Okay, I have to admit it. Iím terrible at remembering peopleís names. Always have been dreadful at it. I keep pencils near the phone so I can scribble down names fast, if they say it. Because I know, in the next instance, it will be totally gone from my memory. I donít know how many times people call up and say, "Hey, Ďmember me? I bought a goat from you thirteen years ago." No, if I canít remember your name from last week, how will I remember your name from thirteen years ago?
The only way I would be able to remember your name is if you appeared at the house in a clown outfit. Now, that would stick in my memory. Since most folks donít do that, I have to use another method for remembering who they are. I may not know the name, but I will know them. I simply ask, "What was the name of the goat?" And, then I have you. You give me the name of the goat you bought from me and I know who you are. Not your name, but who you are.
Lee has suggested I take a picture of the people who come and buy goats. A picture of them and their goat together and maybe Iíd remember their name. I can hear me now looking over the pictures. "Hey, Lee, whoís this with Autumn Dew? Wasnít she a grand looking doe, but what is that personís name that is with her?" So, I donít think taking photos would help me. Besides, most people do not like their picture taken. I donít know why not, especially if itís with a great looking goat. Go figure.
We name all the goats on the place. This year we had at least 150 head and they all had names and I knew everyone, their Boer percentage, and their ancestors, all from memory. Donít worry, itís also on records at the house, in case I suddenly get amnesia. But, then Iíd probably be wondering, what house? Anyway, Lee would ask me the background of a particular girl and youíd hear something like this, "Thatís Ruthie G (G standing for goat), daughter of Ruby, daughter of Babe, daughter of Annie, daughter of Rosie. Ruthie G is 98.44%." Then Lee would nod his head and say he remembered. It sounds like we are on Star Trek and Iím doing a Klingon type of thing with the ancestry. You know, how they would say on Star Trek, Worf, son of so and so and son of so and so and so forth.
Now, tell me, if I can remember that on everyone of these goats, why canít I remember a personís name? Either itís because they arenít as interesting as my goats or because I havenít taken care of that person, like I have my goats. Most of my thoughts throughout the day are centered on the goat herdís well being. What is the most efficient way to take the very best care of the herd, who is to be bred to whom, when they are due, when are shots and worming due, that sort of thing. Also, I like hugging my goats, maybe that helps.
Donít worry, Iím not thinking about hugging everyone who comes and looks at a goat, just so I can remember their name. Someone come here and hug me and I bet I remember them! Remember to not invite them back! Iím not a huggy person, but I do like to hug the kids and the does. The bucks just have to be happy with a pat on the back. Anything that stinks like a buck doesnít deserve a hug.
Iím so bad at remembering names that at times of stress and lack of sleep during kidding, Iíll forget my husband, of thirty yearís, name! When I need help with something and canít remember his name, I find if I shout, "Hey! Handsome!" He doesnít mind it a bit that I forgot his name again and comes running. So, that particular problem has been worked out.
So, if you call up and say, "Hey, Connie! Itís ____. Long time no hear. How you been?" And you hear a long pause at the other end of the line. Those in literature call this a pregnant silence. If Iím doing a silence, trust me, itís not pregnant. Nothing is going to suddenly pop out because I finally remember you.
But, if you say, "Hey, Connie, how you doing? I bought Autumn Tanker Truck from you. Iím Frank, or Fred, or Suzie." Then, Iíll remember you. Just a hint on how to handle me, in case you call.