• Mon, Sep 27 2010

Modern Etiquette: An Important Lesson About Wearing Straw Hats on Jewish Holidays

Over the weekend, I observed the Jewish holiday of Sukkot. Basically, it’s a holiday where people build huts and eat and sleep in them. So, my friends “Gershon” and “Rivka” had a sukkah (singular name of one of the huts) at their house and invited some people over for Saturday lunch. Because it was very hot out that day, I am pale, and the afternoon involved sitting in a freaking hut, I wore a kicky little straw hat.

There’s one other important detail of this story. I am single, which means that attending a Jewish event of any sort will result in people trying to matchmake for me. No, it’s not because I’m some great beauty or something – it’s because I am a single Jewish chick and that is what happens. To avoid being matchmade, I brought a dude with me. We’ll call this dude Yossi. One of my friends has been trying to set me up with Yossi. He’s pretty rad, but there’s no spark. But I figured he’d be fun to talk to and would act as a buffer to inevitable matchmaking attempts. However, there was one important thing I’d forgotten: I was wearing a hat. And in some religious Jewish communities, including the one where I was about to go and have lunch, married women cover their hair. I walked into Gershon and Rivka’s living room and encountered Beth, an acquaintance who I hadn’t seen in a long time. She jumped up from the couch to give me a hug, took a look at Yossi, took a look at my head, and said, “Oh! Did you get married? Is this your husband! Gosh, I’m so out of the loop!”

“No,” I said.

“Um…er…” Yossi said.

“Oh, shit,” Beth said.

“I’m not married,” I said. “We’re not married.”

“We’re not married,” Yossi added helpfully.

“So he’s just your boyfriend,” Beth filled in.

“I just brought him to lunch,” I said, immediately visualizing that scene from the Simpsons episode where Ralph is in love with Lisa and she rejects his affections on live TV.

We all stood in silence for a minute. “I’m going to get a glass of water,” Beth said, already halfway across the room.

In short, next time I would rather get a sunburn on my head. But on the plus side, absolutely no one tried to matchmake for me at lunch.

From Our Partners

Share This Post: