I never forget a face... but in your case I’m prepared to make an exception!


Is it people I really want to forget are always the ones who remember me? If there is one certainty in life, it’s the annoying geek from kindergarten whose teddy bear I punched, the abusive jerk whose girlfriend fell into my arms, or the cross-eyed clown who reversed into my car at the supermarket car park will end up sitting next to me on a marathon airplane journey.  They will also be the first to greet me at a wedding line reception. And they ALL remember me. I on the other hand do not possess even a flicker of recollection. Then there is the reverse. Once at a dinner party I was complaining about a recent review from the late TV movie presenter Barry Norman when a lovely blond lady to my left piped up: “Hi, we have not been properly introduced. Emma Norman. Barry is my father.” Cue to a prayer for a hole to open up beneath me to swallow up my elephantine social gaff. As if that was not embarrassing enough, I was at awards dinner two months later with the great man himself sitting opposite me. My wonderful hostess for our table started doing the introductions… “Mark Grenside, this is Barry Norman.” “My daughter sends her regards,” were the only words he addressed to me all evening.

...and another thing

Facebook (R.I.P if recent revelations are to be believed) is the ultimate example of ghosts from the past trying to befriend me. For many I would rather swap a conversation for root canal surgery.

However I am so eager to increase my readership base that I blithely accept friends without really checking to see if they really are long lost buddies, double glazing salesmen or poor sods I have insulted whilst trotting down life’s highway.

I find remembering names, let alone linking them to a face, a memory feat that takes on David Blaine’s level of magic.

I dread cocktail parties or rooms full of bright smiley faces where someone does a quick fire introduction of names. Hence if ever I address someone as Tiger, that is code for my wife to immediately chime in and add something including the person’s name… unless they are called Tiger and then I assume my wife is just taking the piss.

...and another thing

Statistics suggest I will socially interact with 80,000 people in my life. I’d like therefore to put on record to at least 79,000 of you that I cannot remember who you are and of the other 1,000 of you I wish I could forget!

I am always deeply skeptical of cop dramas when someone in the witness stand describes a baddie from a fleeting glance through a window. I challenge you dear reader to name and describe the last stranger you spent 15 minutes with… and saying an Uber driver called Mohammed does not count.

How someone like the Queen remembers anyone’s name of the hundreds of thousands she meets is a miracle… unless she calls you Tiger!

Go Back

Add a comment: