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Eat Pray Save: The Trials & Tribulations Of A Mitzvah Mom – Part 9

Eat Pray Save: The Trials & Tribulations Of A Mitzvah Mom – Part 9

By Cindy Silvert,

My dear reader, we did it! We laughed, we cried, we “saved” money, we Bar Mitzvahed. My son’s long anticipated special day has come and gone. So how did I do? (Enough about him!) Did I fight the good fight? Did I stick to my guns? Did I go rogue or buckle? Here’s how I rate myself: Hypocrite? Check. Over Budget? Check. Obsessive? Check. Sleeping Pills? Check. Check. Check. Lists of lists that begat yet more lists? Check. Very Happy Bar Mitzvah Boy and Guests? Check Plus. Thrilled with how it turned out? Yup.

While certain things didn’t work out exactly as anticipated (ie. the budget), the focus and tone of the day were on the mark. My son arrived neither by helicopter nor camel, in fact, I’m not even sure how he got home. The Bar Mitzvah was low on fanfare, high on Simcha and good clean fun.

Here’s what happened in the home stretch: Seventy two hours before the big day, this ex-florist was out of the country wondering whether she’d bother with centerpieces. (The ones in her head were just perfect, so why mess with it?) I’d like to think that if I hadn’t had centerpieces, I’d have made quite a statement, who knows, maybe saved the world. And while I’d like to think that statement might have been: “Centerpieces suck!” or “I guess my mother-in-law ate the centerpieces, again!” there would no doubt have been those who would have interpreted that statement as: “By golly she’s cheap!” or “Huh?” or “Where the hell is the center of the table?” In the end, I decided that if I were to find something on the way home from the airport, so be it. If not, so be it. Clever, I know. Either way, I’d write some nonsense about it. So we’re good.

Things I get an A+ on:

1. Choosing an incredible location, caterer and band.
2. Going low key/low budget on centerpieces.
3. Not knowing the tablecloth color nor losing sleep over it. (*refill Ativan)
4. Refusing to print invites for family or friends.
5. Hiring a doll of a caterer to plan and execute the family BBQ.
6. Doing my own make up. (I write this prior to picture viewing)
7. Not delivering a speech.

Things I was just lucky to have:

1. Rabbis who let us do things just how we wanted.
2. A son who did his job.
3. Dream weather.
4. Professionals all round.
5. A husband. Need I say more?
6. Marvelous friends.

Things I hope to obsess less about next time:

1. The schedule. Kids will be kids regardless of what this old lady plans. In the end, I hired a bunch of counselors and told them to do whatever they wanted. I’d rather not discuss the number of times I reordered the activities prior to this life affirming decision. Ever. The kids had a blast.

2. The hotel baskets. This one wasn’t my fault. I asked both my husband and trusted “BFF” (yes, it’s in quotations for a reason) whether I ought to include home baked Mandelbroit, assuming they would call me insane and save me from myself. Both failed me.

3. Giveaways. I know. I ranted against these in a most earnest fashion. Even I believed I meant it, but in the end, I knew my son would be embarrassed without them. So while we didn’t give away sweats or even shorts, our modestly priced, cleverly designed door prizes were well received. The things we do for love…

Things I didn’t need but was glad to have:

1. A live band.

2. Four counselors –you never know.

3. A backup plan in case of rain. As if…

4. Enough water and ice cream to sustain a small nation, for a millennium, perhaps two.

5. First aid supplies, suntan lotion, towels and citronella.

6. Extra art supplies, in case of bad weather or bored kids.

7. We put a whole lot of elbow grease into fixing up the house for the big day, and it looks darn tootin’. Still, I can’t help but wonder why it wasn’t me who got the face lift.

Things I hope I don’t do again next time:

1. Buckle into printing an invite for kids. I ended up having to print these on my own (don’t ask), so they didn’t cost much, but that’s beside the point. I expect there will be some cool technology next time around that will render invitations obsolete. Hopefully someone will tell me about it.

2. Hide the suntan lotion & towels.

3. Give my siblings important jobs. (Talk about not getting an A+)

4. Tattoo the To Do list on my forehead.

5. Deliver a child who will be Bar Mitzvahed shortly after two Jewish Holidays and much travel.

6. Buy six back-up outfits for my daughter (Stop snickering, I only kept one for myself.)

7. Abandon my painting and writing during planning phases 16A through 437G.

8. Fail to plug my painting and writing (incessantly) while blogging.

What now? Happily, I shall resume my painting and writing. Yes, I paint and write! More details you say? As you surely intuited, I am working on a Cookbook/Harlequin romance titled: Classy Eating/Trashy Reading (Who isn’t?) It claims to be funny and is full of easy-to-make, money-back-guaranteed recipes. It will be published before the end of the year, or my name is mud. Check out for updates and secret sauces. Wherefore my art?  Go to to see what I’m painting and where I’m exhibiting (and if my website exists.) Send comments so I know you’re still there. Wishing you the best summer ever & thanks for sharing (oh right, that was me).

Til next time,


PS: Look out for J’s Bowling Bar-Mitzvah Blog in three short years (who me, play favorites?)
Read the Silvert Bar Mitzvah Family Spotlight story here.


About Cindy Silvert

Cindy Lynn Silvert took the long route to the States from Canada via Israel, where she studied, worked and had her first two children. A lover of the Arts, Cindy is a professionally trained actor, prolific artist and writer. She has designed educational software, curricula and museums exhibits in addition to editing two books. She writes for a number of sites including where she shares culinary secrets, shortcuts and tips. She is also a featured chef and lead contributor of Cindy is also an artist, check out to follow her shows in Brooklyn, Yonkers, Chelsea and more.

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Catch up on what you missed!

Read Part 1
Read Part 2
Read Part 3
Read Part 4
Read Part 5
Read Part 6
Read Part 7
Read Part 8

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