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Thursday, October 27, 2005

"Today I am a fountain pen..."

My friend and fellow blogosphere denizen Jennifer (of Just Jennifer fame) sent me a link to a hilarious article from the Fashion & Style section of 'The New York Times' entitled 'My Big Fat 80's Bar Mitzvah' (you might have to register to read it). 

The article and accompanying photos tell of a bunch of guys who got the bright idea to document the fashion horror of Bar/Bat Mitzvahs throughout the 70s, 80's and early 90s.

Call the fashion police ...  but first go read it!

Just to share a Bar Mitzvah photo story of my own:

I played at a Long Island Bar Mitzvah about 10 years ago where the hosts had thoughtfully placed disposable cameras on all the tables with a note asking the guests to take pictures of one another and then leave them on the table to be developed later. 

About an hour into the affair I went into the bathroom and found the Bar Mitzvah boy and about 20 of his friends standing around with their pants around their ankles taking pictures of one another's , um, newly minted manhood with what appeared to be all of the disposable cameras. 

All I could think about for the rest of the affair was, 'Oh, to be a fly on the wall when the mother of the Bar Mitzvah boy gets those pictures back from the lab!'


Posted by David Bogner on October 27, 2005 | Permalink


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LOL! I didn't follow the link (not time...) but your story is funny enough on it's own. The poor mother!

Posted by: Kay | Oct 27, 2005 11:31:00 AM

There is a site online that has a collection of pictures. I can't quite remember the URL, but I think that the premise is the same as the book.

Very funny.

Posted by: Jack | Oct 27, 2005 3:31:05 PM

I'm sure it was a great idea until they realized that people weren't taking their own cameras home.

Posted by: Tanya | Oct 27, 2005 4:08:58 PM

The link to the site (which doesn't have too many pictures now, since I guess they want you to buy the book) is:


Seing those pictures certainly brings me back to my bar-mitzva stage. I had a three-piece light blue suit, although I don't think polyester...

But the thing that interests me, is did this trend somehow end? Are bar-mitzvas in the US now much more sophisticated and stylish than they were 20 years ago? Or does everything from the 80s look weird to us now?

Posted by: Dave | Oct 27, 2005 4:28:51 PM

You want weird? Never mind the 1970's - how about the 1960's? This Sunday marks the 40th anniversary of my Bar Mitzvah (!) and looking at the photographs still gives me a rueful smile. What were we thinking?

Posted by: Elisson | Oct 27, 2005 5:05:04 PM

boys... oy.

Posted by: lisa | Oct 27, 2005 5:49:08 PM

Alas, my bat mitzvah pictures are all in the sea. But they weren't anything special; it was summertime in summer camp (I celebrated my bat mitzva four months late) and wore a white t-shirt and floral skirt. There was a small kiddush after Shabbat morning services and that was about it.

Someday I'll post the story about how my stuff got into the sea. Until then, I'll give everyone a bit of advice: if you're contemplating making aliya, consider the weather at sea for the time of year that you send your lift.

Posted by: Rahel | Oct 27, 2005 5:57:30 PM

Upon reading my comment, I see I've made an error. What wasn't special about my bat mitzvah were the clothes I was wearing. The pictures were very special indeed because of the person who took them and it's really only for his sake that I'm sorry they're lost. He was, and I'm sure still is, a special human being.

Posted by: Rahel | Oct 27, 2005 6:06:22 PM

So now I know where the "King of Queens" scripters get all their ideas from.

Posted by: mademoiselle a. | Oct 27, 2005 6:15:32 PM

"Newly minted?" Haaaaaaa!

Posted by: Geoff | Oct 27, 2005 6:22:54 PM

I thought you'd get a kick out that article, but I never imagined you'd write a post about it, not to mention a hilarious one! (But actually, what other kind of post *could* there be on this topic?!)

I'm another 60's Bat Mitzvah victim and thankfully don't have a single physical record of my backyard Luau party (strictly kosher), only the mental ones. Those you couldn't torture me to reveal!

Posted by: jennifer | Oct 27, 2005 11:16:52 PM

Forgot to add, I really can't believe that there isn't a Flickr group for this yet.

Posted by: jennifer | Oct 27, 2005 11:18:36 PM

I had a 60's psychadelic theme for my bat mitzvah and all in all, the banquet hall looked pretty damn good. The only downside was the pre-painted graffiti wall the decorator put up had "G-d is dead" writting in big letters across the top. Needless to say, this pissed Mom off big time.

Posted by: Shayna | Oct 28, 2005 2:50:28 PM

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