How To Gracefully Recover From Forgetting A Guest’s Name
What do you say when you’re having a lapse in memory and can’t remember a guest’s name when he arrived for dinner, and so you don’t know how to introduce him to the guests who are already there? I was mortified.
–GP, Brooklyn, NY
Here's what to do when guests are arriving and you can't remember a guest's name.
- Be a chicken. You should have ushered him in to meet the other guests, and then quickly excused yourself to "tend to something in the kitchen."
- With you out of the room they would have been forced to introduce themselves while you slyly eavesdropped at the door to recharge your memory.
Entertaining can be surprisingly stressful. No matter how much you love the company of friends, there is much to do in preparation. Details upon details. Stress can certainly cause you to forget names as easily as to neglect to put butter with the bread or a pitcher of ice water on the table.
- It happens to us all. Once I was having such a good time playing hostess, I forget to bring out the salad course! Of course, I didn't discover till the next day that my beautiful salad had missed the dinner party -- when I spied it snugged in the back of the fridge.
Three times -- that I can remember -- I've been called out on forgetting to show up at splendid parties that I had accepted. For me, life is far from all about parties. Although, in all three cases it was a huge faux pas.
To help you remember names - aside from writing out every guest's name on a separate place card that you place in front of their place setting, to help guests remember the person's name - here is a good exercise:
- Next time you entertain: Rehearse your guest list ahead of time by repeating the names out loud over and over again. It will help you not only to learn the names, but remember them as well.