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How You Know You've Been Jewelled

November 24, 2019 | by Marnie Winston-Macauley

If you're not Jewish but have adopted any of these traits -- mazel tov, you’ve been “Jewelled.”

Yet another remarkable thing about being Jewish is … we’re “catching.” Yes. Put us in a group of say 501 people. Five hundred are Gentiles, then there’s Us. Trust me. Three hundred Baptists and 200 Anglicans will start saying “Oy Vey” when the lights in their church have a short.

They’ve been “jewelled.”

How do I know this? It happened to me. In college. During my sophomore year my entire dorm floor consisted of young girls from places like Tuscaloosa, Pukwana, and Hyannis. I stood as the lone Jewess from Queens amid accents that ranged from Gomer Pyle to female versions of William F. Buckley, who spoke “lockjaw” with their best friends – Muffy, Buffy and Bitsy.

Put one Yiddishe cookie in a barrel, and boom! The entire barrel will turn into a ginormous babka.

I can only imagine their parents during spring break:

“Bitsy dahling! Whatever did you mean when you called Alistair a shmendrick while yachting?!”

Yup. Bitsy was “jewelled.” Or, in simple terms they’ve been seduced by the majesty and handiness of “Jewishkeit.” Our humor, our words, our body language is simply – irresistible.

So, for my darling readers, you may want to discuss this phenomenon with your Gentile pals … and maybe even suggest it become a class you can add to the Sociology curriculum at Princeton.


1. You suggest to your pastor that it might be nice to have a little “nosh” after the sermon and offer to organize several committees: one to debate the matter, one to discuss fund-raising, and decide if taking from the collection plate is “kosher,” and of course you’ll be in charge of a planning group to a) argue menu ideas; b) research in depth, where to get the best “nosh” for the best price – and will deliver on a Sunday.

2. You’ve become highly sensitive to temperature. Anything below or above 72 degrees Fahrenheit and, you’ll either freeze or shvitz. You’re addicted to the Weather Channel, and start reporting twice a day to family members, who say, are lumberjacks named Sven in Mazeppa, Minnesota: “It’s going down to 65 degrees, take with you your Nordic jacket. Also take your mucklucks. I heard there’s an ice storm in Manitoba.”

3. You start spitting “randomly” at even the mention of the possibility that something horrible may or may not happen. For example, your mother tells you “father” is taking his private plane to a meeting in Silicon Valley. While mother is wiping your spittle off her blazer in horror, instead of saying: “How fun,” your usual, you also add the number of small plane crashes since 2013. Alternative: For those without sufficient saliva, you’ve chosen “pooh pooh.” These new traits may actually increase the degree to which you’ve been Jewelled, as Granny Murphy may whisper you need a shhhh psychiatrist. She’s heard of – a Dr. Greenbaum or is it Greenstein – one of those.

4. You’ve developed an unnatural fondness for pickles. Should you be out of them, you have a panic attack and do your imaging and relaxation exercises that Dr. Greenawitz taught you.

5. You’ve joined J-date “just to look” with your friend Rachel Weinstein, signing yourself in as “Unaffiliated” which you rationalize is partially true as you were christened an Anglican, the family attended the Presbyterian Church, then for a while you became a Buddhist until great-auntie Olga took you to her Latvian prayer group. You also have a huge thing for any male in the IDF – and Matiyashu.

6. At your cousin’s first communion, you’re the only one standing up and shouting “Mazel Tov!!”

7. You buy your first curling iron, “Rockin’ Curls,” “Frizzerhands, and red hair coloring, thinking, “Gawd, I hate straight … how clichéd.” You return home looking like Little Orphan Anniewitz which goes extremely well with your Irish freckles, but less well with your mother who’s been cultivating “the Kennedy look” since 1980.

8. If you don’t get an answer to your texts within five minutes, you immediately freak thinking:

“My bf found someone prettier in Starbucks since we texted 23 minutes ago.”
“All my friends are having a party, but didn’t invite me … of course.”
“A terrorist has attacked my service provider.”

At which point you text everyone you know with: “R U ALIVE?”

9. You tell your family back in Dixieville you have a hankerin for kishke because it’s so gosh dang granny-slappin’ good you can plotz.

10. You call a meeting of the family to “air grievances,” kvetching about the emotional abandonment you felt by not being called “mamala” every 15 minutes. More, how can they all pretend to adore each other when everyone “knows” Uncle Hayden stole the family fortune, Granny Lizzy really didn’t retire to South Beach – she’s rocking back and forth in the attic, and mummy got them in the DAR by using their ancestor Colonel Beauregard Buford whose only claim to fame was his loyalty to Benedict Arnold. Your goal is to make sure that as many people as possible come out of their emotional closet and vent three generations of silent frustration, after which you suggest a “group hug” to be followed by cake.

Should you be a Gentile who exhibits any of the above traits … mazel tov, friends. You can duly and truly consider yourself to have been Jewelled.


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