Thursday, July 8, 2010

Southerners Think I'm Italian

Since I've been down here a few people have asked me if I'm Italian. I'm sure anyone who knows me is scratching their head right now. While I don't have jewfro hair, I do have the nose, eyebrows, nasal voice and overbearing mother. I'm identifiable enough that up North during High Holy Days random strangers on the street will wish me a happy new year.

I cannot figure out which stereotype is causing people to think I'm Italian -- I can only think of two things: 1) I have dark hair and my skin can tan pretty dark; and 2) My last name ends in a vowel (while up North my last name is obviously Jewish, down here nobody knows that). I suppose these things could throw people off, but I have a very non-Italian first name.

Maybe Tony Soprano is really right: Italians are Jews with better food.

I bring this up because today I was getting my hair cut and the stylist was telling me that she was going to visit family in Europe next week. She then said to me, "do you get back to Italy often?" For a few seconds I couldn't figure out what she was talking about and I just said no. But then I realize that she was yet another person who thought I was Italian.

One of the benefits of people thinking I'm Italian is that the local white supremacists shouldn't come after me. In fact, people may think I'm connected and think twice about messing with me. Next time someone asks me what my father does, I'll say that he's in the olive oil business but he's thinking of buying some casinos out in Vegas. And my brother has been out there learning the ropes of the casino business.

1 comment:

  1. that is actually really jewish too but have been told i look jewish, but also italian and swiss german(?????). i have sorta puffy hair but its not really curly, more waivy. I dont have a jew nose though, and medium white skin and brown hair and eyes. People where i live (big jewish population) just assume im jewish but i also have kind of a jewish name. When i travel, though, people dont think i am so idk