When I was in my teens and 20s I went through a cliched period as a self-hating Jew and tried to act WASP.
I wore a cowboy hat sometimes in college. I looked as ridiculous as that sounds. I’m a Jewish guy from Long Island — that’s never going to change. I was chubby then too. Chubby guys shouldn’t wear cowboy hats.
In my 30s, I made a conscious decision to just embrace my ethnic Judaism. I wondered whether to re-cultivate Jewish speech patterns and mannerisms I’d consciously rid myself of, and shed some Gentile speech patterns and mannerisms I’d cultivated. But then I decided screw it, I am who I am and I’ll act how I’ll act. My Jewish rejection is part of who I am too.
I still like to wear boots occasionally though.
The cowboy look was popular when I was in college. Southern Rock was big and the movie Urban Cowboy had just come out. You know who really rocked the cowboy look? A Jewish guy from Buffalo, N.Y., I went to college with. He’s a Facebook friend now — I won’t name him or tag him but maybe he’ll read this.