The Old Coot doesn’t know your name

I hear people say they can’t remember names all the time. It’s not just old coots either; it’s folks of all ages. I’ve finally figured it out; we’ve got too many names to deal with these days, and too many variations and different spellings. 

When I was a kid in grade school (elementary school to you younger folks) there might have been a couple dozen names in common use for boys and girls. Names like Tommy and Bobby, Jimmy, Kay, Judy, Betty, at least on the playground. Once inside the classroom they became Thomas, Robert, James, Kathleen, Judith and Elizabeth; basic names, whether in or out of the classroom. 

Not any longer. There are hundreds more today with variations that go on forever. A simple name like Alice, which is hardly used any more, has been replaced with Alyce, Alicia, Alisha, Allie, to name just a few. Take every common name from my generation and pull out a dozen or two variations and you have a tsunami of name choices. I have enough trouble remembering if the guy I’m talking to is Greg or Craig; two different, yet somewhat common, names that sound the same to me. 

A few years back I solved my problem with men’s names. When I meet one for the first time, they say their name; it immediately flies out of my head. So I say, “Hi, nice to meet you, do you mind if I call you Tim.” Most of the time they look at me funny for a minute, but often say, “Okay; I guess.” 

Toms are Tims; Roberts are Tims, everyone else too. Unless they are a Mike. For some reason I can remember men named Mike and can quickly recall it when I see them. Thankfully, there are a lot of Mikes out there. That, plus the Tims I rename, makes my life a lot easier.

So, if you are worried that your mind is failing because you can’t quickly pull someone’s name out of the cobwebs in your head, not to worry! You’re probably okay. There are just too many names to deal with these days.  

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