The Art of Messing Up Names (or, I wanna be John Travolta when I grow up)

By this time, we have all seen or heard about John Travolta’s Oscar Night gaffe: he not only mispronounced Broadway star Idina Menzel’s name, he made up an entirely new one: Adele Dazeem.

Now, I was all ready to jump on the “Down with Travolta” bandwagon until I took a pause from my late night pancakes and moscato and really thought about it: I’ve done worse.

If I had a dollar for every time I’ve called some dude the wrong name-in bed-I’d have a total of 8 dollars, which-I think-is about 7 bucks too many, right?

I’ve confessed my transgressions with friends and they all look at me with the same incredulous, disappointed face.

How could you do that, Sam?

Did he hear you?

Did you do it on purpose?

Do you know his name now?

I always feel bad, but there’s never anything I can do before it happens. I’m a talker in bed and after a bot of wine, 2 PBRs, and a couple of tequila shots I’m most definitely going to call you my ex-boyfriend’s name. Or the name I thought I heard you say at the bonfire we stumbled home from. I have a hard enough time remembering names when I’m sober (and I work in customer service so it’s really embarrassing when someone tells me their name and I just look at them blindly for a few heavy seconds until it actually registers in my mind) but throw in the mix anything that will alter the little activity my brain has left, and it doesn’t matter how many times you told me your name was Zach; I will continue calling you Justin until you text me the next day and I’m too ashamed to ask you your name so I just respond with a casual “Hey…dude!”

When you’re single and trying to mend a broken heart, you throw yourself out there and sometimes there’s just too many names to remember. How am I supposed to remember which one is Joey, Justin, JC, Lance or Chris?! This is a real problem.

Seriously you guys, it’s gotten so bad that I’ve introduced men by the wrong name to my friends. This scenario has happened to me exactly twice:

I’m walking down the street with a friend when John Doe comes up behind me-

John Doe: Hey Sam!

Me: Hey…dude.

John Doe: What’s up, I haven’t seen you at [insert bougie tap room here] in awhile.

Me: Oh I know, I’ve just been so busy with rehearsals. Ughhh.

John Doe recognizes my friend.

Me: Oh, Megz this is [with as much confidence as I can muster] Dan.

John Doe: Brian.

Me: Brian. Shit. I’m sorry we were just talking about Dan. Her ex. Who beat her. Beats. He beats her. It’s really…traumatic. Ok, that’s our bus, see you later Dan.

John Doe: uh.

Me: Brian. Brian. I know that Ahhh. Text me!

We run off.

It’s horrible and I know if some guy I just banged introduced me to his friends as Tricia, all hell would break loose.

I’ve tried different tactics to combat the issue:

-Banging from behind allows your voice to be muffled

-Immediately leaving before the guy awakens so there’s no opportunity for potential slip ups.

-Only going home with guys named John.

-Making a joke out of it (this has yet to work)

This evening, John Travolta finally responded to the Idina fiasco:

“I’ve been beating myself up all day,” the Be Cool star said in a statement to E! News. “Then I thought…What would Idina Menzel say? She’d say, ‘Let it go, let it go!”

Truth telling moment: I never saw Frozen. But, if Idina is telling me to let that shit go and not get hung up on something as trivial as someone’s name-then I’m going to take that advice. Because there’s very little a sense of humor can’t fix.

That, and a boyfriend with a one syllable name.

-Sam