Humor: Where is My Vacation Now that I’ve Earned It?


Where is My Vacation Now that I’ve Earned It?

Rebecca Klempner

Like many Jewish women, the weeks after Passover leave me feeling tuckered out. We’ve survived Purim preparation and Pesach preparation – and (unfortunately) in my case a little jaunt to the opposite coast for a funeral – and now I want nothing more than to lie on a beach. Yes, that’s what I want: one week in which to do nothing other than listen to seagulls, read novels, and pray that my SPF 50 sunscreen keeps the small quantities of bare flesh left exposed by my modest swimsuit and straw hat free of sunburn.

Instead, I get to plan a bar mitzvah.

The victim in question has been doing his part for many months. He’s practiced his Torah reading and is working on a speech to share over Shabbos dinner on Friday night. He helped pick out his invitations and let me know which friends to send them to in addition to all the classmates he’s ever had and every rebbe who has ever taught him. (He also gave me his opinion on the topic of cake, but after visiting the bakery recommended to me, I have discovered they do not offer the flavor of frosting he requested. I apologize in advance to all of you who were looking forward to mocha icing.)

Even when you throw a super low-key, relatively inexpensive bar mitzvah which doesn’t involve musical entertainment, photo booths, or a safari, there’s still a lot to do. There are suits we have purchased, but which still need to be checked for shatnez. There are foods to purchase and foods to cook. There are paper goods to pick out, folding tables and chairs to borrow, and various types of sun shade to price. I’m supposed to be doing all of this, of course, while keeping my house clean (or at least liveable), driving carpools, feeding hungry Klempners, editing, and writing.

Plenty people have offered to help, thank G-d, but that still leaves me figuring out what help to ask for and who should do what. I need to go back for an MBA just to learn the management skills necessary to delegate all the tasks that need to be accomplished.

We’re making progress: I successfully ordered and sent out invitations, wrote out a menu for Friday night dinner, and scheduled my meltdown for the middle of the week before the bar mitzvah when I realize that there’s no human way for everything to get done in time.

(Maybe I should add “pray with intense focus” to my to-do list for that Wednesday.)

My husband is in charge of purchasing tefillin and a black hat. He is writing a speech in which I expect he will reiterate the fact he owes me big-time and forever. I’m kinda hoping my bar mitzvah bachur mentions me in his speech, too – so long as it’s not for suggesting he make his own dinner while I stamp envelopes and call the caterer.

In the meantime, I have two friends who posted on Facebook about their lovely, well-earned post-Pesach beach vacations. I’ll try not to be envious while I’m waiting for mine.