Eventually, everyone has to deal with the obnoxiously curious. From the relatively harmless guy who’s not too embarrassed to ask the hole in the sheet question to the utterly odious dude who researched “Orthodox Judaism” on wikipedia and comes in with a written list of overly specific questions about niddah the following day (true stories!). Still, I was unprepared to be asked the size of my closet by a guy I hadn’t seen in three months.
Usually it’s not that hard to differentiate the valid questions or genuinely curious (if overly so,) from the simply annoying. This question didn’t hit a single validity marker, so I told him to get lost. Little did I know.
“But,” he interjected, “my friend’s father designs closets for Orthodox Jews’ houses and he says they’re all like, room-sized. Like the size of this classroom,” (roughly 30 by 15).
And suddenly, the idiocy of such stereotypes struck me. I said, “Dude, you know I live in a tiny apartment. Do you think I have a room-sized closet?”
He is surprisingly silent for a few second. “Uh, no…”
“And do you think that all Orthodox Jews have room-sized closets? The ones living in poverty? The ones living with a whole big family in a city that fits two children and a dog on a good day?”
“Uh, no, but…”
I didn’t let him finish. “Do you want me to tell you that there are wealthy Orthodox Jews out there? Sure, I’ll tell you. There are wealthy Orthodox Jews out there. Are all of us wealthy? Think, Dude, think.”
And I walked away in disgust. Oops?