What do Jews do, Bar Mitzvah Edition, Part III

Ahhh. Lists. What would we do without them? I should save mine and scan them and make a lovely slideshow. But only if next weekend goes well.

I’m writing this as I sit in a Panera (free wi-fi) after meeting someone who thinks I can help him (ha! Just kidding Jason – I promise I’ll try but really? I should be asking YOU for help) for coffee, going to the Talbots Outlet to find something for my daughter to wear next weekend (everyone else has all their clothes but finding her anything suitable continues to elude me), then Old Navy, then the Factory Card Outlet for tissue paper and out of towner bag bags. Then a salad.

I’m going to rave for a minute – I’ve lost 11 pounds in 13 weeks and let me tell you about this goal-setting and attainment thing Jill-style:

I knew it would be a pound-a-week kind of thing, it WAS a pound a week kind of thing, I cut out virtually all desserts, all seconds of everything except fruit and all kids’ leftovers – which means anything uneaten – uneaten chips, grilled cheese, hot dog, birthday cake (we’ve been through THREE birthdays since I started my weight loss attempt). When faced with a warm, gooey, glob of cheese that clearly no longer belonged to a piece of pizza? What did I do? I didn’t scoop it up with the side of a finger and wave it into my mouth. Noooo. I ignored it. I threw it away. AWAY. Cake frosting left over on the knife? Wrist-flicked into the sink. Crusty-golden spoonfuls of home-made mac and cheese still fragrant and cooling before going into the fridge for the night? Covered and shoved into the back of the shelf.


Now – here’s why this is important:

My coffee mate this morning asked me, like many people, whether I’d started bar mitzvah preparations a year ago. HA. 🙂 You’re joking. Oh, no, wait – you just don’t know me. Let me tell you a story and it will all become clear:

[are you hating these digressions? you can ALWAYS browse away, or leave a comment about how I ramble but then that was your mistake, reading in the first place; I can’t feel sorry-or angry-that you don’t like my rambling – it’s what I do, sometimes]

Placecards. We need placecards for The Main Event – never you mind about where I’m actually placing anyone.

So, I looked online and saw some I could buy and print out myself, and then I got smart and said, who am I kidding? I’m not going to have time to do that because I’ve left too many other things just like it to this point and need time to do those things.

I call up the person who did the invitations and say, can we do something simple and inexpensive? Sure – no problem. I bring over and send her some designs and she shows me some options, including one that would have cost a few dollars – PER placecard.


But it was very creative, thematic, memorable, cute.

And expensive.

AND – needed more lead time. I got scolded:

“You know, Jill, if you wanted something along these lines, you needed to come to me at least three weeks ago.”

I placed my hand on the counter, leaned into one hip, slowly and deliberately closed then opened my eyes with a smile and looked this incredibly helpful, talented and well-organized businesswoman directly in the eyes:

“Let me tell you something about the way I work. If I’d really thought place cards deserved a higher priority, I promise you – I would have been in here three weeks ago. A month ago – before that. But guess what? It’s going to be looked at, tossed, lost or washed in someone’s pants pocket.”

And that, few straggling in still readers, is how I operate. If it’s really important to me – I will get to it – and get to it good. If it’s simply not going to be of consequence, I might even let it go undone.

This method, mind you, scares the shit out of my SO who totally doesn’t operate this way. Shpilkas in his genecktigazoit. But when I say, Honey, do you really think I’m going to let our son be embarrassed? He knows the answer.

I will be awake for the next 168 hours if I have to in order to make next Saturday perfect. Even if my definition of perfect only requires a minimum fuss place card.

Which is the same way I lost the weight: there was no way on this Earth that I was going to look like crap on my son’s bar mitzvah. And I knew I’d put on and kept on nearly 12 pounds more than my body had sported for over a year. Even my fat jeans weren’t fat enough.

Since last fall, I’d been planning which week I’d start to lose weight. I knew I needed a couple of more weeks so I could buy clothes in advance. And then, when the calendar showed that number of weeks before the bar mitzvah, there I was, on the treadmill at 5:50am every morning except Saturdays. There I was, having coffee in the morning, cottage cheese and raisins or a mocha latte yogurt or a salad for lunch, and then protein, starch, veggie for dinner. Water. MAYBE one glass of wine all week. No desserts. And NO KIDS’ SCRAPS. Those are really the killer.

My knees ache like never before. My stomach is still poochie, but then I’ve never had a flat stomach. And I’ll have to wear Spanx – there’s just no way around that.

But otherwise – I’m there. I’m totally there. I’m thrilled, happy and not worrying about how long it will last. I’m just getting up with the 80s music at 5:50, sleepwalking to the remote control, shouting at the vapid talking heads and getting on with my day.

All eleven pounds less of me.


3 thoughts on “What do Jews do, Bar Mitzvah Edition, Part III

  1. My God, Jill, you’re wonderfully beautiful, talented, and organized. Give yourself a freaking break.

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