Hi, Kevin, Meet Kevin

At a party, I was chatting to a guy who I had been introduced to earlier in the evening. After a while, I realized I didn’t remember who he was, so I said, “I’m sorry, remind me your name.”
“It’s Kevin,” he said.
“Oh, that’s funny becau…” I said.
“Your name is Kevin, too,” he interrupted, adding a bit irritatedly, “I know. I mean, I wouldn’t forget someone who has the same name as me.”
Sure, it would seem that I should more easily remember the name of a fellow Kevin, but it’s quite the opposite actually. I am blind to Kevins. I can’t pinpoint why, but if there’s another Kevin in the world, chances are I’m not going to remember what to call him. Some examples:
  • I saw a bit of The Wonder Years recently, a show I watched a bunch as a kid, and was surprised to discover that Fred Savage’s character is named Kevin.
  • I couldn’t remember the name of an old friend’s husband, so I checked Facebook and… yup, Kevin.
  • More than a dozen episodes into the 11th season of Big Brother, I commented to my viewing buddy that I knew the names of all of the reality contestants except for “that one guy”. We both laughed when, later in the episode, it captioned his diary room session with “Kevin”. 
  • At pub trivia, I was able to name all of the Backstreet Boys… except for Kevin. On another night, our team had to name the bird from the movieUp. I could recall that it is a boy’s name, as that was supposed to be funny since the bird turned out to be a mother, but I couldn’t recall that the bird’s name is Kevin.
  • In a higher stakes game, I participated in a 90s trivia local access television game show. My partner and I got all but two questions correct, one of which asked us to give the name of Screech’s robot. It was… well, you get it.
I don’t have a solid explanation for this phenomenon. Perhaps it’s some narcissistic trait where I subconsciously refuse to acknowledge Kevins that aren’t myself. Or perhaps it’s just because all other Kevins are irrelevant in comparison. Name one better Kevin. Name one better Kevin! See, you can’t. Forget the rest… I do.

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