Please Stop Pretending Like We’ve Never Met Before

You know those people you’ve met a handful of times at social gatherings and each time they pretend that they’ve never met you before? Yeah, those people suck. They extend their hand to say, “Oh my god, hi. So nice to meet you. What’s your name?” and you reply with, “Um, we’ve actually met a few times. My name’s blah-blah.” And then they feign embarrassment and start to profusely apologize. “Oh, right. Of course! I’m so sorry. I remember you, duh!” Um seriously, what is up with these people? I’m inclined to think that most of them doremember you and this is just their passive aggressive way of telling you that you’re not worth saving space in their memory bank for. In which case, my name is Aura Banana Shame Spiral Virgo Princess and you can go screw yourself.

l’ll be the first to admit that I have trouble recognizing faces. It’s an embarrassing problem that I’ve had for as long as I can remember and it makes me genuinely worry if I’ve had some undiagnosed head trauma in the past. I mean, it goes above and beyond being forgetful. In fact just the other day I ran into Kat George at the movies—someone whose face I know very well—and I didn’t recognize her at first. She came up to me with that cute Australian accent of hers and said, “Hello, RYAN O’CONNELL!” My brain started doing cartwheels trying to figure out who this cute Aussie chick was. Kat could tell I had no idea who she was so she was like, “Um, it’s Kat George.” I was so embarrassed that I actually considered lying to her about being stoned but she was with her parents and I figured that would be weird.

There was a time that was even more cringeworthy than the Kat incident. A few months ago I went to a bar with Stephanie Georgopulos and introduced myself to a bunch of new people. After what seemed like ten minutes of introductions, I turned to Stephanie and actually said, “Hi, my name’s Ryan. Nice to meet you. What’s your name?” I MEAN, ARE YOU KIDDING? I’m shaming so hard just even typing it out. How did I fail to register Stephanie’s face?! Stephanie honestly must’ve thought I was on acid because she was like, “Um, we just walked here together?” I seriously need a brain like the one in The Terminator movies where everyone’s face comes with a mini-bio because mine is clearly broken.

Even though my memory is clearly defected, I know that I’m in the minority. So to the people I’ve met countless times, screw you for pretending to not know who I am. You’re allowed to forget the second time and maybe even the third time if both of our prior interactions were boozy, but you’re not allowed to not remember me after that. You just know that it’s, more often than not, some stupid power play. Like, “Oh, I repress you every time we meet so I forget who you are.” Um, no. This is not that Drew Barrymore rom-com when she had amnesia. Your mind is in mint condition. It’s your nasty personality that needs some work.

Has anyone called someone out before for not remembering who they were? I usually just silently fume in the moment and vow to write a blog post about it, but I would love to actually be like, “Um, you know who I am, diva. Stop pretending like you don’t.” It would feel so good, right?  Maybe I will the next time it happens. WATCH OUT. TC mark

image – 50 First Dates

Ryan O'Connell

I'm a brat.

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  • Thalia

    i’m being completely serious when i say that maybe you have agnosia?

  • TingTong ChinaMan

    OMG this is so my life. Justine and I have been ignored so many times by this woman. Bitch please

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=506774704 Alex F. Friend

    I’ve been on both side of this before… Yes I am a douche for doing it. I wouldn’t do it to you, does that count? lol

  • eeee

    If it has been a few times I’ve met the person, I do tell them. “Yeah, I know who you are, we’ve met before.” Unless I’m up for the “GIRL THAT’S ALL RIIIGHT I KNOW YER LIKE S00000OOO0 DRUNK” I just leave it at that. Just a cold interaction.

    Gosh, I’m a bitch.

  • http://about.me/mattcherette Matt Cherette

    This has happened to me with the same person about six times now over the course of two years. The best part about it is that, the last time it happened, she pretended she didn’t remember all of the previous times and then started gushing about how much she ~loves my Tumblr~.

  • Lovetsunami1

    Here. Feel better. Within 2 hrs of meeting someone new who you converse with for less than 20 minutes, 20% forget the name of the person and close to 50% forget the face after 24 hours. In 96 hours, 97% of people have forgotten both. One person will remember the other in context, i.e. if there is a mutual friend or particular place where you bump into each other regularly, after 3 meetngs. Both will remember each other – IN CONTEXT – after 5.

  • http://twitter.com/spoustaj Josef

    I definitely introduced myself to the same person at the bar two nights in a row recently. 

    My favourite trick is going out with a friend whom nobody I might encounter will know, and when I see someone who clearly knows me yet I don’t know them make sure she introduces herself to them so they tell her their name. Works like a charm.

  • Grace Gordon

    i call people out on it all the time! if we’ve met six times i say, “yes weve met six times.” PUMP UP THE AWKWARD.

  • HP

    OMG that is so annoying!!! But actually, you may have mild prosopagnosia- or face blindness- which affects about 10% of the population. You were probably just born with it or developed it at a young age. It’s not your fault!

    • Ren

      lol you have planted a seed of doubt in ryan’s brain. time to google symptoms.

  • http://www.breakfastbachelor.com the Breakfast Bachelor

    I will usually tell people “yes we’ve met before” and I’ll rattle off some inconsequential detail that I remembered about them.  Maybe drop a “you said you would never forget my face and that we should hang out next weekend” or ask if I can borrow their phone and type in my number because they asked me for it, and find it saved as “Guy Wtih GLassessss”

  • Peachy

    Oh yes. I have an excellent memory for dates and things which are written down but for the life of me I cannot remember faces/names. I’ve learned to adopt the “It’s nice to see you” instead of “It’s nice to meet you”, just in case we’ve met before. :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/DNates16 Danielle Nathan

    This summer this guy that was hanging out with my roommate for a couple of months and was over our house, hanging out with us pretty regularly, etc,  turned to me at a party after I just walked in and stuck out his hand and introduced himself to me. My roommate just turned around and went “uhh, what?”

  • James

    Am I the only one to which this sounds paranoid? I forget people ALL THE TIME. The whole “we’ve met like, 8 times” is said to me on the regular. Yes, it’s totally shameful when I don’t remember them, but honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who purposely pretended they hadn’t met me… #oversensitive. If someone doesn’t remember me, instead of freaking out and being like “oh ehm gee biatch we’ve met like 50 times I can’t believe you!” I usually say something along the lines of “No worries! Happens to me all the time” and then normal conversation continues. All of the bitchiness is unnecessary. 

  • willadinah

    “Hi I’m Aura Banana Shame Spiral Virgo Princess and you can go screw yourself.” lol staaappp. i am dying

  • LilyV

    I about peed I was laughing so hard…so true!! hate those people

  • LilyV

    way worse if it’s someone you went out on a date with once

  • Vianca Pandit

    Makes me want to throw a drink in their pompous Oh-em-gee saying faces. Heck you know what? That’s officially been added to my new years resolutions list. Watch out bitches (also not being sexist, men who act like that are also bitches in my book).

  • guest

    where is Kat George?! Shes not written in ages!!!

    • Thalia

      it has been nice. 

      • FUCKYOUTHALIA

        In the immortal words of Liz Lemon, ‘OPPOSITE.’

      • http://twitter.com/jkymarsh J. Ky Marsh

        Audible LOL, and AGREED

  • theidprevails

    Ryan, you totally have a legion in your parietal cortex.  I’m not joking, look it up, it’s called prosopagnosia.

    • guest

      uhh… lesion? lol

    • Ryan O'Connell

      chic. am i going 2 die?

    • Ara

      prosopagnosia…yea this totally popped into my mind half way through this piece and was just about to let Ryan know when i saw your comment. ha.

      • Vic

        I’m a speech pathologist Ryan. Agnosias are very real things. If you’re interested in learning a big more, pick up The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat by Neurologist Oliver Sacks

  • http://www.nicholeexplainsitall.com EarthToNichole

    I saw an ex bf at a bar recently and had no idea who he was. Not my fault that he looks like every other dude with a beard and Rivers Cuomo glasses.

  • TwoCents

    I usually just make a sarcastic, equally passive-aggressive comment and hope I’m with someone I feel comfortable enough relaying the experience to. 

  • Guest

    Here’s my shame story:
    I, apparently, don’t have trouble remembering faces, I have trouble remembering names. More specifically my own. I was absolutely mortified one night while out with friends and I was introduced to someone. The interaction went like so:
    Person: Hi, I’m Rachel.
    Me: Hi, I’m Rachel.
    My name is not Rachel, nor is it even close. I wasn’t trying to be funny, or mimic her. I just outright got flustered and introduced myself as her. If I was able to will myself to die instantly, I would have done just that then.

  • http://www.twitter.com/mexifrida Frida

    Is it weird I remember EVERYONE?
    Usually even small details about them.
    It’s almost embarrassing to admit, because it’s not like I was paying extra attention to them particularly. I am just hypervigilant, I guess.
    Sometimes I have to pretend I don’t remember people at first because of this.

    • beatrice

      or of what the person told me. They’ll start going on about some series that they already told me about and I don’t feel like ruining their fun of introduction.

    • Rebecca

      Oh man I’m the same way. People think I’m a Stalky McCreeper but I just have a freakishly good memory…

  • Benjamin Stroud

    Better than  them telling you exactly what you’ve been doing the last 2 weeks, down to the exact time you run your daily errands, what you wore and what you ate, all while giggling, obscenely rolling their eyes, spitting a little when they talk, and twirling a lock of hair. 

    Really, what you describe is small potatoes.
    Get over it. Oh wait…you’re trying to shame someone you recently had this exchange with.
    I get it, like they read this article and feel like you’ve just shamed them deeply or something.
    O-kay! Bully for you. Very brave. Keep up the good work.

    • Thalia

      lol whut.

    • guest

      I know! Listen Ryan, maybe you aren’t memorable. No need to be bitter about it.

  • Anonymous

    YES YES YES. I hate this so much.

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