I know I’m not the only person who has been caught in “that” moment. Come on...’fess up! You have, too. Over the years, I have...often.
The moment when you feel like the legendary deer we often hear about...the one that keeps getting caught in the headlights; except, in the instances to which I am referring, the lights just won’t come on - not even a slightest flicker.
Switching to LED bulbs won’t help, either. Nothing will...except being able to disappear on the spot – “Whooosh!”
Giving no warning, your mind goes on strike, refusing to work. No incentives or threats will kick its cogs into gear. Intimidation is useless. It won’t work. If you could, you’d pack up your tools, go home and hide, never to resurface; but you can’t. There’s no hiding place; no escape hatch.
Face it! You are caught...trapped!
Of course you, like I, have experienced the excruciating occasions when your mind goes blank...giving you nothing – nada - zilch – zero – naught – nix - zippo - zip!
It’s pointless shaking your head in an effort to wake up your brain. Take my word – doing so doesn’t work – and, to the person with whom you are speaking, you look like a bit of an idiot. (Probably confirming what they’ve always thought about you). I speak from experience.
Beating your head against the nearest wall will only attract those fellows with the van and the white jackets – so give that idea a miss. (I’m not speaking from experience in my latter statement...but I imagine it is what would happen). If you try this method, make sure you do it when no one else is around to see you.
Standing in front of you, oblivious of your state of panic...unaware of the embarrassment you’re feeling...is someone you know quite well; someone you even socialised with at various occasions.
Making matters worse, adding to your terror, sometimes it could even be a close acquaintance.
Try as you may, you can’t remember the person’s name!
Innocently ignorant of your discomfort, the suddenly nameless person standing before you continues happily chatting away, while you continue squirming.
Meanwhile, your face, which feels like it’s growing redder by the second, and your smile has become fixed as if it’s stuck there by Super Glue.
Kidding yourself, you think if you keep smiling - keep agreeing with what is being said - enlightenment will come. It doesn’t. The minutes feel like hours...weeks.
It is during those agonising, tortuous, humiliating episodes when “my dear”, “dear”, “mate”, “love”, and if push comes to shove, “lovey”, come in handy.
Time, showing no mercy, forges forth. Hapless and helpless, you’re now in the position where you can’t ask the person his/her name because you’ve known him/her for ages and, as I’ve touched on previously, on occasions, you’ve mingled and conversed during social gatherings.
You have no excuses to offer. In truth, there are none. Offering any makes matters worse. You went to sleep early the previous night, so you can’t blame your denseness on a late night.
If you try to excuse your bumbling, vacant behaviour, you end up embarrassing yourself even further. It’s best to shut up.
And, then, when the person with whom you’re conversing is talking as if he/she loves the sound of his/her own voice (in lots of instances, many do. I know a couple – one, in particular, who I’m always dodging), at appropriate intervals mumble a muffled “my dear”, or any of the other suggestions I’ve mentioned above.
If you’re wearing a watch, even if you’re not, pretend you are, and gasp:– “Wow! Is that the time? I must be off! It’s been great chatting with you, my dear. Let’s catch up again soon!” Hoping against hope, you don’t! At least, not until you remember the person’s name.
Don’t use my ex-husband’s method, though. He was keen on word-association. One day, after a couple of weeks of practice, he put word-association into use with a new client who was visiting from out of town, with the purpose of purchasing property in the city – in the inner-city suburb of Toowong or its nearby surrounds.
On the day of their first face to face meeting, the new client, “Mr. Trigger”, became “Mr. Gun”, much to my ex’s immediate embarrassment. Shooting from the lip, word-association triggered the incorrect name for my ex, Randall, in that instance.
Fortunately, Mr. Rifle...oops....Mr. Trigger...had a sense of humour. They both laughed at the slip of the tongue. Their light-hearted meeting sparked off a fruitful business relationship. A couple of properties were purchased, which, down the line, generated more business between the two.
Randall was a gun real estate salesman/agent....and, yes....I remember his name, without word-association or prompting!
Rosemary Chickpea Soup: Pour 1c of vegetable broth into blender with 1/2c sun-dried tomatoes, 1tbs minced garlic and 1/2tsp chilli flakes; blast on high 30-60 secs, until smooth. Set aside. In a large pot, heat 1tsp x-virgin oil over med-heat; sauté 1/2c diced onion, 1/4tsp salt and 1tbs minced garlic for 5mins, until soft and translucent. Add 1 can un-drained, crushed tomatoes, 1tbs finely chopped fresh rosemary, and 1/2tsp finely chopped thyme; sauté until fragrant. Add the blended mixture, 4 cups vegie broth, and 1/2tsp salt. Increase heat to high; bring to boil. Reduce heat to med-low, add 3c cooked or canned (drained) chickpeas. Simmer, partially covered, for about 10mins. Stir in 1-1/2c shredded spinach/kale or silverbeet. Sprinkle over finely-sliced green part of shallots just before serving.
Super Patties: Finely chop 227g tempeh; add 28g diced onion, 2tbs crushed garlic, 1tsp brown sugar, 1/2tsp salt, 1tsp ground black pepper, 1-1/2tsp each dried sage, thyme and smoked paprika, 2tbs chopped fresh rosemary, 1/8tsp nutmeg, 1/4tsp cayenne, 1/4tsp chilli flakes, 2tbs Worcestershire sauce and 1tbs olive oil; mix by hand or pulse in processor, until thoroughly combined. Adjust seasoning, if necessary. Chill overnight. Form into flat patties, ½-inch thick. Heat a little oil in pan over med-heat. Cook patties 3-4mins until browned; gently flip; cook 3-4mins.
Braised Red Cabbage: Finely dice 1 onion; add it to a large pot along with 2tbs butter. Sauté over med-low heat until onion is soft and transparent. Finely shred enough red cabbage to make 6-8 cups; thinly slice 1 Granny Smith apple. Add cabbage, apple, 1/4c cider vinegar, /4c water and 1/2tp salt to pot. Over med-heat, cover pot; let cabbage cook, stirring occasionally, until very tender (20-30mins). If bottom of pot begins to dry, add 1/4c water. Season with freshly cracked pepper, or more salt or vinegar, if desired.