There are days when I think my family was supposed to be Jewish.
Before I get stoned to death for fleshing out a stereotype, I should preface this. You all know me to be an all-around loving guy, which is why I (and my friends) make racial jokes/commentary without there being any threat of it being taken seriously. (More in this vein later, when I tackle gay jokes at the office.)
So I was out shopping with my mom (I'm such a good son), mostly to seize the opportunity to be within a 20-mile radius of a Starbucks but also for lack of anything better to do. We had pretty much done the mall once-over, but I wanted to stop and check out some jeans (since they're my staple clothing item and you can never really have too many pairs). Mom wandered off towards a shoe store, and I ducked into the shop.
I chatted up the semi-cute sales guy and took a couple pairs to the change room. I tried the first pair, did the usual rotation in front of the change room mirror (not the public one, but the one in the stall. I don't think I would be vain enough to trot out in front of a store full of people to check out how my ass looked in a three-way mirror.)
As I was tugging the second pair off, I heard a familiar voice waft down the hall.
"Oh, hi!" she said happily to whoever was standing in the doorway. "I'm looking for my son. Is he back here?"
I did a combo of heavy sighing, palm-smacking on my forehead and eye rolling (again, all in the privacy of my stall). Grabbing the pair of jeans nearest to me, I pulled them on at light speed and practically fell into the hallway to head her off.
While I was doing this, she had (of course) started a lengthy conversation with the sales guy. I whipped around the corner and waved to get her attention. "Uh...something up?" I asked, for lack of anything really polite to say.
"Just wanted to make sure I hadn't missed you!" she said, smiling.
I gave a weak smile and tried to stifle a very quiet squeak. The sales guy looked to my mother, then at me.
"Oh. This is your son," he said, halfway between bewildered and bitchy. "I thought you were looking for someone a lot younger."
I looked (in my mind) ridiculous, squeezed into jeans that were the wrong size, standing in the middle of a change room where my mother was practically calling my name to see if she could find me in the store I had already told her I was going to be in.
I could pretty much hear Fran Drescher's voice in my head, whining, "Ma!!!" Oy vey, indeed.
Upon retelling this story to a Jewish friend of mine, he laughed and said that he actually thought for a while that I was a Jew. Apparently that whole story fit the profile. Even at his wedding, his parents and family all thought I was just another Jew in the crowd.
Apparently I have some Hebraic features that I was totally unaware of. And this after being told by my boss just the week before that I must be a true Scot due to some particular nose-ridge-thing that I have (and so do, apparently, all Scots).
"But, in practice, I'd make a terrible Jew," I chided. "The whole foreskin thing...and bacon! I don't think I could ever really say goodbye to bacon."
Kai laughed in his muted, deadpan way. "Hell, I eat bacon all the time.
"It's my favourite condiment."