Monday, January 12, 2009

Bat Mitzvah Chronicles

1. Barter

It is good to cultivate friends with skills. R, the fabulous professional photographer, has offered, completely unsought by me, to take the photos. Local K, the awesome graphic designer, has agreed, beseeched by me, to design the invitation and program.

Local K does all my graphic design and I do all her what I do, and we are happy as clams. The irony is that people will be appalled to think of how much money we must have spent on the invitations, due to their fabulousness and creativity, when in fact they will be pretty much dirt-cheap, and not only that, but Local K is handling the logistics as well as the design.

I love my friends.

Speaking of my friends...

2. Recommendations

I have learned how I work (and I know I've said this before). When someone I know and respect recommends something highly, I go with it. Like the DJ.

Oh my god, I have worried about the DJ. The DJ has been the one big hurdle yet remaining (place? check; food? check; torah portion? check). There is nothing worse than a bad cheesy DJ. DJs are expensive. How do you find a DJ?

Ah, you find a DJ when two people you adore who do not know each other from Eve both recommend the same DJ with the highest superlatives you have ever heard, and in terms which sound good to you (world's best camp counselor? babysitter extraordinaire? turned DJ? I'm there). You call him, and he is totally enthusiastic and gets exactly what you're saying about everyone dancing and keeping grandparents and kids happy, and then he says "I can always tell from the first conversation whether a bat mitzvah is going to be fun, and I can tell yours is going to be great. I can't wait!" And when you say, "Do you tell people when you can tell their bat mitzvah is going to suck?" and he laughs, you know you're good. (I know, sales, sales, sales, but, really, I'm good with the instinct, people, plus we're backed up by A's and B's recommendations...it's going to be fine.)

The other thing about me? OK, this one is about us. If it's something we want, we pay the price. I figure the money we're saving on photographs and invitations is going to the DJ. And I'm also keeping in mind the money we are saving by having the party at Shriner Sons of Masons Elks Hall, catered by the deli, on paper plates, rather than at the fancy restaurant down the street. And what the hell: M wants a fun DJ, and that's that.

3. Dresses

The most amazing thing is that M and I both have dresses, and dresses weren't even a shadow of a glimmer on my to-do list. Not only that, but both dresses were bought in ten minutes, completely inadvertently. Not only that, but both dresses are tres fabulous. Only now I bet it's going to take about 16 hours to find shoes and earrings...

4. Today I Am a Fountain Pen

I am actively keeping in mind that this is a spiritual event, not just a party. I have decided that yes, we will go to synagogue the night before (anyone is welcome to join us, but it's not required), and we've been thinking about the service, and who to include and how and why. M is practicing hard, and she sounds great. Whenever I get too stressed about DJs, I try to remind myself that that's only part of the point (I'm not going to say it's not the point, because celebration is important; it just needs to be kept in perspective).

5. The Next Frontier

Tablecloths. What the hell am I going to do about tablecloths? (What I had in mind was Unikko paper tablecloths, but I seem to have imagined their existence.) (Yes, J, I was thinking of the napkins at my 40th birthday party.) (If anyone finds me paper Unikko tableclothes, they will get...invited to the bat mitzvah!)

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Erika said...
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