Ever meet someone, and then see them again, and they don’t remember you? It happens all the time. We’re all busy and have a lot on our minds; we can’t be expected to remember the name and details – or even the face – of every person we meet. Of course. I cannot claim some supreme memory that allows me to remember every single person to whom I’m introduced… That is perfectly normal. AND, normally, if this happens and one person approaches another who does not remember them, the non-remember-er usually apologizes and they move on – albeit a little awkwardly.
Here, let’s try a sample scenario:
Person 1: Walks up to Person 2, smiling, and says with polite hesitation. “Hi, Person 2?”
Person 2: A little confused, even inquisitive, but certainly not freaked out. “Uh, yes. Have we met?”
Person 1: “Oh… Uh, yes. I’m Person 1. We met at Party X… At Person 3 and 4’s house.”
Person 2: “Gosh, I’m sorry. You said your name is Person 1?
Person 1: Nods
Person 2: “Well, it’s nice to meet you again, Person 1.”
They shake hands and continue speaking.
Because they had only met once before, Person 1 approached Person 2 cautiously, considerate of the fact that Person 2 was not guaranteed to remember meeting previously. Even as Person 1 may have confused Person 2 a little, Person 2 stayed polite and was very willing to accept that a glitch of memory had taken place. Gosh, weren’t they both just so polite!?
In reality, this is not always the case. See, either of these people can do the wrong thing. Person 1 can get mad that Person 2 doesn’t remember them. OR Person 2 can be weirded out by Person 1’s impeccable memory. In both cases, it’s probably better just to be nice and polite. *I would like to caveat this by saying that sometimes there are creepy people, so if someone is being creepy, it’s okay to be creeped out.
Now that we have all of that out of the way, I would like to explain what it means to be “Chazed.” When I was a freshman in college, I was in an arts community that did all sorts of really cool things – the first week we were there, they took us to an art studio where we made masks and got to know people from the program. It was wonderful. On the bus ride there, I met a guy named Chaz. We spoke for about 20 minutes and it was very pleasant – not kismet, but nice. When I ran into him later that week, he knew my friend, but didn’t remember me. That was fine, I re-introduced myself and didn’t think much of it.
Apparently, he didn’t think much of it either.
Over the next few years, I ran into Chaz, leather-beret-wearing Chaz, every couple of weeks – usually with that same friend who was dating his friend – and he never once remembered me. Not my name. Not my face. Not anything even vaguely. It was, to say the least, amazing. It was always the same routine.
Chaz would say, “Hey, Ashley.” She would reply. Then, he would see me and reach out a hand while saying, “Hi. I’m Chaz.” Ashley and I would exchange glances and I would respond as politely as I could. “We’ve met. I’m Patty.” At first I was much nicer, much more forgiving, but after a while… Come on! Finally, after running into him about 10 times in a month, it was Halloween and there he was, introducing himself again. I was a little miffed and I didn’t even let him get to his name. I looked at his outstretched hand, and said, “Hi Chaz. We’ve met already… like 20 times.” He looked scared, taken aback and miffed himself. I really didn’t care what he thought of me at that point, you know, since he clearly hadn’t thought of me.
I tried hard not to let him introduce himself after that, though he managed to a few times. It just makes no sense. How could we meet so many times without him remembering me? Was I being “Trading Places-ed?” (Suddenly, I’m 30 Rock… actually that would be awesome.) Moral of the story, Chaz is either a d-bag or has the most amazing case of short-term memory loss I’ve ever run across.