Last  issue,  we proposed the reintroduction of  the  formal
introduction and handshake, rather than a sloppy intro and a  big
hug  when meeting someone for the first time.  But - what do  you
do  when you meet someone you are certain you've met before,  but
can't remember their name?

     Don't  panic!   Because  of the formality  of  the  original
introduction you can probably remember either the setting of  the
intro,  or  perhaps even who introduced you.  If that  person  is
present now, slide up to them quietly and ask, "What was the name
of  that  person over there, the one you introduced  me  to  last
month?"   If  that's not an alternative available to you  at  the
moment,  you  can be direct and ask.  Even the best  of  us  have
memory  lapses,  and  it's  quite possible  they,  too  may  have
forgotten  your  name.  "I'm sorry, but I know we've met,  and  I
can't  recall your name.  I'm _____, and I think we may have  met
at ________."

     Shy people may have trouble going up to strangers, so if you
can manage it, do it, for they may be too shy to.  Remember,  its
you  who wants the chance to talk to them further and  strengthen
the  acquaintanceship.  They might want to as well, but  are  too

     A related problem that seems self-evident but is  constantly
being  repeated,  is  introducing people by  an  incorrect  name.
Incorrect in the sense that it is inappropriate in the particular
setting.   Some people adopt two or more names: their given  name
which  is well known to their friends, an outer-court name  which
they use for gatherings and the larger Pagan community where they
are  relative  strangers,  and one or more circle  names  (a  3rd
degree person may have 3 or more).

     Some of these chosen names can be almost unpronounceable  (a
thoughtless  choice) or are too long for practical use.   Even  a
common  birth name can lead to confusion when it has  variations.
We  all know Pete at the Tabernacle, but how many of us know  his
name  is Pierre?  Faux pas are committed when someone  introduces
you at a gathering by your given name when you would prefer to be
known by an outer-court name.

     Going  up to a person and asking lets them decide  just  how
they  wish  to be known to you.  Allowing the  other  person  the
opportunity for choice is rarely wrong.

     The  more serious breach of  manners/etiquette/morals,  even
rarely  occurs  with formal introductions.  This would  be  if  I
turned  to a relatively new acquaintance and said,  "See  ______?
She is a witch, too."  Unless I have explicit permission to  tell
you,  I  have  done a terrible thing, for now  you  know  a  very
personal thing about someone who does not know you know it.  Even
if  your  friends seem to be completely open  about  their  craft
connection,   it  is  wrong  to assume that  you  may  pass  that
information on without their knowledge and permission.  If I have
told you such a bit of information about someone, I may also have
assumed too much about you and am pushing you further than I have
the right to, or than you wished to go.

     Back  to etiquette!  In Europe, hugging is a common form  of
greeting.   Touching while talking is common, and personal  space
is smaller than for Americans.  Because touch is more common over
there,  there is a subtle body language that says "I'm  about  to
touch  you."  If you are unwilling, slight movements  can  convey
that feeling.  Here, especially in the Pagan community, "huggers"
do not have this background, so in most cases the huging greeting
doesn't  allow you much choice as the "hugee."  To back away,  or
even   break   away,  is  taken  as  a  personal   affront,    an
unwillingness  to  share space, energy, love, etc.   Many  Pagans
look  upon the hug as a chance to get close, inside each  other's
barriers.   Or  at  least,  that  is  what  it  symbolizes.    In
actuality,  with  the  great proliferation  of  hugs,  we  simply
develop new barriers so that touching can not breach them.   Once
these new barriers are erected, they are harder to dismantle.

     I  am not saying hugging should be forbidden.  Rather,  that
we  need  to develop our own awareness of why we are  seeking  or
giving  hugs.   After all, we come from more  Anglo-Saxon  roots,
many  of  us,  which are more formal, rather than  the  Latin  or
southern  Mediterranean.  If you want to hug someone, go  up  and
ask  them if they'd like a hug, or would mind giving you  a  hig.
Be  sure  to phrase it a way that they will feel  comfortable  to
decline.   Slightly different rules apply with people  with  whom
you have a fairly close relationship, and assumptions might be OK
here, where by experience you know hugging is accepted.

     There's  a  lot of wisdom in the old addage,  "Don't  assume
anything - it makes an ASS out ofU and ME.

     We  all  feel we are the center of the world,  and  when  we
leave a party, somehow it ceases to be interesting.  So, when  we
leave,  we thank our hostess or host, and then make  the  rounds,
telling  everyone we are leaving.  This would be OK if we do  not
break up conversations in the process.  The only polite reason to
break into another's conversation is if they had previously asked
you not to leave without telling them.  It is more appropriate to
stand near the door and say in a reasonably loud voice, "Well,  I
must  be leaving now.  Good bye, everyone."  Anyone  who  chooses
may  then halt their conversation to respond if they wish, or  go
on talking.  It will be their choice.

     So  now,  we are being introduced, we  are  recognizing  our
memory lapses as minor, common occurrances.  We are thinking both
of  ourselves and of others in allowing personal space to  be  of
variable  size,  and  not demand  instant  and  constant  access.
Future  columns will discuss other manners, etiquette,  problems,
or  your  differing opinions, as they come to my  attention.  Any