This year, May 20 was the most significant May 20 I had since the May 20 that was 13 years ago. For you see, on this May 20, it was exactly 13 years since my Bar Mitzvah, or as I have been saying, the Bar Mitzvah of my Bar Mitzvah. I should make that the title of this post.
What’s that? I already did? I’m so smart.
In most people’s lives (mine included) birthdays happen but once a year and yet every year, but the opportunity to celebrate and acknowledge the Bar Mitzvah of my Bar Mitzvah only comes once in a lifetime. So this year, celebrating my birthday took a back seat. Okay, maybe just shotgun—I still like my birthday after all.
To be honest, celebrating my birthday seems silly since I had very little to do with my actual birth. I did however, have everything to do with my actual Bar Mitzvah. For my birth, I just showed up. For my Bar Mitzvah, I had to show up, chant Hebrew, dance the Macarena and make a 13-year-old ass out of myself. Given in those years I was always making an ass out of myself; for whatever reason I used to go around all the time yelling, “Hee haw!” Don’t ask why. And then later in high school I played Bottom in a Midsummer’s Night Dream and that obviously didn’t help the image. I still belt out a “Hee haw!” when the mood strikes.
In the 13 years since my Bar Mitzvah, quite a bit has happened. The first black President was elected to office, Gangnam Style replaced the Macarena as the most hated Bar Mitzvah song, and one of the most amazing ideas ever, the cotton gin, was invented. Seriously, if you haven’t had this gin that is made from cotton, do yourself a favor and try it now. It is, in a word, spectacular and in two words, spectacularly spectacular. Yes, this entire paragraph was just for that one terrible joke.
But the one thing that has truly happened in that time is that I have become a man. This was supposed to happen at 13, but when I became a Bar Mitzvah, they didn’t make me start paying for my own health insurance. I didn’t start doing that until last week. Now I truly am a man and I’m freaking out.
So now I have to associate myself with concepts like adulthood, manhood and Robin Hood. Well, maybe not so much Robin Hood, but the other two are far too prevalent in my life to ignore. Well, maybe not so much manhood either, as I still eat Spaghetti-Os every other meal. But adulthood! Yes, adulthood. That’s one I can’t turn away from. I am an adult. I even have a beard to prove it.
I say this because I had always felt that I started legitimately retaining memories once I hit my Bar Mitzvah. Yes, hit my Bar Mitzvah. We got into a fight and I don’t wanna talk about it. Pre-13, my memories are few and far between at best, but once I hit that glorious day 13 years ago (again, still don’t wanna talk about it) I seem to have started taking my experiences and learning from them to allow myself to grow much more as a person.
Despite my constant attempts at the contrary, I am an adult. Maturity wise, not so much, but age and life wise, I unfortunately can’t deny it. I have learned pretty much every significant life thing in the past 13 years. And the fact that I call them “life things” shows how truly significant they are. Sure, there are things that have always and will always be with me, but most of my truly significant life experiences and understandings have manifested a lot more recently. I’ve always felt my Bar Mitzvah was a catalyst of sorts; I wonder if now, in celebrating the Bar Mitzvah of my Bar Mitzvah, if I may be approaching another catalyst of sorts. I suppose only time will tell, of sorts.
So even after getting to what I was trying to say with this piece, I’m still not entirely sure what I was trying to say with this piece. Truth be told, I came up with the title and went from there, neglecting to truly ground everything that followed in some sort of meaningful coherency. If nothing else, I hope you enjoyed the picture of me with my actual Bar Mitzvah shirt from way back when.
It was May 20, 2000. That’s when.
Having said that, thank you for reading. Check back with me in 13 years, when I’ll be celebrating the Bar Mitzvah of my Bar Mitzvah of my Bar Mitzvah!