Jeem

I have a neighbor who I have called “Jim” for over a year. He moved here with his family and has been helpful with repairing our monthly air conditioner break downs.

The other day, after his most recent repair, I wrote him a note to go with some cookies I was sending over with one of the kids, to say thanks.

“Dear Jim”, began the note, just like all the notes before.

Mr. López stood over my shoulder.
“Is that for Jim the neighbor next door?”
“Yes.”
“But that’s not how he spells his name.”
“How do you know? How else can you spell Jim?”
“When he gave me the bill for the part he replaced, his name was on it.”

I crumble the note and start a new one.

“Okay, how do you spell it?”
“G-E-N-E”
“What?”
“G-E—”
“I heard, you, but that doesn’t say Jim.”
“Yes it does, he just spells it different.”
“But that’s a completely different name! That’s Gene as in Eugene, not Jim as in James.”
“Jeem as in Eujeem. Jeem as in James. They sound the same.”
“Yeah, when YOU say them. Crap. Because you told me his name is “Jeem”, I’ve been calling him “Jim” all this time and he never even corrected me! Ugh. How awkward.”

I put pen to paper and write a new note.

Dear Gene,

I am sorry I’ve been calling you Jim all this time. I couldn’t understand my husband’s accent. Here are some cookies for you and your family in thanks for repairing the air conditioner again.

Thanks!

Sra. López

Posted on December 10, 2009, in Anglo vs. Latino, el macho, humor, Language. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. HAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAH!

    My husband is notoriously bad with names! He’s forever saying “What’s that guy’s name?” I can’t even imagine what he’ll be like in a few years…

  2. HAHAHA! That’s hilarious, ya’ll need your own show, I swear! I think its even more funny because it is SOOOO something that would happen here. When we went to HomeDepot a few months ago, Hubby told the guy that No thank you, we didn’t need any help and I said “Babe, just ask him!” So he said, “My wife thinks I can’t find the Splikers!” WHAT? The who? Splinkers? What the hell is a splinker? A blinker? A splinter? Nope, a sprinkler. He cracks me up.

  3. I laughed out loud at that too!

    I have a similar story.
    We went to a party, the music was a lovely acoustic guitar and people were socializing around a person’s business open house. People were meeting for the first time and hands were shaken with brief name exchanges.

    “Hi I’m T” my husband said, and this European fellow says “Yurgin”… poor T kept saying “I’m T, what’s your name”… “Yurgin”, “T!”, “YURGIN!” They were getting really frustrated with each other. I saw what was going on and said “Honey, HIS name is YURGIN.” And my husband felt pretty silly, he thought the European fellow was saying “you are again?” He thought the guy must be completely DEAF and kept repeating his own name louder and louder, and Yurgin thought T must be drunk or something. It was very funny.

  4. Hilarious! I can so relate to this, not with my husband, but with my mother and also my landlord.

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