Thursday, December 18, 2014

Rant #1,344: 'Tis the Season ...

The holiday season is a wonderful way to end the year, with all the glory, the lights, and the family get togethers that we all have.

But it also brings out all the nuts, too, and I had an occasion this past Saturday to meet up with one of them--in the barber's chair.

This very odd situation happened when my son and I went to get haircuts at our local haircutting establishment. It has been around forever, and the barbers there--there are about a dozen--give you a pretty darn good haircut for $5, plus, of course, the requisite tip.

I have been going to this place for at least 20 years, and even though I don't have too much hair anymore, my son certainly does, and I trust them with his hair.

Anyway, we got there and as usual for a Saturday afternoon, there was a mob waiting to get haircuts, people of every age and every type of hair.

As usual, we told the manager, "Two, anybody," meaning we would take the next available barber. There is one woman barber in the place, and my son was directed to her, as I had to wait for someone to be free.

He had his hair cut, and since the woman didn't have anyone else waiting for her, I went over to her, sat down in the chair, and told her what I wanted, "No. 2, please clean up the back."

No sooner had I sat down, she started the conversation out like this:

"Are you Jewish?"

I kind of paused, thinking this was a strange way to begin a conversation when all I wanted was a haircut.

"Well, yes, I am," I finally replied.

As she started to cut my hair, here is how the conversation went:

"You are rich, aren't you?"

"Huh?" (dumbfounded).

'You are rich, aren't you?"

"No, I am not. Far from it."

"What is your eduacation?"

"I went to college, and I have a masters degree."

"What do you do for a living?"

"I am a writer, actually my title is associate editor."

"So then, you must be rich."

She kept on bringing up the "rich" aspect up time and time again.

Believe me, I was pretty happy I am bald, because my haircut didn't last long.

Then, when it was over, I got up, and after this conversation where she started out, "Are you Jewish?" she has the nerve to say to me, "Merry Christmas."

I then did something stupid. I paid my and my son's bill, gave her a $1 tip--what I normally do--and left.

I could kick myself. I should have alerted the manager to this, but I didn't.

Even if it wasn't overtly anti-Semitic, the woman should not have been asking me about such personal things. She was out of line, and I dropped the ball, probably because I was very tired this past weekend, with a rough week behind me.

My wife says that she "rubbed it in" with the "Merry Christmas" remark, hoping for a bigger tip, and probably starting off the entire conversation with eyes on a big tip.

But that was no reason to go on and on and on about my religion, my wealth, etc.

It was totally uncalled for.

I guess all I can say is that if it happens again, I won't be like the Jews I knock, the ones who take it and don't say anything about it.

I hate my fellow Jews for doing this, and now, I am clearly one of them, because I did it too.

Shame on me.

It may not have been blatant anti-Semitism, but the spark was certainly there, and I didn't totally extinguish it with my actions.

Shame on me!

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