Home > Laughter, Missionary Life > Please do not take offense…

Please do not take offense…

          If I ever go to introduce you, and a blank look turned terrified crosses my face—you’ve guessed it, I’ve forgotten your name. Please, do not take offense!

          I know. I’m sure there’s some written-in-stone requirement for former missionaries and current pastors’ wives to hold an outstanding grasp on the names of each and every person they have ever met. It goes with the territory, right? If so, this is one requirement I have failed.

          Names remain on the tip of my tongue—until they are suddenly required of me. Introductions can be a nightmare event. I open my mouth to begin the introduction—and I enter that memory-numbing stage so similar to test taking. Why? I’ve no idea.

          You don’t believe me? Let me tell you a story.

          We were over a year into our marriage.  As we walked up to the desk at the local hospital, it was obvious what our medical condition was. We were ready to grow our family. The rounded protrusion, where a flat stomach used to be, attested to the fact.

          But not quite yet. We were only registering for the birth of our child in the hospital, the actual event being yet a few months off. The woman behind the desk began rattling off basic questions. This was not an interrogation. These were simple questions.

          “Where do you live?” she asked.

          That one was easy.

          “On the outskirts of Durham,” I replied. “We’re students at New Tribes Mission.”

          “When is the baby due?”

          Another easy question.

          “Early April.”

          “And your husband’s name?”

          That’s then it happened. A blank looked, turned terrified, crossed my face. In a fraction of a second, I had misplaced my husband’s name—lost it in the recesses of my mind.

          My mind raced, but went nowhere. I was sinking deeper and deeper into a foggy abyss of a nameless husband. Sarcastic thoughts pushed their way to the forefront of my mind—none of them helpful.

          Oh right, this is my husband. I just can’t remember his name.

          My husband? No. I’m just a missionary in training and I pulled this poor guy off the street to come in with me. I don’t even know his name.

          “Matthew. My name is Matthew,” my husband interjected smoothly, covering my momentary lapse.

          I breathed a sigh of relief. My panic somehow lost on the woman behind the desk. Disaster was averted. Thankfully.

          We continued with more simple questions. Nothing as hard as my husband’s name.

          So really, if I ever forget your name, please do not take offense!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rosie Cochran

I am a pastor’s wife, former missionary, mother of four great sons (and a wonderful daughter-in-law!), and author of three books: Betrayed, Identity Revealed, and A Murder Unseen. (Available at: Amazon.com.) I have a passion for God, my family, and writing! Follow me on Twitter and Facebook.

Have a question? Email Me!

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  1. March 1, 2012 at 6:58 am

    Yeah, that’s kind of bad, Rosie! I tend to misplace names in the middle of praying for someone who is there listening, then I have to come up with a descriptive phrase for them to hide it, even though I know they know.

    • March 1, 2012 at 7:06 am

      Great! I’m not the only one! Even if I may be the only one who forgot the name of their beloved spouse. Ouch! Thankfully, he loves despite that incident. :-0

  2. March 1, 2012 at 9:27 am

    Out with my mother, run into a friend of mine, go to introduce them, “and, Rosie, I’d like you to meet my mother, um, yeah, I knew her name a minute ago……..”

    • March 1, 2012 at 11:32 am

      I hear you! And you really DO know them. You could give many stories of times together, of where they live, of how you met … just not their name! … Nor the street name they live on, since that’s a name too! 🙂

  3. March 1, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    This reminds me of my Mom calling me Philip! Then Curt! Then finally Karen! I am terrible with names – especially when meeting a group of people.

    • March 1, 2012 at 8:32 pm

      Been there. Done that. Even the dog’s name has slipped out when I’m going through the list. Poor kids, right?! LOL!

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