Ask Ty...January 15 [The Self-Identity Super Bouns Question]

It must be Tuesday Thursday, Middlespace Cadets, because I'm answering your questions
Q: Dear Ty,

I was out last night tonight I had that same old questions come up, where someone wants to get a handle on who another person is. "What are you?" will sometimes be asked. "Where are you from?" is another question. This is usually a cumbersome way to ask, "What is your ethnicity, what part of the world are your recent ancestors from, are you black?"

Tonight I decided to say "Irish. And some Russian type Jewish type thing." And the woman says, "Oh yeah, I'm Irish, and part Jewish too. I converted when I got married."

"Really? I said, part Jewish, by conversion? So I could convert to part Mexican if I wanted?" I explained I'm not the religion-Jewish, but, you know, the.... I have no idea. These must be the same people who look in your cart at the supermarket, you know these people. You look at them in the isle, and their eyes are always going to what you've got in there. Weird shit, I tell you.

Ty: Good question and an even better observation, BDW. Well I disagree with part Mexican as Mexican is a nationality and Judaism is a religion/heritage/lifestyle choice (like homosexuality, right?). But, I hear what you're saying. You can't be "part Jewish by conversion." That's some stupid-ass bullshit. You are or you aren't. You are born into it like the mafia. You aren't part black by conversion either. One drop rules apply.

It may be tiring, but at least people ask you what you are. Try being a light-skinned black without a Negro dialect for a day. In my town. People just stare and smile because they don't know WTF you are. And when I drop the Jew horseshoe, they are blown away. It's like you saying you're Irish. Some people believe and some don't.

I think it's okay to ask people who and what they are and where they're from. I'm curious like George and my asking also allows them to get the lowdown on me: JewFroPino Guru Propagandist. I give people credit for asking but I think it annoys you because you're so much more than race, origin, or religion. But keep in mind these questions are also what old people call "ice breakers." They are a way for interested people to get to talking. This is all good and social. Unfortunately, like you, I am the type to throw in the misdirect on occasion. What am I? I may provide any number of random or pre-scripted answers. I'm more interested in seeing how people respond to me. Love me or hate me, I'm inside your head.

I guess I never really see people looking in my grocery cart. But, if I know you, you probably have more "interesting" things in your cart than I. I'm usually reloading on Eggos, skim milk, and grapes. I'll keep a look out. I know I look in carts and recycle bins. Because I judge and analyze. That's what I do.

Just a guess,