I am not really very good at remembering names. I have many strategies for learning them at the beginning of the semester, and have all my students memorized within a week or so. That's something I feel is important for my teaching. But after the semester is over, then those names start to slip away, as the data storage slot in my brain is filled with new names.
Last night at the party, though, I was in the Extremely Awkward position of talking with a former grad student (from 7 years ago) who had actually assisted me one summer with a research project -- he's back in our department after a hiatus. I also know his now-wife, who had been a student of mine as well. But I could not remember her name. Luckily my partner was with me, and so she eventually introduced herself and covered for me. Although I think my gaffe might have been obvious. (In a room full of introverted socially awkward people, maybe not.)
Question: would it be better to (1) appear rude in not introducing the woman, so that my gf did it herself (2) actually say, "I'm sorry, I don't remember your name?" I often self-deprecatingly go with #2 but in this case (I went to their wedding, fer goodness sakes) I didn't want to confess my stupidity for fear of seeming even more rude, if that was possible.
I'm going to have to start crafting an all-purpose excuse for memory loss, I guess. It's only going to get worse over the next few decades.