Not That Kind of Girl

Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:

Here’s a question at the intersection of theology and etiquette. For
Purim I did what I have done for several years, dressed up as the
person no one ever imagines me to be, and that I never dress or act
even remotely like in my daily life. The costumes have varied, from an
Elvis impersonator to a drunken hooker. This year I vamped it up and
was intentionally flirty and playful. Even several weeks later some
people are acting like I meant it. How can I deflect both criticism and
come-ons. And specifically how can I make sure one very married man
stops making comments in front of other people that imply he knows
me a whole lot better than he does? It is embarrassing and
inappropriate, especially given that I am reasonably well respected
from my volunteer work at the temple.

Not That Kind of Girl

Dear Not That Kind of Girl:

One of the greatest rabbinical teachings about Purim is that we
unmask the selves we keep hidden. Intentionally or not you have
revealed something that others want to see in you, and that you
choose to keep hidden, or at least not display in a context outside of
masquerade at temple. Next year you might consider going in a
costume that’s not only less raucous but a little intimidating, or wear a
simple animal mask.

Memories will fade faster if you make less of a fuss than more. Simply
deflect any comments with sweet smiles and simple messages, like
That was Purim, this is me. Or You’re married, so am I. Or Next year I
am going to come as a Navy Seal. Are you sure you want to tackle
that? Most people will smile and back away. But if the persistent
admirer does not, be sure there are other friends present and say
You’re embarrassing yourself more than me, and implying something
that’s not now and never would be true. I know you don’t want your
reputation as an honest man to suffer because of a masked
misunderstanding. That should shut him up.