Friday, September 05, 2008

Stand by your Name

Thursday September 4, 2008
Stand by Your Name
Rihoko Ueno
It all started with my aching feet. Forced into appropriate attire for a job interview, I was limping, unaccustomed to anything more formal than sneakers. Shoes that are comfortable in the store can be anything but, after a few hours of pounding the pavement. The solution? More shoes, of course. I zipped into a store in Times Square, and when I was ready to purchase, the guy at the register looked at my credit card and asked, "Why didn't you change it?" Admonishing my taste in shoes? No, my name. From my unaccented English, he deduced that I grew up in America, so why hadn't I changed my Japanese name to something more suitably Western? The man was a bespectacled Asian, and his name tag claimed one of those American standards, those classic monosyllablics like Joe, Steve or Mike, but his last name showed his heritage – Chinese. I had never been asked this question before so I hemmed, I hawed, then I bought the shoes and left. ....................(more)

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