Monday, May 18, 2009

You know, what's-her-name

Neither Jeremy nor I is very good at remembering names. This means that any time a third person comes up in conversation, one or the other of us always has to preface it with a long explanation of who we're talking about:

"Hmm, Yolanda. How can I explain her to you...oh, do you remember the time we were at church and Miriam hit her head on the bench, right when that lady with the big glasses got up to thank everyone for helping to paint her house, and then she almost tripped on her way back to her seat? Well, Yolanda was the one sitting in front of her."

Other times, it's put more concisely, as in:

"She's the one whose kid shared toys with Magdalena at that picnic."

It's kind of ridiculous that we keep track of these complicated vignettes more easily than someone's name, but there it is.

It's not just Jeremy and me, though. Even with other women, we all seem to have our shorthand for conveying the essence of a person in just a few choice words or a single phrase. It got me wondering - what is my "what's-her-name" name when I'm not around? If someone out of my hearing says, "You know, Bridget," I am curious how they finish the sentence, "She's the one who--".

I have some ideas:

-She's the one who always has her kids with her, no matter how inappropriate the situation.
-She's the one who is a natural birth weirdo.
-She's Jeremy's wife (what they say about Jeremy is anybody's guess).
-She's the one who plays the piano.
-She's got blondish hair, short, and I would describe her style to you except she has none.

What's your "what's-her-name" or "what's-his-name" name? Bonus: if I know you, I'll see if I can tell you yours, if I've ever had to use it.


Camille said...

I'm not sure how I'm described but I LOVED your comment about always having your kids with you, no matter how inapproprite. Birch and I both had to attend a meeting today so Trevor came along with all of his ineffective "keep him quiet" toys. I've been hoping that two kids will be excuse enough to escape some obligations in the future but maybe not. I just hope what people say is true, that you always think your kids are much more distracting than they really are.

Alli E. said...

Cute post. What's mine? The shortest of all of Jeremy's short cousins???!!

Nancy said...

Whenever I describe you it's usually to people who don't know you, except through your blog. So I have to say,

"My friend Bridget, who I met in Jordan on study abroad. She lived in Syria for a year. She blogs...yeah, that Bridget."

Liz Johnson said...

Mine for you is "You know, my old roommate Bridget, who lived in Syria and Jordan and is moving to Cornell? That Bridget." OR "Not the Bridget married to Ben" (since I know two of you). Both of those are used to describe you to Chris, since he can't remember who's who to save his life.

Scotty P said...

You know, Bridget, the one who looked like she was 12 when she married my brother.

Well, okay, not THAT young, but young.

JosephJ said...

I kinda took the easy road and became "the bow tie guy" at church. I'd say it beats "the guy with the huge nostrils" or "the primary pianist's husband" or even "Ian's dad" as far as uniqueness.

Every ward needs a bow tie guy.

Brittany Cornett said...

Before I knew you better and there were more than one set of Palmers in the ward I would say you know that Palmer girl who has lived in all those countries... I wouldn't need to specify which countries since just living in one country other than your own is pretty remarkable.

Bridget said...

Scotty, thanks for that. At least Jeremy only looked like he was 16 at the time so it wasn't so bad.

Camille, I hope it's true that we think our kids are more distracting than they are! And I can't remember your what's-her-name name since I've known definitively who you were for so long, but if I had to, these days it would be "the mom of that boy who makes tractor sounds the whole time during sacrament meeting" (that would certainly describe you to Miriam. She thinks Trevor is hilarious).

Alli - you're right! But I would also add "the mom of all those cute blonde kids."

Nancy - I usually just tack on "Andrew" and Jeremy knows exactly who I'm talking about.

Liz - you're "my old roommate Liz who worked in Romania."

Joe - sorry, you get tacked on to Jen. In certain circles I guess I could describe you on your own, but with Jeremy, you are known only by association.

Brittany - you're "the doula," but I don't know if Jeremy ever really knew what I meant.

Natchel said...

Oooo do me! Do me!
I think "the chatterbox in Sunbeams" pretty much sums me up.
For a long time you were "the cute gal with the two blonde babies" when I described you to Nate. Yes, I say gal to describe fellow females around my age, and yes, I use baby to describe any child under the age of six. I'm ridiculed for both of these descriptive words.

Aimee said...

As my sister-in-law just introduced me, I know exactly how I am known: Aimee, the one who had the 11 pound 4.5 oz baby, yes naturally.

Nancy said...

I think you are the only Bridget that Andrew and I both know so he automatically knows who you are. ;)

Britney said...

This is a fun post. My husband also struggles with names, so I'm often using lengthy descriptions when talking about people with him.

A few years ago, yours was "my really smart, old friend from Oregon who's lived all over the world and who's husband is getting his PhD in Arabic".

About a year ago it was shortened to "my really smart friend who's lived all over the world and blogs".

Now, thankfully, "my really smart friend" is sufficient. Although, if I were to call you Bridget, I KNOW he'd scratch his head and say, "Huh?"

Susanne said...

Enjoyed this. I describe you as the Mormon lady who lived in Syria while her husband was studying Arabic. And someone who was helpful to me as we planned our own trip. Thank you!

christi and clifton said...

I think the first time I was describing you to Clifton-you were "the one who speaks Russian with a little girl Casey's age" or something close to that. Usually I describe people by their kids--"You know, Miriam's mom"

Bridget said...

Rachel, you were just "the nursery teachers" until you graduated to "Miriam's Sunbeam teachers." And I'd throw in a "who is pregnant" for good measure.

Aimee is one of those complicated ones. She's the one who I was kind of friends with in high school, but more in a friend-of-a-friend kind of way, until we reconnected through blogs, and she lives in Vienna for half the year. Phew!

Britney gets "my friend from childhood who also married a Jeremy."

Susanne, when I was writing all those emails to you, it took me a while to describe to Jeremy who you were. I don't think he ever really got it. I should have just said "internet/blog friend" and left it at that.

Christi, you were Casey's mom to me for a while. And if Jeremy asked me who Casey was, I'd say she was the little girl who always gave us the stinkeye. And he knew exactly who I meant. :) Now I think you're the peanut butter Oreo lady.

This is too fun!

Lilianne said...

For a while (until we were more integrated into the ward), it was "she's Scotty Palmer's sister-in-law" and then it moved to the obvious after a few email exchanges: "she's the one who doesn't like Tucson very much," then it was naturally, "the one who is a fantastic writer and has a very entertaining blog..."

Well, the list could go on and on because you are an interesting person with lots of fun things to share. But like others, you're the only Bridget I know...and a good friend so I guess you'll forever be known as the interesting and smart Bridget forever!! :-) (And will remain that if I meet any more people named Bridget!)

Amanda said...

You know, the girl who speaks like 18 languages and has lived all over and the only girl I know who reads more than me?

The Ensign's said...

I would describe you as the girl that edited dictionaries and blogged about me before we were friends. So I'm pretty intersted to hear mine.

JackJen said...

For the record, "The Primary Pianist's husband" is named Peter and they live about a mile up the road. Peter is Florence's husband, who's "the one who home births." (And is very cool, also).

So, basically, I'm not THAT ONE.
(Unless Joe has something with Florence I didn't know about). But I doubt it.

YOU are "my freshman roommate, Bridget." And that usually suffices.

Alright, your turn. BRING IT.

Bridget said...

Lili, you'll always be my sister in law's cousin, even though half the time I say it wrong.

Amanda...hmm, maybe Lillian's mom? That seems way too boring. Oh! "The girl I met at storytime and didn't know I knew her." That usually worked.

Janae, EASY! The girl with the nose piercing. Or later on, the mom of the girl with the cute hairdos.

Jen, you have two. I usually start with "my old roommate Jen" and then cut right to the chase with "the girl you yelled at in that office that one time." He knows EXACTLY who I mean.

Scotty, waaaay back when I first met you, you were Jeremy's "big" little brother who could make a right angle with his first two fingers.

Aimee said...

Bridget-you will remain in my mind as the girl who was Jennifer's best friend at Bethany Elementary. Getting to meet you at birthday parties was ALWAYS intimidating! At Westview you were the runner, and I always associated you and Phong together as the X-Country runners.

Jennifer said...

Ok, this is totally boring, but I usually just refer to you as Bridget Walker Palmer to Jeff. The maiden name is good enough for helps that we all went to high school together.

BUT if he didn't know you, I'd probably say something like, "the girl I went to preschool, high school, and college with", which still is not as cool as the way others describe you. :)

sarah said...

When I first met you I'd describe you as "Jeremy's really cool girlfriend that I met at my cousin's crazy cowboy wedding. and the one Janice called 'Ginger(the cat)' by accident a few times :)"

This is fun to think about. I have one friend that I refer to as 'the one with 5 cats'. ha

Kat Clark said...

"You know? Bridget. The blonde one who edits the dictionary and hates Tucson?"

Now for mine, or what I assume is mine.

"You know? Kat. The one who talks too much and shows too much cleavage?"

I think that about sums it up.

Bridget said...

Yeah, Jennifer, you're pretty much the same description - my very oldest continuous friend.

Sarah, I knew we could be kindred spirits when I figured out you were Jeremy's sister who liked Hello Kitty and Keroppi (if I recall correctly).

Kat, the first time I met you you told me I looked like Kate from LOST. And I went home and told Jeremy, because it was the greatest compliment I had recently received, especially considering I was just a few weeks post-partum. And from then on, you were "that girl who told me I looked like Kate from LOST."

Fromagette said...

This will be really boring but you are "my freshman roommate" and I assume you use the same for me. There is something about sharing a room for two years at college, reading Harry Potter aloud to each other, writing religion papers with subtitles (something like "a plum floating in purfume in a man's hat"), and watching Mansfield Park over and over again that only needs a short description like "roommate", which description then trumps everything else.


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