[this blog post will be best paired with paul simon’s “you can call me al”]
i’ve been on the road a lot since the internship began–the traveling makes me think a lot about my first adventure and the little things that made the trip significant.
my people call me “jeans.”
while we were traveling in the middle east, i gave up explaining my nickname entirely. i simply introduced myself as jeans. it didn’t need to be explained. it’s just a name.
when other members on the team introduced themselves, they would usually be asked to repeat themselves, and sometimes their name would be forgotten altogether.
“what’s your name?”
which is understandable because they weren’t used to our names–just as we weren’t used to their names.
but when people would ask for my name and i would reply with “jeans,” most people would smile, point at their own jeans or pants, and laugh with me as i affirmed the connection.
it was a simple thing, but it helped to build and sustain relationships because we did not have to repeat introductions.
i shared a joke with one boy from the neighborhood who came to the gallery for several nights. every time he saw me, he would walk up to me, point at me, and ask, “what’s your name?” and i would say, “i’m jeans.” at which he would laugh and say, “jeans and shirt! jeans and shirt!”
it’s a simple connection, but it allowed me to be known in a simple way in an otherwise foreign place.