Sunday, May 4, 2008

Hello, Mr. Dipladenia,

Nice to meet you, Mr. Dipladenia.

Look forward to seeing you again, Mr. Dipladenia.

There are those who can seemingly meet all sorts of people, talk to them for a bit, and then the next day recall every person's face and name. I've never been one of those people. Most of the time, I'll be able to recognize the face as familiar, but I have difficulty putting a name with that face.

Well, since Kari's father Keith re-opened his Bent Oak Nursery in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL, I've had a chance to spend some time there on the weekends that I've been down to visit. Often, some of the different flowers and bushes will grab my attention, and I'll ask what they're called.

I'll listen to the exotic names, sometimes even read the tags as well, and without fail, a few hours later "Hey, what did you say the name of that was again?"

I've thought about trying to come up with some word associations to keep them stored in my head, like I did for the "Sister Ride Your Bike" bushes that now grace my front yard. Somenoe who knows might call them Loropetalum (or "Laura pedal 'em" as they're now ingrained in my head). But I'm not sure how all those Latin genus names will work with that approach.

So I've decided I'm going to have to turn to the old standby that I read in an article about meeting business contacts a few years ago. Repeat the person's name to them as you're shaking their hand, looking them right in the eye. Then, make sure to call them by name as you're speaking to them at least twice more in the conversation. At that point, you should be able to commit the face and name to memory.

Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. That's what I'll do. And hopefully no one will wonder who the nut job shaking the plants is.

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