I realize that Taylor Swift feels miserable and magical at the age of 22, and I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty damn sure that’s how I felt in 7th grade.
If you read last week’s post, you know that the bar-mitzvah circuit was my prime and I wasn’t kidding.
My social life was at the pinnacle of perfection…and it’s been downhill from there.
For all you non-Jewish readers, (which I’m sure is like, a whopping three of you) allow me to explain.
Picture a world in which you had parties every weekend for an entire year, and yes, you had to go to every party whether you liked it or not.
The only legitimate excuse was either a death or conflicting bar/ bat mitzvahs—the ultimate nightmare; it was part of the Bar/ Bat Mitzvah code.
These parties weren’t just get togethers with friends and family—Oh no. They were much, much worse.
“Worse?” you ask.
These parties were themed.
Cooking, baseball, basketball, animal, music, and 60’s—the list goes on and on.
Mine was fashion and appropriately titled, “Dolce & Alana”.
Lets take a trip down memory lane, shall we?
A few months out, a rather heavy invitation arrives in your mailbox. You subconsciously judge the invite on color-scheme, paper, and font. Flash forward to the Saturday of the big event. You somehow make it through the service and gorge yourself at the catered brunch and decide that, because everyone saw you in your stellar Delia’s outfit last weekend, you obviously need something new in fear of committing the dreadful sin of outfit repetition. So, you and your posse beg your moms to drive you to the mall, where she begrudgingly hands over a whopping $20. Three hours and a new ensemble later, it’s time to get ready. You beg your chauffeur (aka your mom) to not take you to the party on time.
“I have to be there fashionably late, mom!” you plead.
“Fashionably late? It’s a Bar-mitzvah party.”
Some parents just don’t understand.
30 minutes late, you and your herd finally arrive at the party. Appetizers are being served and the green screen has just opened up.
Jogging anyone’s memory? My Jew senses are practically tingling.
It’s now about 8PM and the parents are eating dinner as you and your friends are “dancing”. All of a sudden you hear the music change from Avril Lavigne’s, Girlfriend, to Beyonce’s, Irreplaceable.
“Snoooooooow Baaaaaaaaaaall” you hear the DJ say.
Your heart sinks and you jerk your head to meet the gaze of your crush.
Everyone forms a circle and the bar or bat mitzvah is forcibly thrown in to the centre of the circle, where he or she silently whimpers from embarrassment. Then, the hormones kick in and everyone starts dancing.
No, I do not mean grinding. Snowballs meant swaying back and forth with your arms on his shoulders and his on your waist and absolutely NO eye contact.
Grinding was only acceptable when:
- Your parents were not there.
- You weren’t good friends with the family.
- You had no shame.
Phew. Snowball is over.
You awkwardly shuffle back to your posse when you catch a whiff of chicken strips.
After you eat you dinner, the shoes come off and it’s time to get a little crazy.
That’s right. It’s time for the games.
POI: I was the Memphis, Tennessee’s resident Coke & Pepsi champ (no big deal)
Once every pubescent in the general vicinity was collectively sweaty, it was time for the pies-de-resistance—the slide show. Armed with signature freebies and a hefty $5 gift card to Starbucks that you won from the limbo competition you plopped yourself down in front of the screen and craned your neck upwards. This was your chance to see if you were REALLY a friend of the bar or bat- mitzvah.
One picture? Friends. Three pictures? You were practically family.
Two more hours and hava nagila later and you feel your clamshell dinosaur phone buzzing. The party has officially ended.
You run out to your carpool clad in a new pair of monogramed flannel boxers that read something along the lines of, “I partied my pants off at _______ Bar Mitzvah!” and hoarsely tell whoever is driving about the drama of the night. You may not have left with a $5 gift card to Claire’s this time, but hey—there’s always next Saturday.