Because my family is so visible and active at church most of our hundred or so members know who we are by name.
Unfortunately, that doesn't work the other way around. I cannot count the times I've had long conversations with people who very clearly expect me to recognize them. So I swallow it and pretend that I do, hoping someone will mention their name while I'm nearby or that they'll use it in conversation. More often than not, I leave the scene none the wiser because I don't want to hurt their feelings.
This happened today while I was helping price items for the rummage sale (only came home with a duffle bag for the boys to take to camp, a backpack for Jeremiah next Fall, and three photo albums this time). A lady working across the room from me was making small talk as we worked. She asked me about Gary and the boys and I answered her questions. We joked around about not being crafters in a world of people who are. And then oohed and ahhed at the pretty nicknacks she was pricing.
My husband wandered in to pick me up and caught us cackling about something or other. They exchanged niceties.
This evening as we were cooking dinner, he asked me who she was.
"I have no idea."
"No. Me either." He sighed. "So who's going to do the deed this time?"
"It's your turn."
"Okay. I'll ask tomorrow."
We take turns looking stupid and/or insensitive. It's a good system.
Sometimes I wish everybody in the world (except me) had to wear nametags in public.
PS. Willows Blood is zooming now.