Why Can’t I Be More Like Bill Clinton?

I don’t know where I picked up this little bit of trivia, but supposedly Bill Clinton has a journal with the name of every single person he’s ever met, what they talked about, who their kids are, and on and on. So he never forgets the name of the person he’s talking to, or happens to meet again.

The last time I met President Clinton, at the White House Christmas Party in either 1999 or 2000, not only did he remember my name, but also what university I was attending and what I was studying. My parents barely knew that. It was a little nutty, but nevertheless impressive. Extraordinarily impressive. I mean, it’s one thing to know the names of the kids of some diplomat, quite another to know the names of the kids of some friends of your wife’s. Or well, maybe that makes it more … you know … regular or normal.

Anyway, I need to start being like Bill in this regard. I was walking out of the coffee shop this morning and hear my name being called, I turned and immediately recognized this young man calling me, but had absolutely no clue what his name was, or how I knew him.

The worst part is that, if he is who I sorta think he is, we dated briefly in college. Albeit, very briefly, but…I should remember that, right? If it is this same guy, well he cut his mini-dreadlocks off (not ugly white people poo-dreads, he’s Black)…but that’s no excuse…in college I was about 20 more pounds and my hair was long (down to the middle of my back long) and I didn’t have the bangs I do now. THAT’S more of a change.

Totally disappointed with myself. I’m going through the Rolodex ASAP and writing notes and getting mental pictures associated with everyone I’ve ever met. I’m great at recognizing faces, but names and facts elude me.

Anyone have any helpful hints? Otherwise this sounds like a serious-time project.

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One Response to “Why Can’t I Be More Like Bill Clinton?”

  1. M. Says:

    I write notes to myself on business cards when I get them. If I have a meeting with a group of people from the same company I make little markers to remind myself about who out of the group was the most knowledgeable/likable/helpful..(i.e. a good contact), and who did not make an impression. {my marker system is top-secret so if you see me making a marker on your card you don’t know if it’s cuz i like you or don’t like you}

    * * *

    Hello M.,

    That’s a good idea, provided you get a business card. I also like to imagine the iconography you use: smileys, checkmarks, Xs and Os? There’s software for this kind of nonsense, of course, like ConstantContact…and I could probably whip up some spreadsheet. And I’m SURE there’s an iPhone app that works about 45% as well as it’s supposed to work.

    Le sigh,
    Holden

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