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Ummm ...

Truth hurts.

Truth hurts.

Ahhh, summer, the clink of glasses, the soft throb of Rod Stewart on the stereo, a lingering glance here, another drink there, inhibitions run wild, tonight's the night! ... and ... and ... what was your name again?

You may have been there - probably sans the Rod Stewart - a few too many sherbets, an anticipatory cab ride home, then you tumble into bed with a stranger to perform the most intimate of acts.

When the birds screech you awake the next morning the two of you part, never to meet again, until a chance encounter at a pub, a party, the park and ... what was your name again?

One of the rarely discussed consequences of our nation's love of binge-drinking and casual sex is the embarrassing situation where you forget the name of someone you've ... done homework with.

It can happen to the best of us, including famous film directors such as the unctuous Brett Ratner. He was recently forced out of producing next year's Academy Awards because he used a gay slur after a screening of his new movie Tower Heist, starring Eddie Murphy.

Interestingly, Ratner was not pressured to resign when he said of actress Olivia Munn only five days earlier: "I banged her a few times, but I forgot her ... so when she auditioned for me for a TV show, I forgot her, she got pissed off."

I wonder why? Probably because it never happened. Ratner made it up to look cool, which is a game plenty of tossers play and makes it all the harder for the genuinely forgetful.

I know of an upstanding financier who woke naked in a woman's bed, remembering nothing of the drunken night save her whispering "it's electric" in the dark.

Luckily for him, the woman was also tertiary educated and had a proudly-framed MBA bearing her name on her wall. It didn't explain what "it's electric" meant.

Aaaaanyway, because All Men Are Liars strives to be helpful, I thought we'd plumb the best tips on how to save face if you ever legitimately find yourself in this situation.

Walls: As outlined above, this really only applies the morning after. Fear not if your paramour isn't university educated; hairdressers and TAFE grads get diplomas too. Maybe they just won a trophy for ten-pin bowling? Seek these items out.

Wallet: No luck? OK, wait until your host with no name goes to the bathroom, then pounce on their wallet for a driver's licence or credit card. Too bad if they're married with kids and there are five names on their Medicare card.

Needless to say, if you get caught doing this, you're toast. At best you're a sneaky f---er, at worst you're a thief.

Bills: Failing all this, check the fridge for a power bill - but Lord help you if it's in their flatmate's name and you blurt that out during "seconds".

Skin: Don't discount tattoos. There's a disconcerting trend at the moment of morons getting their surname inked on their body. Then again it could their kid's name. Scratch that. 

Mobile phone detective: Of course, if you see the person months later, you're on your own. Nearly. If you spot them first and gauge a meeting imminent, phone a friend to beg: "Do you remember the name of that chick I rooted after Melbourne Cup last year." Classy.

Forensic questioning: Your last refuge is defaulting to leading inquiries such as "so where you living now?" or "what are doing with yourself" in the hope a suburb or occupation might knock a name loose.

In the end, I suppose this is a good problem to have and could be worse. I know of a marketing type who went for a job interview with a female exec but received a very frosty reception.

"It clicked about three days later," he said. "We'd gotten very drunk at a function and had sex and I'd completely forgotten it even happened. I didn't get the job."

Sam de Brito's latest novel Hello Darkness is in bookstores now. You can follow him on Twitter here.

60 comments so far

  • It was just last weekend that i forgot the name of my mates new girlfriend. What made it so much more awkward was that i told her i forgot and she persisted in not reminding me!

    Pro Tip; dont be an asshole; get the awkwardness over quickly.

    Date and time
    November 29, 2011, 8:18AM
    • You tend to remember the good ones.

      I've found you can get away without using a name at all most of the time.

      Inexcusable if you are actually dating

      Date and time
      November 29, 2011, 8:46AM
      • Hmmm, can't say it's possible for me to run into anyone whose snake I've let run amok in my ladygarden and not know their name.

        I'd hate someone forgetting my name and referring me to "that fat chick I porked", so I always make sure I get to know them properly before we do the deed.

        Patty the PlainPlumpSpinster
        Date and time
        November 29, 2011, 8:50AM
        • Never happened to me....unfortnately.

          I did once wake up in a room I had never been in before and my last memory of the night previous is walking with a girl I was not at all interested in back to her place to get something. Next thing I know I am in bed.

          I checked all the trophies in the room, one said a guys first name but that was all.

          I listened and there was talking outside the door, not good and nothing distinctive.

          I looked out the window, trees.

          I looked in the cupboard and found an old school blazzer, it gave me the confidence to open the door and find out I was at a good mates house and just hadn't been in that room before.

          Also quick suggestion, have a look at her jewelery box, those name tag neck laces are fairly common.

          Date and time
          November 29, 2011, 9:18AM
          • OK Sam.
            I like your intentions with this.
            What would you do if they came to your place though?
            If you have a bad memory and you're already pretty hammered.
            Girls from interstate, flying home the next day are your best option. From experience, they're most likely only looking to have some fun on their last night in town and chances are, you won't see them again.
            Everyone's a winner!

            Date and time
            November 29, 2011, 9:19AM
            • Patty the PlainPlumpSpinster | - November 29, 2011, 9:50AM

              heheh two thumbs up Patty. Gets right to the point :)

              Date and time
              November 29, 2011, 9:45AM
              • A nice way of avoiding such situations is to ensure either you or the other person leaves their non-residential premises before going to sleep. It cuts out the awkwardness and avoids a walk of shame in the bright morning light. It also ensure that you can ask where your underpants/shoes/pants/top are without having to do the silent hunt in the morning without waking the other person before attempting to make a silent escape.

                Date and time
                November 29, 2011, 9:50AM
                • Had a girl wake up in my bed and neither remembered each others name. I was fairly happy, finally crossed of a 'perfect' one night stand from the bucket list. Neither remembered the others name, no phone numbers, no nothing.

                  Then I got a note in my letterbox 2 days later (using things other than a name to identify me) saying she'd lost her camera, did I have it? Ended up seeing her for a few months, back on the bucket list it goes.

                  She also could only remember floor... so left the same note in every letterbox on my floor, not the sort of rep I was going for.

                  Date and time
                  November 29, 2011, 10:00AM
                  • There's a reasonable chance they won't remember yours either so if you do have to talk to them again (the next day or at a later date) you can take the piss and/or do a fake introduction, "oh hi, my names _____" with extended hand and if they're not a numpty they'll reply in kind (if they are a numpty...) or "I know we had sex last night but just in case you can't remember my name it's ____". They might be relieved that they didn't have to bring it up.

                    Date and time
                    November 29, 2011, 10:13AM
                    • Why not just exchange numbers and ask her what she would rather be called? Alternatively quote Shakespeare: What's in a name? that which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. As you say that, depart. Either way, great tips Sam. Always leave them with a positive comment/compliment and you'll either get a call back or she most likely wont bug you if she see's you in the street with your wife or gf.

                      Sydney NSW
                      Date and time
                      November 29, 2011, 10:26AM

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