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Really awkward situation re friends - help!

(282 Posts)
ForgiveMeFather Mon 26-May-14 17:24:10

Arrrgghhhh! - DH being spectacularly unhelpful and I don't know what to do blush

This post is necessarily long by dint of our stupidity so please bear with it.

About 6 months ago DH and I had a rare holiday sans kids. We went to France as a belated anniversary present to each other.

It was lovely and at our hotel we met this other couple, also british who were celebrating their anniversary too. They were similar age to us, similar backgrounds and interests and live in the same county as us so we seemed to have quite a bit in common

During the week we shared a few evening meals together and visited a vineyard together and as we got near to the end of the week we said we should exchange details and get together once we got home in the UK (both myself and the other lady share a sporting hobby at a nearby outdoor centre so this seemed quite reasonable and I was genuinely interested in meting up with her).

So the wife (of this couple) gave my DH her mobile phone number on a bit of paper as they were leaving and we promised to text them when we also got back to the UK.

The really awkward bit is this though - on the very first day when we introduced ourselves, me and DH introduced ourselves individually using our first names but this couple introduced themselves as a couple and gave their names as 'Pat and Nick'.

So this was ok but later on in the evening when me and DH were alone we realised that we didn't know which one was Pat and which was Nick because when we thought about it, he could be Nick or Patrick and she could be Nicola or Nicky or Patricia.

We planned to ask them to clarify the next day (even tough it was a bit embarrassing) but we just didn't get the opportunity and as the week progressed and we got friendlier, it became even harder to ask.

Anyway - we get home. DH realises he has lost the bit of paper with the wifes number on and so we kind of forget about about it.

Then a fortnight ago we bump into them at this outdoor place that I mentioned upthread.

They seemed really pleased to see us although a bit miffed that we hadn't contacted them after the holiday. We explain about losing their number and then we sit and have a coffee with them whereupon they invite us to theirs to dinner shock

So in two weeks time we are going to have dinner with this (lovely) couple but we still don't know their names and it's just now impossible to ask.

So our options are:

A. just stop being so unbelievably stupid and just fess up and ask
B. go and have dinner at theirs and try and get through the entire evening without ever mentioning names
C. Try and do some subtle sleuthing beforehand to establish which one is which (but how?)


D. move to a different county and never see or contact them again

DH thinks 'D' hmm

They are not on Facebook so no opportunities to stalk on there but we do now have their email address but that doesn't seem to give any clues either and it seems to be a joint on?

Any ideas?

ForgiveMeFather Mon 26-May-14 17:24:51

Sorry, embarrassingly long post!

EverythingIsAwesome Mon 26-May-14 17:27:40

Have they really never referred to each other in front of you? That is even odder.

Nomama Mon 26-May-14 17:27:47

Can I come and watch you squirm?


Fess up and ask.... it will give them a story to dine out on for a few weeks and, in 10 years time you can all laugh about it!

Itsfab Mon 26-May-14 17:27:52

Text one of them and hope they sign off with their name?

BuildYourOwnSnowman Mon 26-May-14 17:28:27

I can't see why this is embarrassing enough to want to move!

It's perfectly possible to go a whole evening without mentioning names. At some point one of them will ask the other to do something (pass the salt, bring a dish in) and may well mention name.

It seems like they managed a whole week not referring to each other by name so unlikely they would notice if you failed to mention them by name.

If you're forced to plug for the one you think an if they say 'no I'm x' just laugh it off and blame the vino

kukeslala Mon 26-May-14 17:28:46

Say something using one of the names, e.g. Nick how are you enjoying your food, see which one answers and then say and Pat you?

itiswhatitiswhatitis Mon 26-May-14 17:30:05

I had a similar experience with a mum friend from a toddler group, went to her house about three times for lunch before I knew her name!

I would go and try and get through the evening without saying their names and hope one of them does first (or snoop through their mail!)

Poetnojo Mon 26-May-14 17:30:28

I like kukeslalas idea!

kukeslala Mon 26-May-14 17:30:51

Oh and Nick is the guy, I'm Psychic grin

Get pissed

Then ask

Guaranteed to work

Waltermittythesequel Mon 26-May-14 17:31:51

Ok what about

"hi Nick just checking we're still ok for dinner next Saturday" or whatever.

She'll either say "yes, great" or "this is Pat" then you can claim you thought it was the husband's number you'd gotten, not the wife's and apologise for the mix up!

Panzee Mon 26-May-14 17:31:53

Take someone else and get them to introduce themselves. This is what we did when my uni housemate took someone home and forgot his name. grin I went up ahead of her, stuck out my hand and said "Hi. I'm Panzee, who are you?"

Itsfab Mon 26-May-14 17:31:56

Sneaky look at their post?

annielouise Mon 26-May-14 17:32:23

Could you phone them when you know they're out and leave a message asking them to call back to double check directions or something. Then when whoever phones you make sure you don't answer and have the answer phone on so that he/she says "Hi, Nick here or Pat here..." then you'll know hopefully! Hysterical. Did make me laugh. Alternatively when you see her call her Pat and if she looks at you quizzically bluff it saying it was just a mistake. Or don't say any names until one of them calls the other by their name.

Kernowal Mon 26-May-14 17:32:50

Ask at the sports club if they know. Alternatively, send a text asking a specific Q about the mutual activity and say in it that you don't know whose mobile number it is. Hopefully they will reply saying it's Nick or Pat. I once spend months calling someone at my tennis club by the wrong name, so I fell your pain!

I bet you'll find one of them on LinkedIn, or try really useful for stalking people.

EverythingIsAwesome Mon 26-May-14 17:33:38

Look them up on Facebook.

Monopolice Mon 26-May-14 17:33:54

Do you know what jobs they do? Does Linkedin give any clues?

What about googling both names - if Nick is treasurer of the Men's Squash team and Pat is in the WI you have your answer.

gatofeliz Mon 26-May-14 17:34:31

Just ask them.

I spent 2 years living next door to a lovely couple called John and Sue, i was mortified when they hand delivered our xmas card on the 2nd year with their real names on it -- Alan and Mandy--blush

I blamed ex Dh for inventing their names when they moved in but he insists i told him what they were called!

3 bloody years they had let me call them the wrong name, serves me right for not being sociable and confirming with the neighbours the other side of us!

To be fair, they did look like a John and Sue grin

MotorLoo Mon 26-May-14 17:35:04

How could they have not used one another's names all week! That's bizarre!

tumbletumble Mon 26-May-14 17:35:10

Assume the man is Nick as that's the more likely way round IMO. Then if he or she corrects you, you can have a giggle about it.

BitterAndOnlySlightlyTwisted Mon 26-May-14 17:36:06

Considering my mother used to use my sister's name most of the time when she addressed me, getting the wrong name for people you don't know well can be passed off quite easily.

You have a joint email.

'Dear Pat and Nick,

Thanks for the kind invitation, Mr ForgiveMe and I are both really looking forward to it! I wondered if maybe a [sporting hobby] meet-up might be fun for us girls, too? Perhaps you can let me know when might be a good time for that?'

Then either Pat or Nick would reply to you, right?

ForgiveMeFather Mon 26-May-14 17:37:47

DH thinks that Nick is the guy too but I'm not convinced as his wife seemed to be quite 'upfront' - not girly as such (which was why I warmed to her) and so I think if she was Nicky or Nicola she would probably still have introduced herself as Nick.

Not that I have overbloody thought this at all.

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