When I stepped offstage after performing for an hour, this person introduced himself to me, and I responded "Hi, Cliff*, thank you so much for coming out."
"AND YOU ARE?!" Cliff spat.
"Sorry,” I said. “I’m Amanda.”
Or at least I think that’s what I said. It was hard to hear myself over the sound of the DICKHEAD BELLS going off inside my head.
Still, Cliff had a point. I should have introduced myself. Even if I knewhe already knew my name. (HE TOTALLY ALREADY KNEW MY NAME! Rrrrg.) It’s a moment I've replayed over and over in my mind throughout the years, scrutinizing it, analyzing it, and holding it under a magnifying glass to see if it would catch fire.
On the one hand I'm embarrassed that I came across as being too vain to introduce myself, when (I swear!) nothing could be further from the truth. On the other hand, WHY HAS CLIFF NOT CONTRACTED SYPHILIS AND DIED YET?
Thanks to him, I’ve spent the last decade assuming no one knows who I am.
--Hey, I’m Amanda
--Yes! I know! I’ve been cleaning your teeth for twelve years!
I re-introduced myself to Larry's cousins in the receiving line at our own wedding, just to be absolutely SURE I didn’t come across as self-absorbed.
--In case you didn't recognize me, I was THE LADY IN THE WEDDING GOWN STANDING NEXT TO LARRY ON THE ALTAR. THE NAME’S AMANDA.
--WE GOT IT. THANK YOU.
Okay! Just checking!
On the other hand, maybe Cliff did me a favor. Preparing me for encounters with memory challenged individuals like Roxie. Remember her? She doesn't remember you!
There continues to be a steady stream of Roxies in my adult life. Women who not only forget my name, but my face and my presence at their house last week as well. Perhaps they are my penance for my failure to formally introduce myself to Cliff.
*And Cliff wasn't his real name, by the way. At least I don't think it was. Truth is, I really can't remember.