Lots can be said about the effects of wearing a tichel in day-to-day life… but one thing’s for sure: people will say the darnedest things! Whether the real reason we cover is for religion, medical or personal reasons, it won’t stop people from taking their best (or wildest) guess at what we’re up to!
We asked Wrapunzel fans for the silliest or most unexpected tichel comment they’d ever had. Boy did we get some great answers!!!
Violeta: “An African employee at Costco always gives me a smile when I wear my tichel to shop. I’m hoping it reminds him of home. When I wore my tichel to school for one of my daughter’s events, one of the other moms asked me if I was dressing up as a fortune teller! D’oh.”
Robin: “My favorite happened in an airport when a man went running by me shouting, ‘I love your hat!'”
Susie: “I got asked if I were Buddhist in the market.”
Amanda: “Last week someone asked if I was from Sierra Leone. And a while ago, a stranger reached up and squeezed my shaper (!) and said, ‘You must have a lot of hair!'”
Naomi Rose: “I was recently meeting with an insurance agent at a Starbucks. He was taking a bunch of notes on our conversation. This older guy came up to us and asked if the insurance agent was a reporter, and whether I was from Bosnia.
Another time I was in a department store and a guy yelled, “Hey, are you from Holland?!”
One of the best was when an African exchange student at my university came up to me and said that my scarves reminded him of home, because all ladies wrap their hair there!”
Emily: “I’ve told this story a thousand times but I still love it–a little kid asked me if I was a pirate. His mom got all nervous, like he did something wrong, but it was cool. I told him I was, and that I would be hitting the high seas that afternoon.”
Alicia: “I’ve also been asked if I’m a pirate. Mostly people just ask if I know where they can get kosher food!”
Pauline: “I was in McDonalds when one of the staff sidled up to me asking if I was a medium. I was thrown a bit and said, ‘No, although I do pick up on people’s vibes and feelings.’ She said ‘I knew it, just by your look.'”
Su: “How about, “Look, mommy! A Genie!” while grocery shopping.”
Kendra: “This weekend (which was my first time wearing a tichel in public), a man approached me and asked if I was an aerobics instructor. (???)”
Zehava: I got, “Does your husband make you wear that?”
Potential answer: ‘No, did your mom make you wear that?’ [disclaimer: It is maybe not a good idea to actually say this. 😛 ]
Alana: “A man from Africa came up to me one time and enthusiastically pulled out his wallet and showed me a photograph of his mother in a head wrap. He told me he liked mine and that it reminded him of home, and that he felt it was so proper and dignified for women to wrap. He asked why I wrap, and I said: ‘Because it feels proper and dignified!’ It was a wonderful moment.”
Eliana Misty: “My favorite, the one that made me laugh out loud, is when I was asked if I were a Yogi.”
Chana Rivka: “I have a karate instructor who seeks to find new ways to describe my wraps. Last time he asked if I was a gypsy and could see the future. I said, ‘I knew you were going to say that.'”
Maya: “‘Where are you from?’ ‘No, I mean where are you REALLY from?'”
Shira: “At shul, a little kid playing with my son pointed at me and asked, ‘Why does your mom wear that big stuff on her head?’ My son replies, in a matter of fact tone, ‘That’s her crown. My abba is the king and she’s the queen.’ Meanwhile, the first kid is totally lost, because he knows my husband as the rabbi!”
Nechama: “The best one was at work today. A 7-year-old kid was looking at the back of my head (I was wearing a volumizer) and he said: “Do you have a baby in your head?” i.e., Are you pregnant? Boy, did we have a good laugh!!!”
And the award for best comment goes to:
Andrea Grinberg: “I was recently asked, “Have you heard of this website called Wrapunzel?”
Thanks for sharing, everybody!!!
Have YOU had an unexpected or humorous tichel reaction lately? Tell us about it!
22 thoughts on “Oh, the Things People Say!”
I grew up in an area with a large Anabaptist population, but now live in the South where there isn’t one. As soon as I moved, people started asking me if I was Amish/Mennonite/Hutterite/etc.–which goes to show they didn’t actually know anybody from those sects!
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Priceless! I love kids’ innocent comments!
Someone asked me if I was running off to Israel
A little girl about 5yrs old – whose mom was in the hospital where I work asked about my tichel, and I said it was my crown, that I was a queen. I asked if she wanted to know how I became a queen, and she nodded “yes”. I told her that first, she has to marry a king! She just smiled!
I have never had any but positive reactions to my tichels. I live in northern California, where the only women who cover are Muslim and Orthodox Catholics, such as Russians and Greeks. The best reactions have been from older black women who were also covered (most with scarves, one with a beret). There was one white woman who asked where I got my Israeli scarves. She was a glass blower and wanted to cover her hair with “something classy” like what I was wearing. I told her about Wrapunzel, of course.
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I finally got into the page. I love the comments. When I first tried the shaper, my husband thought I was going Amish. Needless to say, I now just cover without it, but I am growing my hair longer to make a natural bun. I figured he didn’t like the shaper. And since I will need a wide brim hat due to eye problems in the sun, a shaper would not work anyway.
My cousin who saw an photo of me with one of the flowery scarves, for the first time, said I looked exotic!
Sikh cab drivers always give me the BIGGEST smile when they see me. It’s really sweet. I often give compliments to women of different cultures when I see the cool ways that they wrap their hair. I got to meet some Russian Orthodox Christian women at the airport the other day, and we had a bonding moment. I just love seeing new types of headwear.
I am high school teacher – one student jokes that Voldemort hides under my tichel!
My brother asked if he should worry about me….
The cutest comment I got while wearing the woven navy tichel with a long brown medieval skirt: “Oh, you look like just coming out of the Lord of the Rings”! Cute and funny!
That’s hilarious! Probably because I live in Israel, I’ve never gotten any weird comments.
Once I was asked where I was from, mostly people come up to me saying they love my look and the best one, when I was wearing the princes look with a sash someone came up to me saying: you look like the painting of the girl with the pearl from Vermeer. 🙂
When I was on vacation in the Caribbean the women there saw me as part of the sister hood. When I’m around the muslim women they see me as part of the sister hood. No one can guess what religion I belong to but they do acknowledge the value of covering the hair and that is a special bond and respect we share among ourselves, for our husbands and modesty!
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Asiya, you reminded me that when we stayed at the Clarion in Portland, Maine, the housekeeping staff were Moslem women from Somalia (had settled in Maine when they came to the U.S.). And, when they saw my head covered with my tichels, I received so much more respect from them, and anything I asked for, I received with a loving smile. So, if we needed anything, my smart husband had me request it, and we received the best service.
I had the big surprise to meet Matthieu not seen for a long time (a christian brother from my past church) who asked me straight before saying hello : did you became muslim ? I stayed silent to contain my surprise but then I asked him :”don’t you like my hear covering?” and he replied I looked as always beautiful !!!!!
Lots of emotions !!! Nobody cover hairs here in my part of the world ! (Switzerland)
I always covered my head when I went for my chemo appointments, everyone loved the scarves and thought they were an actual hat. When I told them it was a head wrap, I told them how to do it and gave them the address to Wrapunzel. ( of course)
Love the stories 🙂 Before Wrapunzel I got a lot of confused and negative looks. Once I was pulled aside at the grocery store and reminded how far women’s lib has come, why would I go backward? After Wrapunzel I have only gotten compliments and strange comments like, beautiful hijab and where am I from 🙂
What a great article! Thought I was alone in strange comments! Sometimes even in our Conservative Shul when I first started going there! Once a woman walked up to me, standing by my parked car and said, “Excuse me, are you a medium?” I, who was (parked in front of Dunkin Donuts waiting) completely unaware from the habit that I’m wearing the tichel , replied to her, “No. Sadly, I’m not a Medium anymore. I’m more of a Large/XL right now” Ha!! She looked at me as though I were insane, and when Elisheva arrived saying, “Imah, I think she was talking about your tichel and long skirt”.We both still laugh every time we remember my innocent blunder into absurdity! 🙂
Oh my gosh, that had me on the floor laughing! Andrea has GOT to make a book out of all of these. I would totally buy it and keep it on my coffee table.
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Awesome selection. Thanks for compiling it. It gave me a smile.
I know this is super late, but I work with kids and today I wore my tichel for the first time at work. Some children wanted to know if I had decided to cut off all my hair, but my favourite question was “Did you dye your hair and it went wrong so now you’re wearing that until you can go to the hairdresser and get it fixed?”
A couple years ago I was asked if I was part of the circus that was in town. HA!