And on it.
“Sometimes I wish I could just do this normally.” There are times when I’m out – at the mall, on the streets of the East Village, at a pub… wherever… that I catch myself thinking this. Ordering a beer has become an entirely new enterprise.
“Will she be more attracted to me if she only looks at the front of my head?” There are times when I wonder if girls think different of me because they have to make assumptions as to who and/or what I’m interested in.
I’m no stranger to second-guessing things a little too much, but a month and a half into the great kippah experiment, I notice that in my mind, I’ve started to equate not wearing a kippah with “what was normal” and wearing a kippah with “abnormality” (no pejorative intended). Maybe it’s supposed to be that way. Maybe that’s what this experiment is all about. On that note is it even legitimate to experiment using ritual garb? Is it taking advantage of a holy object? Is it being a little too egocentric and selfish?
There are times when I imagine it would be easier to just not wear it. But I think it’s partly all about the struggle. In fact, I’m GLAD I’m struggling with it. If at some point wearing a kippah became a mindless act, akin to wearing jewelry… wouldn’t that defeat the point?
Case in point: I wear an earring. When I got my ear pierced in grade ten, it was partly an act of defiance, partly an act of shedding my perceived earlier dorky appearance, and partly an act of impressing the girl who sat next to me in math. It was her idea. At the time, I thought about it everyday, and I knew that people looked at me differently. And that was the point! Now… it’s just a part of who I am. I play with it occasionally when I’m bored, and I suppose that it’s become a little bit of my persona. But it’s no longer an item which I consciously use to project a part of my identity.
At this point, the kippah is like the earring was in Grade 10. It’s a direct external signifier of an internal message. A flag. A billboard. After six weeks, this is where I am. Struggling, but thinking that the struggle is part of it all. Yisrael and all that.
I’d be curious to hear if those who wear kippot on a daily basis think about it each day. I hope they do. I hope I will a year from now.