What’s That Dude’s Name?

February 13, 2008 at 1:42 am | Posted in Immigration, Life in the US, Weirdness | 8 Comments

Michelle and her husband are a wonderful couple from Guatemala who study English with my husband.  We met them both this summer, got to know them better at a kickin’ party full of Central and South Americans (and one Mexican and one white girl).  Homeboy continues to study English with them.

Unfortunately, we don’t know Michelle’s husband’s name. 

After seven months of seeing someone fairly regularly, how in hell do you find out what their name is?  I don’t know how I got it into my head that his name was Miguel, but his name obviously isn’t Miguel.

Homeboy asked a mutual friend what his name was, and since it was a bit out of the ordinary, he promptly forgot it.

I told Homeboy to give the man a slip of paper so he could write down their phone number.  The guy wrote “telefono de casa” and the number.  And he put down his wife’s name, but not his.

I asked Homeboy if their English teacher takes attendance and he said that he passes around a sign in sheet.  Told him to look for their name on it next time.  He said that they always come late to class after the sheet has gone around the room.

They’ve invited us to their house this weekend, and I can’t believe we still don’t know his name!

I’m hoping that he leaves his wallet in the bathroom or something so I can go through it to check his I.D.  But I’m pretty sure that they’re undocumented so I wouldn’t be surprised if the name he used wasn’t his real one.  I doubt that he’ll have a diploma or something hanging on their living room wall.

How do we find out what his name is?  And will I really have to ask him what it is a full eight months after meeting him?



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  1. Ummm, tell Michelle you’re updating your phone book and ask her to spell his name for you. I do that at work – if someone calls in and I forget their name, I ask them to spell it (it’s usually met with a flat “S-U-E” or something but oh well). Worth a shot anyway.

  2. That’s a great idea. That Joyce is so smart.

  3. I will definitely try that one!

  4. Ok, Joyce’s is much simpler than what I was going to say. I was going to suggest you start a conversation with “Some people sure spell their names funny, I met a girl named Kelly who spelled it “Quelley” (how I always wished my name was spelt). Maria spelt “Mareah”, Jennifer spelt “Genipher”. How do you spell yours?”

    But Joyce’s is far easier, stick with that. And do let us know!

  5. And your secret will be safe with us.

  6. Hey gabacha, did you ever find out this person’s name?? :o)

  7. Believe it or not, his name is Byron. It turns out that he had written his name on the paper that he gave Homeboy, but Homeboy has never heard that name before and didn’t know that was indeed what he’s called.

    I used his name every chance I could get that night!

  8. I teach in a prison and run into some really odd names–like totally MADE UP random names. I always ask if they were named for someone or did thier mother make their names up—Latinos usually always know where their names come from (Kennit from the Incredible Hulk).

    I will get totally blank looks from guys who have no interest and never asked. I’ll get “Duh, I dunno.” Those are usually the fellas who don’t know much beyond writing their names and counting to ten.

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