Like right after Doug and I married, moved to Kinston, NC, and our first ministry at Bethel Free Will Baptist Church, I tried. I really tried. One day at our mailbox the friendly rural mailman introduced himself, "Hi! I'm Mr. Baker, your mail carrier. Welcome to the south. If you need stamps, just let me know, ma'am." Impressed with the rural service, I vowed to remember his name.
As I walked back to the house I thought Memory by association, memory by association. Mr. Baker, Baker. Oh! I got it. Two professions. He's a mailman but has the name of another job, a baker. I'm gonna remember his name. THIS time I got it!
About a week later I spotted his truck and trotted confidently to greet him. I smiled. He smiled and nodded back. I burst out, "And a good morning to you, Mr. Taylor!" The puzzled look on his face cleared up my fog. "Oh, I mean, Mr. Baker. . .BAKER! Your name is Mr. Baker" I declared. He nodded again, as his smile faded.
Memory by association. Phfffttt!
Most people learn but here we are 45 years later and I tried it again recently at Sam's Club. Our friendly shopping cart gatherer is a mentally challenged employee. He's a hard worker and very friendly. Doug asked his name and he replied, "I'm Frank."
"You do a good job, Frank!"
He beamed, "Thank you, sir."
A few weeks later, back at Sam's, I spotted him. I'm gonna brag on him this time. I shouted out over the rumbling line of carts he was pushing, "Hi, Ernest! Ernest? ERNEST?"
He just kept pushing his carts. I wondered why he wasn't answering me until Doug muttered, "It's Frank."
I just kept pushing my cart too.
Did I mention I'm good at faces? Sometimes.
Last week, visiting our daughter, Kimberly, in Minneapolis I met a pastor friend of hers. We introduced ourselves, shaking hands when Kimberly informed us, "You've met before."
We both winced in unison. "Guess we didn't make much of an impression on each other," I laughed. He chuckled too. I can't remember his name. Probably won't recognize his face either when we meet a third time next visit at Christmas.
But I really do love people!
|This time we remembered his name!|