Dear Bar Mitzvah Boy,
Though you are an adult and thus a peer of your party guests, you will be sat at a large kids table. Your sports/movie/generic Jewish theme, predetermined by your gender (animals/different cities of the world/ pink things for girls) will be aptly displayed at centerpieces and perhaps a large banner above the DJ booth. Upon entering the venue, your MC, named Marty or Rick will greet you with the following cheerful forecast: ‘we are gonna par-tay!’
And you will. This is your celebration and everything has been taken care of.
The guest list includes your Parent’s closest friends, casual acquaintances, gym buddies, business partners, potential clients, immediate relatives, distant relatives, relatives from outside the country, family doctors, your God parents, mentors, members of your Havura, people who were in your Hebrew school carpool, and inspiring teachers/educational/religious faculty members. Over the course of the evening each of the 150-250 guests will make a point to pull you aside and talk to you. This will be your first time in recent memory meeting many of these people, so it’s important to smile and be pleasant when they tell you stories of knowing you your whole life. Do not worry about remembering their names as they have all been written down in clever rhymes to be read during the candle lighting.
Your grand entrance sets the tone for the evening and culminates with you being hoisted up in a chair for the world to see. Being as the sweating, slightly inebriated men that are doing this are both out of shape and showing off, and also being as your Uncle’s old shoulder injury is acting up due to improper lifting, it can be quite scary. What next ensues is akin to an amateur production of Fiddler on The Roof. That is of course if everyone Tzeitel and Motel’s wedding had glow sticks,really loved The Village People, and formed a giant conga line.
Finally after some party games, undercooked pasta, and a montage of your entire life up to this point you get what you really want for your 13th birthday…..
….to slow dance with your Mother to ‘Wind Beneath My Wings’ in front of all your friends and family.
Don’t worry. It’s being video taped.
Oh and don’t forget to sign the oversized picture of yourself in lobby. Just write: Mazel Tov!
Everyone else did.
If I don’t send you a check for eighteen dollars, I’ll plant a tree in Israel in your name.
In any case, Happy Birthday, Will.