Tradescantia Zebrina .:. The Wandering Jew


tales and opinions of the wandering Jew

First Impressions

I’ve been working on a project with this guy for over a month, but we were in touch only by email, phone, and fax. Until this afternoon we’d never met in person. I went to his office to give him some stuff, and get things to bring back to my office. On first meeting he exclaimed to his colleague, “Look at this baal t’shuvah, with the earrings and the kippah!” I tried to say, no, I wasn’t baal t’shuvah, that I was unaffiliated. He then said he knew what I was, I was “a second generation Carlebacher, with Jerry Garcia thrown in.” Huh, not quite… Before I left his office, he told me that “there are a lot of your type at JTS… they smoke a little [he mimed puffing on a joint], doven, and sing.” I just smiled, and nodded. (Him and his colleagues are also Jewish, in case that wasn’t clear.)

So I found it amusing, because I don’t think my “look” is that unusual. I’m dressed fairly typically today: a blue Oxford shirt, sleeves rolled up as I got hot walking to his office; khaki shorts that go below my knees and are far more work-place-suitable than, say, cargo shorts, as they don’t have pockets and have a sharp crease down the front; brown leather sandals, because it’s still technically summer and, darnit!, I’m going to dress for the season; kippah, watch, and glasses.

Now I’m not quite sure how that translates to “Orthodox + Phish/Dead-head,” but hey – maybe I just see myself differently from the way the rest of you see me.


Filed under: judaism, random, work

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