Tag Archives: advice

Hi, my name is…

I can’t get to upset. I’ve been guilty of it myself.

Fans waiting to get into a show, Fan Fair 2008
Fans waiting to get into a show, Fan Fair 2008

That assumption someone remembers your name even though you only see them once in awhile.

This week is CMA Music Fest in Nashville, better known as Fan Fair. It’s honestly one of my favorite weeks of the year, even though it means little sleep and being on your A-game at all times. I thrive under pressure! This is the week in which country music fans descend upon Nashville to get up-close to their favorite artists and get a taste of Music City.

However, its also the time I always make SOMEONE angry. How? I don’t remember them from the year before.

Last year was the worst in which one woman spent an entire night shooting daggars at me, because I dared have no idea who she was… even though she’d met me at this artist’s show in this random city on this random day and we talked for fifteen minutes.

I sincerely try to remember people’s names and their stories. However, especially living in Nashville, I meet literally hundreds of people a year. I am going to forget someone’s name in there. I’m not perfect. I never claim to be.

I feel for my husband and all the musicians. They have is 10000xs worse. Especially if they’ve worked for multiple artists over the years. They have a lot of fans they’ve met over time. Most of the time, there IS facial recognition. But remembering a name and city can often require a little help.

I love that fans remember so vividly ever details of a conversation they had with an artist or their band (or the occasional wife). I did it too for years. I am just as guilty of assuming that the other person remembered me just as vividly! However, the fact of the matter is, its just not possible to remember EVERY conversation. At least not for me. Try as I might, I often can’t remember what someone ordered to eat from me an hour earlier if I’ve made ten hot dogs since then!

I don’t want to offend anyone, so I propose that during Fan Fair, every visitor be given a “Hi! My Name is…” sticker to wear, with an extra line of, “…and I’m a fan of…” at the bottom. I sincerely don’t mean this to be mean, but please… Country Music fans, cut everyone here some slack. We’re REALLY glad you’re here — everyone from the artists to the musicians to the bartenders to the cab drivers — but we’re also not perfect. Please don’t be offended if you initially get a blank stare when you see someone you know. We mean you no offence. We’re just frantically going through our mental Rolodex… and sometimes that takes awhile.

Three strikes, times two

I have a fairly staunch rule I set into place years ago.

I don’t let random men buy me drinks in bars. I know, many just gasped in horror, but its my rule and its served me well for many years and avoided many misunderstandings.

The other night, I was at a bar in downtown Nashville, visiting with friends and watching my husband play, when a guy decided to buy me and another friend of mine a drink. Under the impression (based on the conversation, etc.) that he knew my friend, I broke my rule and went along with it in the spirit of socializing with my friends.

I felt the need to walk away, though, when he would not take me seriously when I stated that my dream in life is to be a writer and that that is indeed what I have chosen as my career. Writing apparently was not a good enough for him and he kept pestering me for a different answer, and it was on that note that I walked away. I simply walked away and visited elsewhere until he left.

It was after this that I learned that he had been making a pill of himself with ALL the ladies in the bar and he was not, in fact, an acquaintance of my friend as I had believed. If he felt himself a “player,” he’d failed miserably.

Strike one: being a pill to all. Strike two: misrepresentation. Strike three: not taking me seriously.

It is cases like this that interactions both socially and professionally can be quite the minefield. You never know when someone is going to be legitimate. And it is within this uncertainty that I made my own three strikes in my discussion with this person.

1 – They make the first move, but reveal nothing about themselves.
In my interaction with this guy, I realized he told me nothing about himself, and I told him random facts about me. I was cagey, yes, but he learned I am married, work part-time at the bar, went to Texas A&M and that my passion is writing. None of this is exactly a secret, but its still more than I learned about him. I never asked, I admit. I didn’t want to know, and I hoped my disinterest in him would make it clear he needed to leave me alone. When it didn’t, I chose to walk away. But it is within this that I realized that I knew nothing about this guy. Nothing except that I didn’t trust him…

2 – Making an assumption.
No one told me this guy was an acquaintance of my friend. I drew that conclusion based on the fact that he was talking with my friend in close proximity, bought her a drink as well, and that they knew where one another was originally from. With those facts in hand, I made an assumption.

As my Dad reminds me regularly. Never assume. It makes an ass out of you and me. Call this a lesson proven true.

3 – Breaking my own rules.
When you have those personal rules, you stick with them. Go with your gut. Even if its not the most “cool” thing to do. Your instincts are there for a reason. Listen to them. I didn’t and I broke my rule of “no strange guy buying me a drink.” My very own strike three.

This whole thing is in the past and thus not worth my time to think about… however, its also a lesson to myself that I learned and will heed in the future.