My festive season to forget

By Eva Bradley

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Eva Bradley  Photo/File
Eva Bradley Photo/File

It's about that time of year when day-in-the-life columnists the world over will write about Christmas in some capacity.

Just like cheap and easy stocking fillers, an "oh-my-gawd-it's-almost-Christmas" column is a quick and fail-safe way to fill up column inches without too much mental investment.

In the throes of the often agonising search for inspiration this week, my helpful colleague, who has been known to inspire many a topic, suggested the inevitable Christmas column.

"But I do that every year," I groaned.

"That's because Christmas happens every year," she convincingly pointed out.

Still ... I just can't do it. And besides, I kinda already did in the shape of an "I'm-so-organised-I'm-sending-presents-in-October" soliloquy over a month ago.

But what I will say about Christmas is that while some people are agonising over what to buy and how to pay for it, my biggest fear is that for the entire month of December I'll be at various Christmas functions and put on the spot to remember names, or (more specifically) to remember if I am supposed to remember the names.

It is debatable whether being a B-list household name is a thing to be pleased about.

On the one hand it is always lovely when people I encounter take the time to tell me they enjoy reading about my life. On the other hand, it's not so great when you get named and shamed in a "text the editor" column because someone recognised you out walking the dog and not picking up the warm slopping leavings as you went on your way.

But the biggest drawback is the fact that while other people are given 52 opportunities a year to be reminded of my name and face so that on meeting me for a second time they are unlikely to forget, I'm introduced to someone once at the Christmas party and then a year later meet them again and for the life of me cannot put a name to the face or a face to the name.

There is nothing more mortifying than having someone remember you and not being able to return the courtesy (except perhaps asking when a woman is due when she's not ... something I've done on more than one occasion).

Forgetting someone's name is basically another way of saying "you're just not that important to me".

Which is most likely true but not something I want to publicise.

And so, come Christmas-party season, I have become adept at acquiring a certain happy demeanour upon being introduced that might indicate I remember meeting them before, but (if I haven't) might not.

I have code words for my boyfriend which he knows mean "introduce yourself before it becomes awkward because I certainly can't".

I've also perfected the art of simply saying "nice to see you" when I say goodbye instead of "nice to see you again"or "nice to meet you".

That way, no one who has met me thinks I can't remember meeting them, but no one who I haven't met but who acts like they have because they've read about my personal life feels I'm pretending I have.

Confused?

Try living it.

The net result of all this is that while some people are stressing about Christmas shopping, I'm stressing about Christmas socialising.

And now thanks to these candid ramblings, everyone who has ever met me will be wondering if I was pretending I remembered them. Let's just say I did.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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