In the Bay Area I am constantly the only FFB (frum from birth) person at meals and other Jewish events I go to. So in my search for FFB’s I have developed several techniques to spotting and weeding out the FFB’s. It’s not the easiest thing to do, since most of it involves table manners, or lack of them, or the types of food and food practices they enjoy. For instance, I can tell someone is an FFB based on the fact they ordered a nice peace of meat well done, love moscato diasti or don’t immediately place their napkin on their laps right after kiddush.Spotting BT’s is so much easier!
Ways to spot FFB’s in places where they are hard to find:
They come into shul late and immediately daven mincha without a siddur or saying ashrei first.
They go through a whole shabbos lunch without touching their napkin, let alone placing it on their lap right after washing.
If entering shul during kedusha, they stop right in their tracks rather than walking to their seat
They mutter ya’ale vayavo out loud to remind everyone around them to say it
They jump for joy at the sight of moscato diasti in a blue bottle (especially in the Bay where everyone is into wine and it’s hard to eat a table with cruddy stuff)
They say something non-politically correct out loud (BT’s are hush-hush about stuff like eating non-organically grown rice)
They serve soda at their meals.
They call junk food – nosh!
They make constant references to the craziness of San Francisco without ever saying the word gay or lesbian – when referencing that aspect.
They are talking during shul, learning during laining and always looking at whoever comes in. (they are bored)
They are comfortable enough to pace back forth in the back of the shul during davening (such a hocker thing to do)
They things like “our minhag is”
They don’t have PhD’s (it seems like everyone else does)
They usually work in Kiruv and if not – you wonder what they ran away from on the east coast.
They make a reservation for 15 at the restaurant I work at and all order well done burgers.
They make good cholent.
They don’t eat vegetables – beyond potatoes.(unless they are modern orthodox or something)
They serve cake at the main meal and call it kugel.
They never say chavorai when benching with a mezumen. (it’s very un-PC not to include the ladies you know)
They clop the bimah when something extra needs to be said (In some of the BT filled shuls no one does it)
They are either really dressed up or really dressed down.