Experimental data suggest that some strange quark bilinear operators have relatively large matrix elements in the proton, while others are very small. We propose a likely resolution of this problem. The mixing between the light quark qq and the ss meson states strongly depends on the spin-parity of the meson multiplet. We conjeture that this pattern of OZI violation in mesons and the suppression of some strange matrix elements in the proton are caused by the same nonperturbative mechanism. We construct helicity-dependent strange quark distributions in the proton, which have the expected large x nonperturbative behavior and propose the experiments in which our hypothesis can be tested.