Yesterday I said in my post that I'd gone back to bed with Zoe. I'd have said that was a Freudian slip except that I don't know any Zoe I'd be likely to go to bed with anyway. It did make me think about my long-standing problem with names though. I should, of course, have said Eve, my soon to be renamed Apple MacBook.
Many years ago when I was a very young man I used to do a lot of protocol work. This involved knowing the names of the 120 councillors and 40 aldermen of Liverpool City Council and always being on hand at functions to introduce them to visiting dignitaries etc. Alderman were appointed for 6 years so rarely changed but elections for 40 councillors were held every year. One of the things I learned early on was that if you introduced a diplomat by the wrong name of country then on the whole they smiled and when you were out of earshot remedied the error. Presumably that's what made them diplomats!
One day, however, I got the name of a newly elected councillor wrong. To say that he made a fuss would be putting it mildly. Since that incident in 1965 I have had a severe difficulty with names. My mind goes blank and that incident flashes into my head. The problem is so bad that I once was introducing my wife at a function and I just couldn't remember her name. I forget names of people I know and have known for decades. I forget names of people I've been in the same room with and used their names minutes previously.
I read Dale Carnegie's (why can I remember his name?) How to Win Friends and Influence People many years ago when I was a teenager. He made the point that a person's name is one of his or her most treasured possessions.
If I had realised what a burden this affliction was going to be during my life I'd have seen a psychiatrist but, of course, such things were not thought of in the '60s and I suppose for a long time I thought that my previous ability with names (which was one reason I used to do the protocol work of course) would return. After all the irony is that the fear of forgetting a name is probably the cause of the act of forgetting.
I was wondering if I could turn this into my Thankful Thursday post and I couldn't see a way until I suddenly realised that if that was one of the worst things in my life then I had precious little about which to complain. So I am playing the Glad Game and am thankful for the fact that I could have had much worse problems to contend with.