Name Shaming

I recently celebrated a birthday.
I won’t tell you which one it was for the sake of decency, and it would be extremely difficult to find out for yourself via FB or other legal ways to spy on people, but it was really great. I have an amazing group of people I’m lucky enough to do life with, I love being the centre of attention AND I love parties so it’s the perfect occasion for me.
…When I remember that it’s my birthday…
Some time ago (no one can be exactly certain) I was already well into my morning before the well wishes of family reminded me that it was actually my birthday. This seems weird unless you know me and then it just seems normal, and by normal I mean normal for me which is likely weird for you.
I have a terrible memory.
I also had the shock of telling everyone all year that I was 33 and then I actually turned 33! This caused a bit of confusion and I’ve been building trust back ever since.
My memory is probably (cough cough) genius levels in piecing together big picture items and in troubleshooting patterns that are a mystery to many, from organizational systems to people issues, but ask me point blank what your name is and I’ll hang my head in shame.
We were watching my daughter’s soccer game and sitting beside a lovely lady who was joking around with us, when I decided to pursue the topic of my complete void in name recollection to get a laugh. It did eventually get a laugh but at my own expense because she had the audacity to ask ME if I remembered what HER name was!
What I should have done was go for a strong offence with a “Honestly lady, if you can’t remember your own name….”, but what actually happened was more like a scene out of the recent dog-shaming trend.
“I’m sooooo soooorrrryyyy. I can’t remember. I really love and care about people but I have trouble remembering their names?”
Uh huh. It was lame on about four levels. Maybe if my memory was better I wouldn’t keep volunteering funny stories where I’m the punchline?
She launched into a very reasonable argument about caring about people enough TO remember their names and her little tricks to do it. She even knew everybody’s name that she had met on the bleachers, including mine. “Let’s see, there’s ____ and ____ and ____, and of course let’s not forget (italics and words added) COREY”
Now ladies and gentlemen, if there’s one thing in this life that irritates me it’s a lecture that I’m not giving (I’m super amazing at lectures), so I ate my humble pie, but I didn’t like it. It really chafes that I brought it on myself and became an especially bitter pill to swallow knowing I’ll just do it again tomorrow.
I meet lots of new people in the Bert Church Theatre lobby after I preach at our Worship Experiences every week at Venue and have tried several times to keep a member of our dream team with me to help with names, and it might work if I could only remember who I asked to help?
For those of you taking my side in all of this (all three of you) I would like to say that if you hang on long enough the story has a chance of turning around. I hate losing and felt like I had been (rightfully) Name-Shamed but if life has taught me anything it’s that God favours the Opportunist more than the Strategist at times.
Some people lack the killer instinct when their moment in the sun arrives and their brains get in the way of a good comeback. Fatal backfires are not uncommon, but there can be moments of brilliance.
Around topic 50 of our conversation this lovely lady actually said in an offhand way that…
wait for it…
she couldn’t remember somebody’s name.
The hallelujah chorus began playing as I pounced and blurted:
“Hahahahaha! Whaaaat??? Oh my goodness, you ___ ____ ____ ____!!!!”
The finest comeback of my verbal career,
I just can’t remember what it was…
Corey Kope

Pastor. Father of 4 beauties. Devoted husband, Liverpool fan, and Jesus follower.

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