"Ethnic" names and other faux pas

At a party last weekend, I was engaging in a little pleasant chit-chat with a very interesting guy. We talked for a while about how he has a very unusual first name (which I won’t reveal since its unusualness would immediately give away his identity), which segued nicely into my mentioning that I had a pretty unusual surname, which I then revealed. When he heard my name, he said, “Alboher…is that an ethnic name?” I stopped in my tracks, trying to figure out what he meant. “Aren’t all names ethnic?” I blurted.

Coming from a white man, it sounded politically incorrect at best.

Upon reflection, I don’t think he meant anything other than “What ethnicity is that name?” but he had no idea how odd it sounded. {For the record, Alboher is a Sephardic Jewish name. My paternal grandfather was from Turkey, or Yugoslavia, depending what what family member is asked.}

It was a little like his assuming that my beau and I are married, which he also did. I’m not the most unconventional person around, so I get a little bit of a thrill every time I defy people’s expectations of me. But assumptions can really offend people. This was a good reminder me to be careful about my own assumptions.

Filed under HeyMarci Blog, Miscellany, The Heymarci Blog

Leave a Reply

SEO Powered by Platinum SEO from Techblissonline