This weekend we road tripped down to New Jersey to attend my cousin’s daughter’s bat mitzvah, which was as crazy and over the top (and in the same place) as the bar mitzvah I went to a few years ago. One thing I will say is that the party DJs in Jersey definitely earn their money. They kept a huge crowd of 13-year olds dancing, playing with little plastic gadgets, toilet papering each other into mummies, and bouncing up and down to loud music for like 4 hours. It was pretty amazing. And loud. Did I mention the loud part?
During the temple service, my father’s cousin kept looking over at me to see if I was reading the prayers in Hebrew and then frowning when she saw that I wasn’t even reading them in English. I was reading them, though. The songs and prayers are interesting but it felt insincere to do more than read. I’m not Jewish and while I enjoy seeing my family and respectfully observing their traditions, I didn’t need the side helping of guilt for not having been raised Jewish. My brother and I are the oddball cousins because we grew up outside Boston, not in the greater tristate area, we were not raised Jewish, and we didn’t do holidays with my father’s extended family (only with my uncle and grandmother). I’m fine with all that—it’s just a little weird to sit at a table with people to whom I am related but with whom I have nothing in common. They must have felt the same way because we all struggled over conversational topics.
After the reception, we drove north along the Hudson river to visit the Gimp at Stonecrop. We were both really amazed at how beautiful that part of New York state is, and very glad we got to visit before Mr. Gimp absconds from his planty haven to parts south later this winter. The gardens were still blooming and full of color. I was totally charmed by his little Alice in Wonderland cottage and the fact that he gets paid to garden at an idyllic place so off the beaten path. Gimp made all the Latin names of plants much less confusing and he loaded us up with tomatoes and a cucumber before we headed home.
Yesterday Lunchboy accepted a job with a different consulting firm whose shtick is that they don’t require 80% travel. So starting later this month he’ll be working from home and making periodic 1-2 day trips to DC. It’s a big change for him and for us, but it’s a very welcome change and one that will actually allow us to have a consistent home life (and eventually a family) without getting the “You’re going to Kansas City for a week starting tomorrow” phone call on Sunday afternoons. The cats are going to be sooooo spoiled.