Wednesday, February 29, 2012

I'm Not Debbie

All my life, people have kept trying to call me Debbie.  I can understand that in America Devorah might seem like an unusual name, so people go to the closest name they can think of and say, "Oh, so your name is Debbie."  Um, no.

I thought that all those troubles would be behind me when I moved to Israel.  After all, having a Hebrew name in a Hebrew-speaking country shouldn't be a problem, right?  Wrong.

You see, whenever an Israeli hears that you're from the States, they try to speak to you in English and show off their knowledge.  Or play Jewish geography ("I have a cousin who's sister-in-law once visited New York for a week.")  So when they find out that I'm American, they say, "Oh, so your name is really Debbie."  Um, no.

I have a copy of my birth certificate and I can assure you that the name Debbie appears nowhere on it.  I see the name Devorah in nice, clear letters in the little box that say "first name", but no Debbie.  I have even offered to show it to people who were especially difficult to convince, but no go.

Generally speaking, I'm a stickler for getting people's names right.  Either you get it right or it's not their name, right?  I may have gotten this partially from my father, who is a public school teacher and comes across some pretty wacky names sometimes.  Many of them are foreigners and my father goes to great lengths to learn and memorize the proper pronunciation.  After all, if you don't call the kid by their correct name, then how do you expect them to act towards you?  Show them a little respect and they'll return the favor.

Really, people.  My name is Devorah.  I promise.  A little respect.

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