Shopping, returning & learning

I just spent an obscene amount of money. O – B – SEEEEEEN cash on a wardrobe for 2 small children for a Bar Mitzvah weekend extravaganza consisting of a Friday night dinner, Saturday morning service, Saturday evening party and Sunday brunch. My task for the next few days is to return as much as I can and find alternative wear that is borrowed or cheap but does not make my children look like they had to pick through the leftovers at the Appalachian flea market. And for as often as I hear myself say, “My boys are NEVER going to have a Bar Mitzvah like this”, I know I can’t be sure. Every mom has repeated the same thing to me. “That’s what I said, too.” And then they send out invitations for their, son or daughter’s Jewish Coming Out Ball. I’m telling you, William and Kate got nothing next to Jews with Shekels, man. It’s just that one event – that one wedding for those reserved British types. One event? Pussies!

I bought 2 dresses for myself (on sale, of course), and I need to squeeze into the spring outfits that I wore a size or two ago. It’s a good thing I just spent all our money on clothing because I can’t afford to eat. If only I could sell my fat to starving children around the world. I’d make some cash. They’d have a little padding to tide them over until their next meal, and everyone would be happy. What?

While I’m driving from mall to mall doing the math in my head, I’m also adding notes to my Bar Mitzvah Planning File for our sons in 2016 and 2019.


  • Don’t spend what you don’t have. No really. Don’t.
  • Don’t try to keep up with the Jones-enbaums. You can’t even afford the party favors, so don’t even try. Re party favors: see Hawaiian leis at Oriental Trading Company and save all Halloween candy from 2011 onwards (keep in chest freezer).
  • At every Bar Mitzvah we attend, ask the bar mitzvah boy if we can have his suit after he’s finished. Someone is bound to give us one.*
  • Videotape Bar Mitzvah dance parties and upload to YouTube. Play videos on wide screen at party instead of hiring DJ. Note: don’t forget to dub over names when DJ shouts out to the Bar Mitzvah boy.
  • Consider a destination Bar Mitzvah. Somalia? Benin? Detroit?

*Gabriella reviewed this list and said, “You know that’s a good idea about the suit.

I intend to keep the Bar Mitzvah file next to the Open The Day You Start to Shrink file.


  • Wear a fucking hearing aid. Everyone hates having to repeat themselves more than 3 times – slower and louder with every repetition.
  • Get a goddam driver and cut up your license. You think you can drive, but you CAN’T! You’re a menace and you are a traffic light away from killing some kid is on his way to get a suit for his Bar Mitzvah.
  • If your doctor prescribes happy pills, take 2X the recommended dosage. Yes, life sucks when you’re old. Your body is breaking down. All of your friends are either dead or sick or just as miserable as you are. There is no way you can be happy without some serious medication.
  • Keep your yap shut. Age does not necessarily make you wise. And even if you are smarter than everyone else, that doesn’t give you the right to tell everyone what you think about their children, their partners, their jobs or their lives. No one will want to take you into his or her home and take care of you when you are too old to wipe your own ass if you have been a cranky old bitch. If you don’t have anything nice to say, pop another Xanex and shut the fuck up.

Life provides one lesson after another, and it is up to us to learn those lessons and file them away for future reference.

Gabriella just left with the shopping bag of gorgeous and expensive clothes along with a receipt that was as long as a whale’s schlong.

While I know she’ll come home with outfits that are sufficiently stylish, I’ll always remember the ensembles that got away.

13 thoughts on “Shopping, returning & learning

  1. I’ve seen David Attenborough specials, so the size doesn’t shock me. I just want to know what that man is doing holding it. Or maybe I don’t.

    FWIW, Daffy’s has some decent dress clothes that aren’t ridiculously expensive.

  2. The guy is holding a bag in his other hand leading me to believe that he might be collecting something. I’m sure I’ll be happy to live the remainder of my life without ever really knowing. You may wish to investigate further, however.

    Daffy’s. Great idea!!

  3. Admit it. You’ve been holding on to the whale photo for months trying to figure out how to use it in your blog.

  4. Am I the only one who noticed that the whale member coordinates very stylishly with the palette of the swank clothing? Schlong is the new black. Er…

  5. honestly, Lana, the whale schlong just …came …to me. now, my file on animal vaginas, however…still trying to work those into a blog. no. not really.

    oh deb, i must see if i can find some schlong earrings to wear at the bar mitzvah this weekend! i can’t possibly turn my back on the new black!

    fuckin’ right, pencil!

  6. I looked at the picture of the whale schlong though I promised you/myself I wouldn’t. I will now have horrible nightmares. You owe me some of your xanax.

    As for what the guy is collecting, it’s sperm of course…for the lesbian whales.

  7. Vikki totally beat me to the lesbian whale thing, dammit.

    My kids are the same age as yours and I’m already having Bar Mitzvah angst. Or maybe getting over my Bar Mitzvah angst. For a change, it makes me grateful to be a Jew in a small city, without very many Jonesteins to keep up with. This service, a nice lunch, a barbecue… And maybe we’ll just renovate the basement so the house looks nice. No biggie. (Can we borrow the suit after you?)

  8. clearly lesbian whales! shamu has two mommies!!

    susan, you can borrow the suits if we can rent out your basement! or maybe i’ll start a traveling pants club to dress all the children in their coming-of-age outfits. nothing like paying it forward with neck ties.

  9. You know, I thought that in my previous career as an Internet censor, I had seen everything weird on the Internet. Thanks so much for proving that wrong.

    FWIW, Detroit would probably be a good destination Bar Mitzvah site. I understand that they have the one of the largest Reform Synagogues in North America. You could invite everyone. Almost literally.

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