I may have gotten better at relating with the non-frum by being in grad school for more than two years, but my classmates have similarly improved their frummie-relating skills. Okay, some more than others, but certain ones are pretty close to fully frummie-literate now.
My LDS (Mormon) classmate is one of the best ones. She and I both had good news on the same day (her sister got engaged and I have a new niece,) she immediately wished me mazal tov and I automatically responded with congratulations. Today, upon hearing that a first-year grad student was engaged, my classmate gushed with the standard frummie vocabulary, inquiries, and request to see her bracelet.
One of my Muslim classmates was asked by a Frumguy what an Islamic head-cloth was officially called. “You mean a shmatta?” he replied with a wink.
Even a relatively clueless classmate, when asked why he didn’t attend an Orthodox wedding when invited responded with, “Me? Go to a party where all the women are a hundred feet away and on the other side of a wall? No thanks!”
Are there still misconceptions floating around? Sure, and plenty. Will there be enough humorous and sticky situational fodder for me to write about on in this blog? Undoubtably. Is there still a long way to go? You betcha. But it has become most apparent that in meeting the world with as open a mind as I could muster, the world that I’ve met has reciprocated.