Hello. My name is John Moe.
So I was at Caribou Coffee this morning. It's a Midwest coffee chain. And the barista was serving up drinks to customers and saying stuff like, "Here you go, Tom" and "Haven't seen you in a while, Jeff" and they were saying, "Thanks, see you later, Gail".
And I thought, wow, they all know each other! What are the odds that they are all acquainted socially outside the inherently impersonal arena of coffee service? Maybe they...grew...up together?...? But then I realized that no, they had just introduced themselves properly at some point. People do that here. They have names and use them. That doesn't always happen in my native Northwest.
A couple of weeks ago, we were at a school picnic and my (Midwestern) wife introduced herself to a table full of people where Charlie (age 6) was sitting with a friend. "Hi, I'm Jill Moe," she said, "I'm Charlie and Kate's mom." Some of them smiled and said, like, "Oh."
And that was it. What's. Your. Name. ?. It's not hard, folks. I've heard similar complaints about LA. Your parents worked hard to give you that name. Use it.
Update: I refer to eating casserole in the comments. But Midwesterners have told me, politely of course and by name, that it's called "hotdish" over there. Glad I didn't even attempt the whole pop/soda thing.