One of the people I met over the last days of yuntiff tried to stereotype me and failed miserably, he exclaimed shock when I told him that I hadn’t grown up yeshivish or let alone any variety of mainstream Judaism that would explain my headgear of the day. He had thought, based on my choice of headgear, a medium sized black velvet yarmulke placed toward the middle of my head, that I was some sort of rebel who wished to remain somewhat attached to my former community by wearing their headgear of choice.
Like many folks, including myself, who use stupid stereotypes to judge people, he failed at his judgments. Of course he primed me for a rant about the stupidity of stereotyping within the orthodox community. I know, I know – I am possibly the most guilty of stereotyping folks within the frum community, heck this entire blog is about lumping everyone in certain communities together, generalizations and stereotyping – so how on earth could I, the extreme perpetrator of said crimes rant about their stupidity?
It happens to be that I hate serious stereotyping, I originally started this blog as a way to combat the insane judging and stereotyping within the frum community because I saw within my own eyes how damaging this could be, so naturally I rant about the stupidity of judging quite a bit, while taking all of these stereotypes, writing about them and throwing them back in the faces of mainstream orthodoxy – because let’s face it – we are all guilty of judging people and not giving folks the benefit of the doubt.
So this dude labeled me an ex-yeshivish community member that wanted to maintain a balance between my former life and my current life as a rebel. Of course I’m a rebel, it runs in my families blood, but people should judge me only after talking to me – any true yeshiva guy would realize the faker I am, I don’t speak yeshivish – except to spread letzonos and I look like a pure bread baal teshuva in black velvet.
Close examination of my current yarmulke will reveal two startling discoveries. First, my yarmulke has a button on top of it which mean’s it’s not classic yeshivish/heimishe black velvet and my yarmulke is made of shiny velvet that has little patterns. Turn my yarmulke inside out and you will see that it’s from a random bar mitzvah. Your assertions are proven wrong, because everyone knows that free black velvet yarmulkes given out at bar mitzvahs are for people who never wear yarmulkes.
Of course, I tried explaining that my choice of yarmulke was directly affected by the length of my hair, “you mean you just switch yarmulke styles like that?” this guy exclaimed like he had just seen something miraculous he had to let the whole world know. He couldn’t understand how someone could move so easily between suede, knit and black velvet, not to mention my big carelbachian beanies that get thrown on when my hair is too long for ordinary yarmulkes. He actually thought I was insane and he made it like I was going too far, like yarmulkes were actually invented to keep certain communities together and keep them from cohabitating with each other – it actually works pretty well.
People have gotten so caught up in the yarmulke thing that girls are likely to say that they want a black velvet hashkafa, even though many guys who wear black velvet aren’t even religious, I guess their hashkafa is more to do with which community they grew up with – regardless of whether or not they maintain close ties to their communities way or practicing Judaism. I wonder if other communities have such small little non-circumstantial things that can set people apart, just as long as we don’t start killing each other and having a yarmulke war it’s not that bad, insane in my opinion, but not killing anyone – unless you count the broken shidduch effect which leads to older singles and more older singles leads to more pre-marital seed wasting and this could be a ripple effect that causes so many wasted lives – but I guess yarmulke type is that important.