It’s weird how things creep into our subconscious thinking. The marketing companies make billions for retailers, especially this time of year, convincing us our children would mind and we would be more beautiful if we had their product. It’s strange that the jingles bury in the deep crevices of our minds. Why does that stuff stick and the important things slide off?

I woke up last night thirsty, got a drink and tried to snuggle back to sleep and for some reason, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer started playing in my head. Remembering I had probably heard it a dozen times the day before in all the places I had been, I relaxed instead of trying to analyze. I smiled thinking about Christmas, but suddenly realized I couldn’t remember all the reindeer names. Now I was fully awake. I’m not good with names anyway, but the reindeer, how could I forget?

I had someone come up to me at a party several months ago and say, “Hi! Remember me?” That is the most unfair question that can be asked and I forbid myself to do that even to people I’d love to trip up. Of course I didn’t remember him and all I could think to say was, “Help me out a little.”

In the movie The Devil Wears Prada, the powerful character Meryl Streep played had two assistants who studied the guest list before attending a social or business function. They stood on either side of her, like two servants attending royalty, prompting her with names and how she knew them as people approached. Jim Brawner and I try to do that for each other, but sometimes both of us come up blank.

I think name tags are the greatest invention. I wish everyone understood they are to be worn on the right so when you shake someone’s hand you can catch a glimpse without being quite so obvious. I try to introduce myself whenever I can. It takes the pressure off people, like me, who have occasional brain fog.

I guess I’ll always have to work on remembering names. But as Spike White used to tell me, it’s the most honoring thing you can do, call a person by name. I finally got back to sleep last night and It wasn’t because I suddenly remember the reindeer names. I had to look them up: Dasher, Dance, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen and of course Rudolph.

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