"You look really Jewish today," gurgles the dude I'm seeing, his mouth full of toothpaste.
"Uh, I'm not sure what you mean by that," I say, though I know exactly what he means.
"I think it's the hair," he says, spitting into the bathroom sink.
My usual messy hair has been replaced with the smooth, swingy blowout of a polished PR girl. I look like a wannabe Kardashian or a contestant on the Bachelor. Mostly though, the hair is a J.A.P. trademark and the opposite of what I'm going for.
To make matters worse, I'm dressed in a white peplum top and tight jeans that were given to me by a friend. It's a costume really, a far cry from the loose tanks and slouchy pants I prefer to wear. I don't feel like myself with this perfect hair and trend-slave top.
Now I resent him for calling attention to how I look, and I tell him I might just leave. I'm not in the mood anymore. He says he was joking and thought that I had a sense of humor. Maybe my uptight hair is making me act like an uptight person.
For as long as I can remember, no one has been able to pinpoint my ethnicity and I'm comfortable with that. "What are you?" is a question I often answer, albeit disappointingly. I identify as Jewish, but it irks me to be told that I look Jewish. Having grown up in a few different places, ambiguity feels like a better fit.
Still, I brush off his comment and decide to stay because he says things like this all the time. As an exceptionally good-looking person, he's attuned to aesthetics in a way that most are not, and he's less advanced in other ways. I taught him what "anecdote" means, for example. It's like beauty Asperger's syndrome. So in a purely superficial sense, I trust his assessment of the hair and privately decide to do away with occasional blowouts and stick to my messy side-flip more often.
Follow Julie on Twitter @JR_Schott.