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Katy

Hypothetically speaking...

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If your husband accidentally called infant DD by the wrong name while caressing her cheek, and then spent the next 30 seconds trying to remember DD's name... the name he used was not another child in the family's name, not an ex-foster-child's name, but the random name of a woman he claims is a coworker you've never heard of before, even though you've met all his coworkers numerous times and never heard that one before... What would you think? He picked out DD's name. Have heard of people mixing up the names of people they love, but not people they barely knew with family members.

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Since I often need to pause to remember my daughters' names (which I chose) - so much so that I usually call them "girl" - I would probably not think too much of this incident.

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I’d be curious, and probably keep an eye out for instances of the name... maybe TV or books?

Is it phonetically or rhythmically similar to a familiar name? Or a name that was under consideration? Exactly how exhausted or distracted was he?

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I'd think he's in his 40s or 50s, LOL.  Brains do weird things sometimes.  I wouldn't get too concerned unless you see other signs that something is wrong.  

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1 minute ago, bolt. said:

I’d be curious, and probably keep an eye out for instances of the name... maybe TV or books?

Is it phonetically or rhythmically similar to a familiar name? Or a name that was under consideration? Exactly how exhausted or distracted was he?

 

Not remotely similar to anyone we regularly see. Not remotely similar to anything we considered.  I have a cousin named that but he's only met her a handful of times. A rare name that was more popular in the 80's. We do have two under 2, but he gets about twice as much sleep as me. There was someone named that at his last office, out of state, that he traveled with internationally at least once.

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I call all my kids all sorts of random names all the time.

if I have just spoken to someone or heard a name somehow it gets stuck in my head and comes out instead when I say someone name. I don’t even realise it and only notice when I see the confused expression on someone’s face. I have wondered if it is part of my dyslexia . I try to not do it but slip up multiple times a day.

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the oddest thing is it's not the name of someone in the family.

my kids routinely were called by the name of their next oldest sibling.

1ds once called dudeling by 1ds's name . . . . in front of everyone.

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erma bombeck once wrote a column on her mother calling her to come inside to dinner.   she had a string of names - she still wouldn't come.  finally she yelled "when are you going to come in?"  "when you get my name right."

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I mix up names all the time, always calling ds the dog’s name.  I call ds’ gf the other dog’s name everyday because they start with the same letter.  But it sounds like you’re suspicious so I don’t think this is a common occurrence for your dh.  Plus, it is odd that it’s the name of someone who I’m assuming he isn’t in contact with anymore.   I might do a little snooping or maybe just straight up ask him.  

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Hmmm. Are you concerned with possible mental decline or possible affair?  

I call my oldest by another name frequently-- but it's the name of a cousin I grew up with and both names start with the same digraph. The situation in the OP sounds like something different altogether...

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Well, dh did refer to his boss by our dog's name (Bear) in a high profile meeting with lots of honchos.  His boss said "I know how much G loves his dog, so I'll take it as a compliment."   I once called dh another man's name ... someone I was working on a volunteer project with and communicating by email and text frequently over the span of a few weeks.  I was horrified.  

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1 minute ago, Thatboyofmine said:

Huh.  Well, It would certainly kick my curiosity into high gear.  What was his reaction when he said it?

 

He's been acting weird ever since. Not something I can exactly put my finger on though. Sheepish.

In the moment, when he finally got the legal name, not nickname after 3 attempts, he made some comment about Daddy needing more sleep.

 

I don't know if mental decline or an affair is more likely.  He's been moody lately, but he's also had some migraines and frequently gets moody right beforehand.  His mom has mental illness.

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6 minutes ago, Thatboyofmine said:

I mix up names all the time, always calling ds the dog’s name.  I call ds’ gf the other dog’s name everyday because they start with the same letter.  But it sounds like you’re suspicious so I don’t think this is a common occurrence for your dh.  Plus, it is odd that it’s the name of someone who I’m assuming he isn’t in contact with anymore.   I might do a little snooping or maybe just straight up ask him.  

 

No, I've never heard him even mix up the kids names, let alone in the middle of lovingly cooing to a baby.

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All I can say is that sometimes I get an earworm like thing going on. It can be a name or a phrase I heard on the news or something I read here. It sticks in my brain until I say it out loud a time or two. Often at the weirdest times. And then it doesn’t happen again for a month or three. It seems to be more likely to happen when I’m sleep deprived and/or stressed. 

And that’s my weird admission of the day . . .

Edited by Pawz4me
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Well, when sleep deprived I called one of my kids "alexa" the other day....as in the electronic amazon echo device. oops. 

Men are biologically less adept at dealing with interrupted sleep than women, he may just be tired. Should also consider him having a physical. Low D, thyroid, etc can cause similar issues. Or it could be the migraine itself. 

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Ok, I’ll be the troublemaker.

I would think it was VERY weird and I would wonder what was wrong and want to figure it out. 

Sorry. I wish I could agree with everyone who thinks it’s no big deal. It would be a big deal to me unless it was normal behavior for him, which I’m assuming it isn’t, or you wouldn’t have started the thread.

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People mix up names sometimes. It happens. It's a little odd that this isn't a name that's at all connected to you (unless it's very similar to your child's name) but it can probably be chalked up to "normal brain fart" + "sleep deprivation caused by having an infant".

Unless, of course, you have some other reason to be concerned...?

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1 minute ago, Catwoman said:

Ok, I’ll be the troublemaker.

I would think it was VERY weird and I would wonder what was wrong and want to figure it out. 

Sorry. I wish I could agree with everyone who thinks it’s no big deal. It would be a big deal to me unless it was normal behavior for him, which I’m assuming it isn’t, or you wouldn’t have started the thread.

 

No, it's not like him at all.  I'm the one who mixes up names, of the kids and dogs.  And doesn't remember names of people I've only met a few times.  One example- The other day I made some "awwwww" noise while reading facebook, when he asked what was up I mentioned my friend is pregnant (after about ten years of trying). He's only met my friend Jenny three times years ago and her husband once, and he remembered her, her husband's name, and what kind of golf clubs the husband likes. He didn't have to ask which Jenny.

I don't have another reason to be concerned.  There's been some weird spending, but there always is this time of year.

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18 minutes ago, Katy said:

 

He's been acting weird ever since. Not something I can exactly put my finger on though. Sheepish.

In the moment, when he finally got the legal name, not nickname after 3 attempts, he made some comment about Daddy needing more sleep.

 

I don't know if mental decline or an affair is more likely.  He's been moody lately, but he's also had some migraines and frequently gets moody right beforehand.  His mom has mental illness.

That makes me feel better.   It seems like he’s embarrassed and probably a little disgusted with himself.  I’d probably tell him that I’m a little worried and think he needs to see his GP.  

However, if your gut is telling you there’s more to it, then dig deeper.  Obviously, our gut isn’t always right, but there may be other signs you’re seeing that we don’t know about.   (((Hugs))) Katy!

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4 minutes ago, Katy said:

 

No, it's not like him at all.  I'm the one who mixes up names, of the kids and dogs.  And doesn't remember names of people I've only met a few times.  One example- The other day I made some "awwwww" noise while reading facebook, when he asked what was up I mentioned my friend is pregnant (after about ten years of trying). He's only met my friend Jenny three times years ago and her husband once, and he remembered her, her husband's name, and what kind of golf clubs the husband likes. He didn't have to ask which Jenny.

I don't have another reason to be concerned.  There's been some weird spending, but there always is this time of year.

 

Can you call his company and ask to speak with NameHeUsed, to see if he really has a co-worker with that name?

I’m not thinking of an affair unless there are other warning signs, but I would be watching to see if anything else seems odd about his behavior, and if you notice anything, I would have him see a doctor because I would be more worried about a physical cause than about anything else.

But if there has been weird spending, you might want to keep track of that, just as a (hopefully unnecessary) precaution, and if he starts getting a lot of texts at unusual times, I would pay attention to that, as well. But again, I’m not really thinking along those lines; I’m just mentioning it because the behavior was so unlike your dh and I want you to cover all of your bases and know for sure that there is no reason to be concerned.

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2 minutes ago, Catwoman said:

 

Can you call his company and ask to speak with NameHeUsed, to see if he really has a co-worker with that name?

I’m not thinking of an affair unless there are other warning signs, but I would be watching to see if anything else seems odd about his behavior, and if you notice anything, I would have him see a doctor because I would be more worried about a physical cause than about anything else.

But if there has been weird spending, you might want to keep track of that, just as a (hopefully unnecessary) precaution, and if he starts getting a lot of texts at unusual times, I would pay attention to that, as well. But again, I’m not really thinking along those lines; I’m just mentioning it because the behavior was so unlike your dh and I want you to cover all of your bases and know for sure that there is no reason to be concerned.

 

Not really, he works for a rather large corporation so even though I've met the entire department and spouses and kids and most of the division, it's possible there is someone he hasn't mentioned before.  I'd need a last name to verify anything.

There's weird data usage on the cell phone plan too.... hmmm.... I wonder if there's some chat function on an app I don't know about.

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It would be odd for my dh, but not for, say, my mother, who does stuff like that all the time. Context is key here, I think.

And it's obviously out of character, so that would concern me a bit. But I'd probably just come right out and ask: "Hey, remember the other day when you called dd by the wrong name? What was up with that?"

It could be something totally innocuous, like he had a dream (not necessarily racy) about the woman with that name so she was in his head, and he's embarrassed by it.

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3 minutes ago, Katy said:

 

Not really, he works for a rather large corporation so even though I've met the entire department and spouses and kids and most of the division, it's possible there is someone he hasn't mentioned before.  I'd need a last name to verify anything.

There's weird data usage on the cell phone plan too.... hmmm.... I wonder if there's some chat function on an app I don't know about.

 

Obviously, there could be many valid reasons for the weird data usage (even something as simple as your dh watching some movies on his phone or something like that, but if you’re putting things together in your mind and you feel suspicious, it’s probably worth trying to get to the bottom of it, if for no other reason than to put your mind at ease. 

Are there any apps on his phone that you don’t recognize? 

Odds are good that everything is fine and there’s nothing going on, but better safe than sorry. Also, worrying sucks. The sooner you can stop worrying, the better.

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I would say, hypothetically, that if this incident is pinging your radar for other un/subconscious reasons then I wouldn't think it unwise to keep my eyes open. Sometimes the flags are so tiny you can't see what colour they are right away iykwim.

Hopefully, and most likely, it's just a stupid brain fart.

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1 minute ago, LMD said:

I would say, hypothetically, that if this incident is pinging your radar for other un/subconscious reasons then I wouldn't think it unwise to keep my eyes open. Sometimes the flags are so tiny you can't see what colour they are right away iykwim.

Hopefully, and most likely, it's just a stupid brain fart.

 

I agree. And if you think about it, if you were having an affair with someone, you wouldn’t accidentally call your CHILD by that name, right? It’s not the same kind of relationship at all, so it doesn’t seem like something you would mix up.

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 Well I call my husband by my boss's name and by my Xh's name quite often.  It is just really embarrassing.  My boss and XH have names that rhyme with each other....it is really easy to say the wrong name!  However, dh has NEVER called me by his Xw's name even though my nick name and her full name are the same.  So shrug.  Who knows about these things.  

I am generally in favor of not being blind to red flags or shrugging off weird vibes.  

Edited by Scarlett
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I'd find it very odd for my dh to do something like that. He's never messed up anyone's name before. If it was followed by sheepish behavior I'd start to get suspicious. But that is because my dh doesn't get embarrassed by things easily. And saying the wrong name wouldn't embarrass him.  I wouldn't be worried about an affair with dh but I might be concerned about his mental state.

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How old is the baby?

It takes me a couple of months to internalize a new baby's name. In the meantime they get called wrong more often than right, though usually just the next older sibling's name. Could this be a name he considered for the baby?

I do mix up family member names constantly, my kids especially get called by each others' names, the cats' names, and my own siblings' names. My mom's dad called my dad (his SiL) by his dog's name; the problem runs in the family.

A non family and not in habitual close circle name though is odd.

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15 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

 Well I call my husband by my boss's name and by my Xh's name quite often.  It is just really embarrassing.  My boss and XH have names that rhyme with each other....it is really easy to say the wrong name!  However, dh has NEVER called me by his Xw's name even though my nick name and her full name are the same.  So shrug.  Who knows about these things.  

I am generally in favor of not being blind to red flags or shrugging off weird vibes.  

 

I agree. And right now it’s just weird vibes, but there are two possibilities that could be a real problem (and a lot of simple and innocent explanations as well,) so it’s worth looking into what’s going on.

If he has been acting sheepish, it could be because he nearly slipped up and got caught doing something bad... but it could also be that he is secretly worried because he has noticed himself being forgetful lately and he’s afraid there is something wrong with him... or it could simply be that he hates to make mistakes and he still feels foolish about having messed up his own child’s name, even though he was just exhausted and half asleep when it happened.

It truly could be anything. I just hate the thought of Katy being worried at Christmastime. 😞

Edited by Catwoman
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I hope it is nothing more than an innocent mistake, but I would find that very weird. I totally get calling a kid by the name of a sibling or pet or some other frequently used name, but to just say an unusual name out of the blue like that? It would make me wonder why that name was on his mind. And then struggling for 30 seconds to remember the baby's name would make me wonder if it was because he was feeling shocked and flustered at blurting out that name.

 

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I would be on alert for more incidents or evidence of something amiss. But I would absolutely not tip my hand; I would keep my eyes and ears open for an explanation and not say anything more about it. 

I have once in a while said the totally wrong name due to something I was thinking about, but once I realized it, it would be highly apparently that I made a very funny wild mistake. I would be like, “OMG! I cannot believe I just called the kid by the neighbor’s dog’s name! I was letting my mind wander so far after hearing the neighbor’s dog barking!” Or whatever. 

 

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3 minutes ago, Quill said:

I would be on alert for more incidents or evidence of something amiss. But I would absolutely not tip my hand; I would keep my eyes and ears open for an explanation and not say anything more about it. 

 

Yes, this, exactly!!!  

The more suspicious you are, the less suspicious you should act. 

Also, let’s face it; if this turns out to be nothing, you don’t want your dh to think you had any suspicions about him, and right now there is no solid evidence that he has done anything wrong.

 

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Was it really 30 seconds? Because that’s a veeeery long time to take to try to remember your own child’s name.  When I was a corporate trainer, they’d tell us to ask the trainees a question and then wait for 8 seconds. It takes 8 seconds for people to get up the nerve to answer in front of people, and it’s also how long it is before people start feeling uncomfortable with silence and will try to fill the silence.  30 seconds can be an eternity.  

If it was 30 seconds, I’d be very worried about mental issues—but I’d start with being worried about his sleep.  My dh was having severe memory issues and it turned out to be sleep apnea. I was pretty convinced he was having super-early onset of dementia because the memory issues were so bizarre and prevalent. 

If he was sheepish about it for a length of time, he’s either having an affair or there have been other memory issues that he’s starting to realize are a problem and he’s worried...or it really was a one time thing out of the blue that embarrased him.  

I know that no one gets sleep with a new baby, but if his sleep issues are extra bad, he could be a real danger on the road (a certain amount of sleep deprivation is the same as driving drunk), and he could start messing up on the job (that was the only reason my DH finally believed me that he has memory issues.  He simply didn’t remember forgetting things, so when I told him he was being scarily forgetful...he forgot that I told him he was forgetful.  His memory issues were always new to him when I brought them up, because he didn’t remember that he had memory issues.  It was a mess!). So, first step is probably to try to get him some extra sleep and then go from there. That would be the easiest fix.  Because an affair or true mental impairment will be seriously bad news.

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10 minutes ago, Catwoman said:

 

Yes, this, exactly!!!  

The more suspicious you are, the less suspicious you should act. 

Also, let’s face it; if this turns out to be nothing, you don’t want your dh to think you had any suspicions about him, and right now there is no solid evidence that he has done anything wrong.

 

This exactly Times Two :).  I have found it usually doesn't work well to voice suspicions.  

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5 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

This exactly Times Two :).  I have found it usually doesn't work well to voice suspicions.  

 

Yes, if you voice your suspicions and the person is innocent, you could really hurt that person’s feelings and it could be very damaging to the relationship... and if you voice your suspicions and the person is guilty, you’ve just given him a warning to be more careful, destroy any evidence, and to be more careful than ever about covering his tracks. 

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2 hours ago, Katy said:

 

He's been acting weird ever since. Not something I can exactly put my finger on though. Sheepish.

In the moment, when he finally got the legal name, not nickname after 3 attempts, he made some comment about Daddy needing more sleep.

 

I don't know if mental decline or an affair is more likely.  He's been moody lately, but he's also had some migraines and frequently gets moody right beforehand.  His mom has mental illness.

 

THIS would make me suspicious there is something else going on.   and I'm not generally suspicious in that regard.

 

1 hour ago, Catwoman said:

 

Can you call his company and ask to speak with NameHeUsed, to see if he really has a co-worker with that name?

I’m not thinking of an affair unless there are other warning signs, but I would be watching to see if anything else seems odd about his behavior, and if you notice anything, I would have him see a doctor because I would be more worried about a physical cause than about anything else.

But if there has been weird spending, you might want to keep track of that, just as a (hopefully unnecessary) precaution, and if he starts getting a lot of texts at unusual times, I would pay attention to that, as well. But again, I’m not really thinking along those lines; I’m just mentioning it because the behavior was so unlike your dh and I want you to cover all of your bases and know for sure that there is no reason to be concerned.

this.  

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2 hours ago, Catwoman said:

Ok, I’ll be the troublemaker.

I would think it was VERY weird and I would wonder what was wrong and want to figure it out. 

Sorry. I wish I could agree with everyone who thinks it’s no big deal. It would be a big deal to me unless it was normal behavior for him, which I’m assuming it isn’t, or you wouldn’t have started the thread.

This is what I would also think and would do.

Especially since it is the name of a former co-worker and they traveled together at least once.

 

Edited by peacelovehomeschooling
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4 minutes ago, peacelovehomeschooling said:

This is what I would also think and would do.

Especially since it is the name of a former co-worker and they traveled together at least once.

 

Good point about the former co-worker.

Katy, can you check and make sure the former co-worker is still living out of state? Do she and your dh still work for the same company or travel to the same conventions?

 

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1 hour ago, Katy said:

 

Not really, he works for a rather large corporation so even though I've met the entire department and spouses and kids and most of the division, it's possible there is someone he hasn't mentioned before.  I'd need a last name to verify anything.

There's weird data usage on the cell phone plan too.... hmmm.... I wonder if there's some chat function on an app I don't know about.

Can you call a receptionist - play dumb, don't identify yourself, and say you're trying to get a hold of ___ person, but you only know the first name.

1 hour ago, LMD said:

I would say, hypothetically, that if this incident is pinging your radar for other un/subconscious reasons then I wouldn't think it unwise to keep my eyes open. Sometimes the flags are so tiny you can't see what colour they are right away iykwim.

Hopefully, and most likely, it's just a stupid brain fart.

what does your gut say?    God gave us a gut for a reason.  if he only needs more sleep, fabulous.  if he is developing something with his mental health - you have an early warning to get appropriate medical help.   if he's being a very naughty boy . . . . . you can start doing what you need to do to protect yourself and your children.

43 minutes ago, Quill said:

I would be on alert for more incidents or evidence of something amiss. But I would absolutely not tip my hand; I would keep my eyes and ears open for an explanation and not say anything more about it. 

I have once in a while said the totally wrong name due to something I was thinking about, but once I realized it, it would be highly apparently that I made a very funny wild mistake. I would be like, “OMG! I cannot believe I just called the kid by the neighbor’s dog’s name! I was letting my mind wander so far after hearing the neighbor’s dog barking!” Or whatever. 

 

THIS.   it's ok to say you think he needs more sleep, or maybe a medical checkup as he could be deficient in something - but absolutely do not let him think for one minute you even have a thought there could be something worse.   if it's is "worse" - he will make it harder for you to do what you need to do for yourself and your children.

 

I nearly called my grandson 1dd's dog's name . . . . but their role is the same.  both entirely dependent upon the adult, and I had been puppy sitting during the day all summer.

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So far OP has listed: moody, weird spending, and unusual data usage. Something to think about: it's possible the 30 seconds was him being very flustered and mentally determining how to cover his slip. 

I'd hope for the best...but I'd absolutely snoop for evidence of the worst. 

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14 minutes ago, alisoncooks said:

So far OP has listed: moody, weird spending, and unusual data usage. Something to think about: it's possible the 30 seconds was him being very flustered and mentally determining how to cover his slip. 

I'd hope for the best...but I'd absolutely snoop for evidence of the worst. 

 

I agree. There is an excellent chance that everything is perfectly fine and nothing is going on, but I’m a firm believer in finding out for sure, because peace of mind is important, and also because it’s awful to feel suspicious of someone you should be able to trust above all others. And also, if there is a health issue, it’s important to watch for additional signs that indicate there may be a problem. 

But I won’t lie — the “sheepish behavior” is the part that concerned me the most, and I would definitely research the cell phone usage and also try to pinpoint the weird spending (and also do a little checking on that former co-worker.) I keep reminding myself that all of this stuff could be completely innocent, and I don’t want to convict the guy based on nothing but a few things that may turn out to be nothing at all. I just know that if I was in Katy’s shoes, I would want all of the facts, and I would want them quickly!

Edited by Catwoman
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1 hour ago, gardenmom5 said:

...

THIS.   it's ok to say you think he needs more sleep, or maybe a medical checkup as he could be deficient in something - but absolutely do not let him think for one minute you even have a thought there could be something worse.   if it's is "worse" - he will make it harder for you to do what you need to do for yourself and your children.

...

I know what you mean here, but I want to say that it’s insensitive to cast marital infidelity (a very bad thing) as obviously “worse” than the kinds of heartbreaking, personalitiy-changing, cognitive breakdown, and potentially end-of-life issues that could be in play in terms of medical issues.

Both of those things are shatteringly horrible... but I think someone would have to endure both to be able to asses one as “worse than” the other.

I’m not trying to criticize: I’m feeling protective because of some situations I’m close to. People who live daily with a spouse who is losing their mind possibly sometimes wish that the evidence of decline had been evidence of an affair instead. (Then, they’d not have endured the infidelity and fallout, so how would they know either? I just think it’s not worth comparing the pain.)

Edited by bolt.
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The thing that would make me uncomfortable is the insisting that it is a current co-worker's name when there's no evidence for that and it is the name of a previous co-worker. Is it a rare enough first name that you can google it and see if  there is someone by that name working for the company?

I too would prefer affair to serious cognitive decline, but of course the ideal answer is sleep deprivation.  I do call all the kids by each others' names, and sometimes by my sister's name if I've been thinking about her, but not by random other names that aren't part of our daily lives.

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