My response to this is going to be different than most.
Danna Colman
111

Danna, I definitely do not live in LA and have never been there. I am always reluctant to stereotype people, but Evelyn is so similar to some of the Jewish characters on TV and in movies that I have to assume at least some of her behavior has cultural roots, although I am not a sociologist and can only give a personal opinion. One of the reasons for posting this story was to highlight our friendship, of course, but also to see what reactions I might get to Evelyn, as a character.

Here in the South, many can be polite to a fault, rarely complaining or asking for what we need or want that may inconvenience people, even someone, like a server, who is paid to accommodate us. I am definitely one of those, which makes Evelyn’s behavior all the more noticeable to me. She definitely speaks up! I actually admire that about her although I wish she would be more sensitive to others when she does it.

You pointed out some of her actions and attitudes that are similar to Jewish women in LA. Again, I assume that is due to cultural influences. And, yet, she is nothing like those you mentioned when it comes to spending money. She has a nice lifestyle and plenty of money in the bank, but she definitely is not extravagant in any way. It is probably her frugality that has kept her bank account full and allowed her to be so generous with the charities and causes that she supports. I greatly admire her generosity, and her frugality, to a degree.

I am not really “troubled” by her behavior — embarrassed sometimes, yes — because that is who I am. I do enjoy her for who she is and that is why we are still friends. Because she is different than most people I know, I find her interesting. Her reactions, both good and bad, to everyday occurrences are so different than mine! I also am fascinated by what I believe is a cultural influence on her. Not only the Jewish culture but also the influence of the northern city where she was raised, a place with which I am familiar and once lived near.

My husband and many of my family and friends are from Hispanic cultures, and I observe many differences in how they react to situations compared to me. Again, culture plays a role — as do DNA, family influences, education, and environment — in developing our personalities.

I am sorry you think I owe her an apology. My story was to emphasize how we should accept those who may behave differently than us. I wanted to show how true friendship trumps behavior that one may find unusual or even sometimes embarrassing.

As I showed in the story, her behavior is not always unpleasant. The last time we met, she was as polite and pleasant as she could be. That is not always the case. We all have our good and bad days, but she is less likely to hide her bad ones than I am. Even on good days, she can be demanding. On bad ones, she is definitely demanding and hard to please. That is who she is. I accept that. That is why we are friends.

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