On a recent Saturday night, my wife and I attended a bar mitzvah at a Long Island restaurant. Our table seating card read Table No. 2, where we were seated with a bunch of strangers including curmudgeons, merry widows and a pair of married folks who looked like they were in their late 50s — about our age.
As there was no prime rib as I had hoped to order, I opted for the salmon filet over the chicken marsala. I am trying to incorporate more fish in my diet — one of my few healthier habits.
Our salad was a plate of leaves: red, green and maroon. I do not eat leaves. What am I, a giraffe? Only twigs and ladybugs were missing from my plate. Why not just serve me a bonzai tree so I could dig in?
As I guzzled some red wine — more healthy food — after joining hands doing a hora and hokey-pokeying, the music the disc jockey played for the rest of the evening was unrecognizable to me. My wife knew Lady Gaga and The Black Eyed Peas. Yes, I had heard of them from the recent Grammys.
But no Beatles, Stones, The Who — even the Back Street Boys are old stuff now. The traditional Village People’s “YMCA” was never played. The party had mostly children attending. I counted three adult tables. Still, I thought some music from my generation would have been appropriate.
There were unfortunately no grandparents of the bar mitzvah boy alive today and no great aunts or uncles either from what I observed. Where were the elderly folks? People at my table looked older than me though their kids were in elementary or middle school. Our daughter, unable to attend this gala event, is a junior at an upstate New York university.
Suddenly, the frightening, horrific reality hit me. There was an old folks table and I was sitting at it! That had to be a mistake. What was going on? I must have been at the wrong table. I was not even offered chicken nuggets or spaghetti. I cannot believe I enjoyed the salmon.