“Who is that?”

Had a heart-to-heart with “The Bear” today. Not sure how that happened. After learning that he was 32 (guys are so easy, just ask their age and it’s like “oh sure, I’m 32” or whatever), I had to find out if he celebrated Christmas because Christmas card season is approaching and I need to plan out who should get the “seasonally neutral” cards, which yes I do have some of.

“The Bear” is Jewish, so I’m glad I asked although I had suspected as much since he had previously asked me if I was Jewish (like walking by “Hey are you Jewish?” then he’s gone).

As the conversation continued, I explained that while I am technically half-Jewish, I don’t consider myself Jewish because I wasn’t raised as such. “The Bear” went on to say that he thought I had some Russian last name, which is why he thought I was Jewish. So then I had to say that while I was a quarter Russian, my last name is Italian.

The Bear: “What’s your last name?”

Miss Print: *reveals her Italian last name*

The Bear: “That’s you!? I’ve been staring at the schedule trying to figure out who that was!”

[NYPL uses last names to plot daily coverage on a kind of grid. Apparently The Bear was staring at the schedule trying to puzzle out who this mysterious person with the Italian last name was, never connecting it with me.]

The Bear: “When Miss Print wasn’t here neither was the mysterious person with the Italian last name. I never made that connection.”