What I did: went to a friend’s kid’s Bar Mitzvah party.
What I did beforehand: overslept, fed the sourdough, made oatmeal, posted blog, stripped bed, paid some bills, vacuumed, washed sheets, made bread dough for baking tomorrow, went to town to drop my navy pantsuit at the cleaners and to buy a Bar Mitzvah card, turned dough, moved sheets to dryer, texted friend for advice about Bar Mitzvah gifts because when I was 13 I always bought and wrapped a Swiss Army Knife, turned dough, walked dogs, turned dough, took shower, turned dough, regretted stripping bed, turned dough, looked at clothes and wished I had more pant suits, got sheets out of dryer, turned dough, tried to dry hair, bench rested dough, put on jewelry and makeup, grumbled about my hair, final shaping of dough, put on inoffensively conservative black dress.
What I wore: Wolford black tights, black Fluevog textured loafer Davis heels, fancy black Coach handbag that is larger than many of my evening bags, black Boden dress that is a little shorter than I’d prefer and frustratingly pocket-less but strikes me as having the virtue of being inoffensively conservative, Lilith jacket dress.
Who went with me: the Bacon Provider (who agreed to autograph some Xbox games-related party swag, because people ask him to do things like that), a gajillion 13-year-olds, and my friend’s assorted, non-overlapping but numerous closest friends and relatives.
How I got invited: a gorgeous dark metallic-ink-printed invitation via the USPS.
Why I saw this show: we were promised good food.
Where I sat: at the table marked “Xenon.” The party had a science theme. Who doesn’t love the noble gasses?
Things that were sad: the shoes I picked are slippery on the inside now that they’re broken in and I purchased some black suede things that you stick inside shoes to prevent the sliding but I forgot all about doing it until we arrived at the party and of course I didn’t have them with me.
Things that were funny: “I will only get up and dance when they play Hava Nagila.”
Things that were not funny: there are many Americans who believe that their religion should be the national religion, and we should deny civil liberties to people who practice the “wrong” religion.
What it is: congregations have to hire people to stand guard at Jewish and Muslim gatherings across the United States. Episcopalians and Catholics don’t. But anyway, there were some heartfelt speeches and music and dancing and, yes, good food.
Who should see it: go to that bar (or bat) mitzvah. A Jewish kid has spent a really long time learning a bunch of hebrew, and is gonna read/sing it in front of a shitload of people. Then that kid has to give a speech and make sense of the chunk of Torah that corresponds to their birthday. I mean, they might get Noah’s Ark. Or they might get a shopping list. The Old Testament has all those begats, remember? It can be amazing.
I mean, 13-year-olds can be very smart and funny and have their weirdly specific enthusiasms. You know how you have to close your eyes to sneeze? Being 13 is that moment: when you close your eyes to sneeze. Before you sneeze, giant child. After, baby teen. It’s quite a sneeze.
What I saw on the way home: I changed from my heels into Tieks flats (the kind that fold and fit in your handbag) so it was easier to drive. But what was tricky was extracting my husband from the autograph-seekers.