. It was difficult to convince him that I was an equal opportunity offender.

Staring at my phone, I tried to trace my steps through the events of the previous Saturday night to solve the mystery of Definitely Not George.  

I remember him smiling at me from across the bar.  I smile back and he comes over to talk.  We talk for several minutes before he realizes I have no idea who he is. He reminds me that this is in fact our third meeting.  He introduces himself for the third time, and his name immediately flies out of my brain as quickly as it reaches my ear.  Having no concept of time, our conversation continues somewhere between five minutes and three hours before we part ways.  He asks for my number, then calls me from his phone so that I will have his, too.

“Do you remember my name?” he asks.

“Yes,” I say confidently.  “George, right?”

It is definitely not George.  Not even close.  I don’t even know anyone named George, and honestly can’t fathom why that name popped in my head.  He introduces himself for a fourth time and says, “If you remember talking to me later, give me a call.”  I assure him I will, determined not to embarrass myself again.  Sadly, when I go to save his number in my phone, his name has escaped me again. I try desperately to access that single piece of information, but in the end, all I can remember is that his name is “Definitely Not George”.

The scenario was blurry, but I was at least able now to put a face to this non-name. Unfortunately, Definitely Not George’s real name was still no more memorable to me than it had been the first, second or third time he had introduced himself. I thought I had been interested in him at the bar. But what to do with this text?  Should I keep it simple and say “Good to see you, too?” Should I risk a conversation that may divulge that I had forgotten his name again?  Worse, yet, what if the conversation leads to a date?  How many dates could I go on with him before he realizes I still don’t know his name?

I would have to chalk this one up to lessons-learned.  In the case of Definitely Not George, the only logical course of action was to definitely not respond.

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