My great-aunt Pauline, who has since passed away, was an avid crossword puzzle fan. I never really knew her—I mostly remember that she had an almost cliché old person's house, with a squawking bird and actual circus peanuts in a candy dish and a TV that was always on at a maddeningly low volume—but she and my father spoke on a relatively regular basis, and she would sometimes call up with questions about crossword puzzle clues.
One afternoon some years ago my father received such a call:
AUNT PAULINE: "What do you call those little hats Jewish people wear? Ask your wife." [Ed. note: my mother is a half-blood, non-religious Jew]
DAD: "Uh... do you mean a yarmulke?"
AUNT PAULINE: "No, it's only four letters."
DAD: "Well, what's the clue?"
AUNT PAULINE: "Tannenbaum topper."
DAD: (struggling to hold back laughter) STAR. It's star. Tannenbaum means tree.
And people wonder why I don't identify more with my Jewish roots.
Anyway, if you've been reading my HuffPo recaps, you know that Project Runway Season 6 contestant Shirin Askari was partial to wearing yarmulke-like caps that I mocked probably more than was necessary.
And here is my payback: they're for sale.
Yes, these felt hats—perfect for Peter Pan's bar mitzvah, should he ever grow up—COULD BE YOURS AT THE CLICK OF A BUTTON!!! Just in time for Hannukah, or, as my Aunt Pauline might call it, Tannenbaum lights.