“today I am a man”

I’ve spent the last 30 minutes distracting myself because I didn’t know how to start my post.


What would you do with 500,000 dollars?


I’d buy a house.  Well, an apartment actually.  If I were staying in the city.  It would buy a nice two bedroom apartment in my neighborhood, that’s probably been renovated.  If I were moving out of the city, well I’d buy a house.  Something with a deck and a formal dining room.

Do you know what I would NOT do with 500,000 dollars.

Spend it on a thirteen year old’s birthday party!!!

Bar/Bat Mitzvahs.

Adam and I have discussed this many times.  He sometimes does one off graphic design work for a woman who provides tchotchkes for bar/bat mitzvahs.  You know, sweatshirts, water bottles etc.  He creates the graphic art that ends up being used on the items.  You’d be surprised how well he duplicates Ed Hardy t-shirts.  So he’s aware of the insanity behind these events.  According to Adam if you think brides are difficult you should really take on Jewish mothers.  They can be insane.

Adam’s boss is also Jewish and he did the cake for her son’s bar mitzvah.  It was a very small affair with about 50 kids or so held in a sort of janky night club in midtown.  That being said, the day of the actual bar mitzvah he and his friends spent the afternoon making sandwiches for a food bank.  So it was somewhat redeeming.

Now let’s talk about:

Seth’s Bar Mitzah.

His family rented our entire restaurant for the night.  And by the entire restaurant I mean we were closed for the evening so that Seth and his closest five or six hundred friends could enjoy themselves at my restaurant.  They didn’t like our food choices so they brought in their own catering.  All the bottles of water supplied during the party had his name on it.  They had waiters that walked around doing nothing but offering candy to kids.  One whole section of the restaurant was “adults only” where it seems the father got VERY drunk on Patron.

In all.  The little party cost:


I want to scream.  I think 1,000 dollars on a party for a kid is too much.  How does anyone really think that spending 500,000 on a party — for a kid — is sensible.  Do you know how many homeless people that would shelter?  Or feed?  The amount of supplies that could be provide for under funded schools?  How many babies could get vaccinations?  How many elderly citizens could be driven to doctor’s appointments?  How many?

I know, I know it’s their money to do with what they want.  And god knows we all spend money of stupid things.  BUT.  It’s one thing to throw a big party for an adult.  Who has perhaps earned some of the money being spent.  But what kind of message is being sent to a kid that young?  You just memorize a few lines of Hebrew and be able to recite it in front of a small group of people and we’ll buy you the world.

It makes me mad.

Unfortunately it’s 5:04 and my ability to rationalize has gone out the window for the night.

So we’ll leave it with.


How much do you think is appropriate for a party for a teenager?


4 thoughts on ““today I am a man”

  1. Peter May 11, 2011 / 05:24

    $500 would do, that’s including presents. Only really good friends are invited, not those 500-600 of his/her “closest’s friends”.

  2. Tom May 11, 2011 / 08:05

    Parents probably took advantage of that Bush tax cut… Had to spend it somewhere!

  3. Catrina May 11, 2011 / 08:08

    My granddaughter and I were discussing this the other day. She wants a swimming party for her 16th birthday…I told her about my Mom making a Betty Crocker cake with homemade frosting, 16 candles, and my four closest friends invited over. I was thrilled with it (and also the 45 of “Yellow Submarine” my crush Brad gave me). I think the big ‘themed’ birthday parties (my aforementioned granddaughter recently went to a ’60’s party) are a bit much, too. That Betty Crocker cake is sounding better all the time!

  4. Java May 11, 2011 / 18:18

    Well it depends on many things, like age of the child and the cost of things in the area. For instance, I think it’s appropriate to host a birthday party at the skating rink or bowling alley or gymnastics center for a dozen children, kids ages 6 or 7 to whenever they think they’re too old for that childish foolishness. And a good rule of thumb for number of guests is to go by the child’s age. Four year olds have four guests, 10 year olds have 10 guests, etc.

    But $500,000 and 500-600 guests is right out. Hell, that’s too much for a wedding IMHO.

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