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?”
“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?”
“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.
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.