As a 42-year-old balding husband and father to two young sons, I don’t go to a whole lot of bar and bat mitzvahs these days.
Shocking, right? In 1988 and ’89 that was ALL I did on weekends, and hey, looking like I did then (check out the photo at the bottom left of this page), who wouldn’t have wanted me to party with them?
Anyway, while my “Coke and Pepsi game” playing at fancy Jewish rites of passage are mostly over, I’m now old enough to see the new generation get to have a great bash. Saturday night the daughter of my first cousin, a terrific, smart and kind girl named Ava, got bat mitzvahed, and I was thrilled to be a part of it (that’s the happy family up above). As always, lots of thoughts scattered into and out of my brain, that I know feel obligated to share with you.
— OK, let’s get the fuddy-duddy stuff out of the way first: Man, I could NOT believe how my cousin’s female friends dressed. I mean, these girls had dresses that barely covered their tuchus, and had more bling on than a Pitbull or Meek Mill. I was horrified, and then quickly pleased that as much as I wanted to have a daughter one day, I’m a little relieved that I’ve got two boys and I’ll never have to shout “You are NOT wearing THAT out of this house, young lady!”
— OK the rest is all positive. It really was a terrific and fun evening, planned by Ava’s parents, my super fantastic cousin Robin and her husband Guy. The restaurant where it was held was great, the DJ company was among the best I’ve ever heard (I’m old school in that I always prefer bands at big events, but this company, ESP Productions, was sensational), and the food was terrific. And hey, being seated at a table with people I knew (my sister and first cousins) and meeting others I hadn’t seen in years is always a good time.
–So one of the things that always killed me about bar and bat mitzvahs was how awkward the boy-girl interactions are. You’re 13, you’re all dressed up in fancy clothes, you really like that girl over there in the red dress but she never talks to you at school but hey this is different now and you’ve had three Shirley Temples and dammit, you’re gonna go talk to her! (OK maybe that was just me).
But I have to say, it really seemed like all the kids at this party were just having fun, and totally relaxed, and there wasn’t that strangeness I remembered. Good to see.
— So of course I had no clue what most of the music was, nor who sang it, but I have to hand it to ESP for a stroke of genius: Around 10:40 p.m. or so, the party seemed to be winding down, the kids were all tired or off doing something else, and that’s when the DJ’s decided to kick it old-school for us “old folks.” They invited everyone up to the dance floor and hit us with some Bon Jovi, AC/DC, and Cyndi Lauper. For 20 minutes or so, it was mostly us 40 and over fogies going nuts to the songs we loved. That may have been me up on a stage doing my best Angus Young guitar solo.
And I was awfully proud to see a bunch of Ava’s friends belting out “Livin’ On a Prayer.” Good parenting, those kids are getting!
— Yes, I must admit, I did spend a few seconds looking at all my cousin’s friends and thinking, “They are all 13 year old girls. And that scumbag Roy Moore in Alabama had a sexual encounter with a girl just one year older than them. When he was 32. Absolutely disgusting.
— Finally, my cousins happily obeyed the No.1, iron-clad rule of a good cocktail hour: Pigs in blankets passed around as hors d’ouerves. Absolutely never fails to get people happy.
**So while I’m not alone in thinking much of this NFL season has been underwhelming, filled with injuries to star players and mind-numbingly boring games, Sunday’s action was pretty sensational. Unless you’re a Jets fan like me (hey, feeling good was nice while it lasted), or a Browns fan (they had a 21-7 lead and somehow still lost because, you know, they’re the Browns).
— And then there are Eagles fans, who are in their own special Hell this morning. In the midst of an amazing, glorious, spectacular season, and during a thrilling win over the L.A. Rams Sunday, saw their star quarterback Carson Wentz get seriously hurt. He’s likely out for the year, they’re probably not going to make the Super Bowl, and life sucks sometimes when your favorite team’s season gets short-circuited so fast.
— Antonio Brown is really, really good at football. The Steelers won another thrilled Sunday night, Brown had more than 200 yards receiving again, and the dude really seems unstoppable. Hey opposing defenses, just a thought: Maybe put two defenders on him?
— How wild was that scene in Buffalo? Huge snowstorm hit this weekend, and the Bills and Colts sorta played a football game Sunday in many, many feet of snow. The pic above was my favorite, but you gotta see these amazing shots from the Buffalo News. Just wild.
I love that we get at least one fantastic snow game a year in the NFL. How those fans could sit there for hours in those conditions… some people are just nuts.