Learning names isn't for everyone. It's hard to immediately get names right already when you first meet someone, but then, if you're a visual learner, it's like an extra step has to show up.

Sometimes it's just easier to meet someone and never learn their name because it's inconsequential to your daily routine, and also because your memory is so bad that you'll just end up forgetting it anyway.

u/Rotted_Root asked:

"What is the longest you've gone without knowing a person's name?"

Here were some of those stories.

Did I Forget My Own Grandmother's Name?

Work in a pharmacy. A young woman, say late teens early twenties, came up and asked to pick up her grandmother's prescription. I said no problem. What's her name? She looked at me with a blank face, asked me to hold on and called her family.


Ten Years A Numbskull

Most likely over a decade.

I'm in the UK and I've got to know many a bar acquaintance down my local pub.

Over time you get to know about their work, hobbies, likes and dislikes.

You get to know how many kids they have, how many times they have been married etc etc.

Then a friend from out of town visits you. And as you do in the UK, you go to the pub. Lo and behold your pub acquaintance is there and you introduce your pal from out of town only to realise you know everything about your pub pal - everything except their bloody name.


Neighbor No-Name

I moved into my condo in 2011 and I introduced myself to my one neighbor next door to me but instantly forgot his name. We would see each other in passing for years and I would always just say hi and the casual conversation. I met my wife in 2018 from a long distance relationship and when she finally moved in with me there was the awkward moment when I introduced her to him. I said this is my fiance (x) and we're getting married next month, he said congratulations and nice to meet you, then walked away. She asked me what his name was and I said I have no clue. Later that day she said his name is Brad and I was like "oh, he looks like a Brad" and she said he had no clue what my name was either so no big deal.


Party Friends

2 years is the longest so far.

I used to be a club promoter and I had a guy that bought tickets from me for every event he went to. He told me his name when I first met him but I forgot it soon after he told me, meeting lots of people makes it hard to remember names, especially when I don't even know if I'll ever see them again so what's the point of remembering everyone's names? After a certain point I saw him out partying often enough but it was past the point where I could ask him his name without it being awkward. I had him saved in my phone as Sir Prince Albert since he told me about his piercing so that I'd know who was texting me if we ever texted each other, but I didn't think to add his name since I wasn't sure what it was so that was no help.

Eventually we ended up at a party together and some people walked in and asked "hey have you seen phil?". After not remembering meeting anyone that night named Phil I said no I don't think there's a Phil here. Then that guy who's name I couldn't remember came up and joined the group and said "I'm right here! Don't worry Screechypete, these guys are cool I invited them!"

At that moment I finally found out his name and I played it off as "oh ok well if they are your friends then I guess it's cool if they stay." and just went with it.


To Be A Darren

My name is apparently Darren to this nice couple who own a restaurant in my town. My name is not Darren, I've known them for 2 years. We're even facebook friends, they can literally see and read my name, but it's cool. I always wanted to try being a Darren.


Once Again Another Neighbor No-Name

I've lived in my townhouse for almost 5 years now, and I don't know the name of the guy who lives directly across from me. I have pretty regular interactions with most of my neighbors, but I've never talked with this one guy beyond just exchanging pleasantries while passing each other.

When I moved in and first met him, I immediately forgot his name. I was almost positive he said it was Mike, so I went about 4 years just assuming that was probably his name, but not quite confident enough to actually call him Mike. Then a few months ago I was talking to some other neighbors in the parking lot when he walked by, and my other neighbors called out "Hey [name that is not Mike]!" So it was confirmed that this guy's name is NOT, in fact, Mike, and I was relieved I hadn't been calling him that for the past 5 years, but I immediately forgot again what his name actually is, so now all I know is that it is something other than Mike.

Myabe I'll learn his name by the time I've lived here 10 years.


Accidentally Correct

My next door neighbor introduced himself when he moved in. I promptly forgot his name. I danced around it for that same 5 years. He was from a French speaking part of Canada, so when talking with my wife, he was "French guy next door"

5 years after first meeting, he admits in a conversation that he'd forgotten my name. We have a good laugh and reintroduce ourselves.

His name was Guy. I had it right the whole time, he was French Guy next door.


Regulars By Their Orders

I'm a waiter. There are lots of customers who are regulars and I've known them for years, some of them close to a decade. Very few of them I know their names. Some of them get nicknames amongst the staff. Some favourites are

'Twix man' as he would always leave a twix chocolate bar with the tip.

'Emma and Stacy'1 two sisters who used to come in a lot, I know their names but not which one is which.

'The vegans' a young couple who were vegan but really cool, I do know their names now to be fair.


The Shuttles Look Alike

At work we have this old dude who drives shuttles. His name is Ron. I say, "hey Ron!" Everytime I see him. Five years down the road I see Ron standing next to another old dude. Turns out we have two shuttle drivers. I've been saying "Hi Ron" to the other guy 50% of the time for five years. Does this count?


Was It An Australian Accent?

My first year of uni I had this weed dealer/friend. When he introduced himself I thought he said, "N" I asked him multiple times if he could repeat it and I even said it back to him. So for the first year I called him "N". That's how it was in my phone too. Well at the end of the year I learned that his name was actually Ian, and that I had misheard due to his accent.


Whoops On The Name

A little over 7 years. Really tall redneck that was kind of a dick where I work. It's an analytical laboratory, he brought is samples from one of the production areas. I'm apparently responsible for his nickname, Pig F***er. I called him that big f***er early on, people misheard me and the name stuck. Sorry Tim. Ya jerk.


Just Guessing At This Point

For more than 20 years with some of my relatives. I don't meet them often, but when I do, they all greet me by my name (even their kids whom I meet for the first time). Imagine having to deal with more than 20 people that know your name and how you relate to them for days on end.


Willy N(e)lly

I lived next door to an elderly woman for about 10 years. Her name was Nelly and she was always very sweet.

Her daughter came over one day and told me Willy died, I told her I didn't know a Willy but I was very sorry for her loss. She looked at me like I was nuts, and said I'd lived next door to her mom for 10 years.

Turns out I misheard her, and she had bad hearing we both heard what we expected to hear.


I'm A Dude, She's A Dude

I always have had a terrible memory for names, it showed when a summer school friend I had called 'dude' the entire time and I still can't remember their name to this day after being friends for a couple months. But that wasn't even the worst...

High school, freshman year I was in a new school and didn't know anyone. Managed to find a nice group of nerdy friends though it got me hooked on MtG. One day I was introducing a new person to the group yet I had totally blanked on his name. I didn't want to admit it and so had the smart idea of jokingly introducing him as 'Bob'. Clearly not his name yet instead of correcting me he rolled with it. From then on everyone in our group knew him as Bob to the point that an entire circle of friends didn't know his real name. It wasn't until three years later when in the senor year, we were asking a teacher where 'bob' was and he looked confused and asked us if we meant 'Kevin'. Now I still remember his real name even if I haven't spoken to him in over ten years.


Just Gonna Disappear Now

So, funny story. I met a girl and really hit it off with her, but she never told me her name. We texted a ton, made plans to go on a date, and I was extremely excited. She delved really deep into her life story and experiences but still. no. name. I knew her first pet's name, the street she grew up on, and basically every other security question. I could tell you the age that she decided what her career path would be, or her favorite ice cream flavor. It was so jarring.

It was some real Seinfeldian stuff, I'm telling you. I deliberated on how to find out her name, asking friends and loved ones advice on this. On a side note, my friends give shit advice it turns out. My cousin finally said to me, "Ask her, you idiot." And so I did.

She ghosted me. I guess it wasn't meant to be.


An Even Exchange

I spent 18 months at my current job with a guy calling me Dave. One day he called me over and some other guys looked at him like he was nuts. When he found out my real name he was upset and spent the next 6 months apologising. Here's the thing, I didn't mind because I'm useless at remembering names. It's 2 years since he stopped apologising. But he wears his ID badge back to front and to this day I'm not entirely sure what he's called.


Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash

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