Personal Ramblings, Reading Life Between the Lines

telling people apart

We’re walking to work. A man in a housekeeping uniform throws down his mop puts his hands together in a “namaste,” greeting Roy, the boss, and me, his wife. Roy courteously responds with a namaste and says, “I saw him with a stethoscope yesterday. What’s he doing with a mop today?”

Roy’s done it again. He can’t tell one Nepali from another. Although embarrassing, it’s a problem for many.

When Sky was five, she saw a lot of Danny and Siu-Lan (both of Asian origin). A nurturing couple with no children of their own, they showered my children with attention, gifts, and quality time. It had been a couple of weeks since we’d seen Danny and Sui-Lan when we were at McDonalds one day. The cashier looked somewhat Asian. Seeing him, Sky piped up, “Look Mommy, Danny works at McDonalds. We can have free fries!” From then on, for a very long time, every young Asian male (especially at McDonalds) was “Danny!”

It’s cute when mistaken identity is made by children. Not so cute when adults do it. Roy is white American from Baltimore’s bluest collar neighborhood where, like any other blue collar American ghetto, Sunday casual means blue jeans, white undershirt, and a baseball cap. We were shopping in a mall in the heart of it all. In an effort to be time efficient, we split up, each with half the shopping list. When I was done, I went to the designated meeting place in search of Roy. Walking towards him from behind, I grabbed his belly “rolls” and pulled him towards me. A split second later, I realized it wasn’t my man in blue jeans, white undershirt, and baseball cap!  Talk about embarrassment!

I can’t get him to dress differently, but I make sure I stick a bright yellow sticker or something on top of his cap and that the meeting place is always an open area with an aerial vantage point. Then, I just look down from the floor above, spot my man, and run to give him a belly-pinching hug.

It’s a good thing God doesn’t need stickers to differentiate me from another. Red, yellow, black, white, or anywhere in between, God can spot us anywhere!

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