Jeff Lebowski. Come on. This other Jeffrey Lebowski. The millionaire.

Recently I was told that it is a “very American” thing to refer to people by the way in which you are related. In other parts of the world, you wouldn’t say, “My brother accidentally set fire to our grandfather’s collection of antique matchsticks.” Instead, you’d say, “<Insert name of brother> accidentally set fire to <insert name of grandfather>’s collection of antique matchsticks.” Or, more likely, you’d say, “ZOMG!!!1! Did you see that?! I didn’t know flames could even reach that high!!”

 

Conversations which use people’s actual names without an explanation of who they are tends to confuse me. This confusion is usually at the source of many of my social faux pas, the bulk of which are too harrowing to repeat in this fair medium.

 

The latest example:

 

Me: This email forward says that Holly has an infection and a home health nurse.

 

Office Mate: Yes.

 

Me: I thought Holly was still at the hospital.

 

Office Mate: No, she’s at home.

 

Me: She just had her baby yesterday. Why did they send her home so soon?

 

Office Mate: …

 

{The Boss walks in}

 

Me: What kind of an infection does Holly have?

 

The Boss: Holly has cancer.

 

Me: Did she know that while she was pregnant?

 

The Boss: Not OUR Holly that works here and that just had the baby. Holly in Public Relations.

 

Me: People need to stop forwarding me emails that don’t give out last names or departments.

 

Office Mate: Or you could just start paying attention.

 

Me: I’m just going to stop asking questions.

 

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