That’s me on the right, the one dressed as a vagina. The make-shit Arab on the left? That’s my brother. So, why are we dressed as a sheikh and female genitalia, respectively? Because we’re Jews. And as Jewish kids, we celebrated a holiday called Purim, yet another insanely odd holiday that only the Hebrews could’ve come up with. Well, as part of Purim, Jews dress up in costumes and ring noisemakers called groggers that look like this. Incidentally, I’m not dressed as a vagina. Not intentionally, anyway. I’m supposed to be a Hamantaschen, which is a type of cookie/pastry associated with the holiday that resembles, rather unfortunately, a vagina. So, yeah, that’s me: Pussy Boy. And who’s to blame for that goddamn atrocity? My mother. So, once again, thanks for sending me out in public dressed as a giant pussy. I can only imagine how many grown men tried to stick their dicks in me.
Anyway, the reason I chose this image for letter “M” is to segue into yet another part of my Jewish heritage: my Bar Mitzvah. Recently, my brother and I went to my mother’s house to help her pack, as she just sold the place and is in the process of moving. The amount of shit littering her hallways, albeit orderly as all hell, is unreal. I suggested they make a show about her called Tidy Hoarders. It’s ridiculous. Among the wreckage we found a copy of the speech I gave at my Bar Mitzvah 22 years ago as a 13-year-old boy. (Incidentally, I can’t be older than 6 in the picture above.) My brother thought it would be a good idea to read it aloud on the car-ride back to my house. And as I drove, I cringed at every word. I couldn’t believe what a disingenuous, self-important ass I was even at that age. It was downright humiliating to listen to. It made me hate myself even more than I already do, and frankly I had no idea that was remotely possible. (And, yes, I realize the last time I did “M” the topic was “Myself,” which should only further indicate how much I hate me.)
So, because I’m a narcissist and a self-hating Jew, I now give you said speech in all its pathetic glory:
“It’s easier to have children then [sic] it is to raise them” is an old Yiddish expression that I’m sure my parents would agree with.
Throughout my years, I have thought constantly about the day I became a bar mitzvah. I have discussed my thoughts with my family, however, my family has not discussed their thoughts with me until the time came for me to start preparing for my bar mitzvah. Each memeber [sic] has a different view on what it is all about.
First, there is my Nana and Pop-Pop, Rose and Sam. I have learned many things from both of them. Their thoughts concerning me are, sure enough, thoughts that I will do my best in Judaism and in life as well. My grandparents have taught me the value of respect, the importance of sensitivity and the game of Gin Rummy, of which all three are very important to me.
Together my Nana and Pop-Pop have given me the best opportunity to enjoy Jewish life and traditions. Always during our holidays, all of [us would] come together and Nana and Pop-Pop are at the helm. My Nana is the best cook in the world. I could eat a whole baking dish of her kugle. And Pop-Pop is definitely a born leader. Especially when the grandchildren were younger, he had to take charge so we would all listen. I have my Nana and Pop-Pop to thank over and over for being the focal point of my Jewish experiences.
Next there is my grandmother Ethel. She has given me intelligence a long [sic] with a lot of newspaper clippings. She always dreamed of the day that I would be standing up here as a Bar Mitzvah. Now her dream is coming true. She has taught me to love others and to appreciate them for what they are. Qualities like that are very important in helping to mold my personality.
I am grateful that I have Pop-Pop, for my Mother’s father, Grandpa Mike, died years before my time. However my grandmother Ethel always stressed the importance of being Jewish and what an honor it is. She came from a most religious, Orthodox family which instilled the customs of Jewish life and as my loving grandmother wanted to pass these feelings of Jewishness on to me.
My step-mother Jackye is an important part of my life now. Her ability to teach is an incredible feat to me. A teaching career takes a lot of patience and she has more patience than anyone I know. She’s an amazing woman and she should be very proud of herself.
My step-sister Beth is the adventurous type who could have a good time at a lecture on whales. She adds a sense of excitement to my life. Oh and beth, in case you’re wondering, there is a party tonight.
And then there is Peter, my step-brother. He is the coolest, most mellow person I know. He is my inspiration in my ability to write poetry. Pete is a creative genius. He also contributes to my taste in music. Creativity now plays a large part of my life. Thanks Pete.
Then there is my brother, Mitchell. ‘Nuff said. No I’m just kidding. I owe my brother a lot for he was the one who transported me back and forth to my bar mitzvah lessons with the Cantor each week. Not becasue [sic] he wanted to, but because our Dad made him. But seriously, my brother has taught me much about life. He is also the source of my sense of humor which is very important to me. At least I think it is Mitchell. I could not have gotten my sense of humor from my Dad. Well, Mitch, thanks for all of your support.
As for my mother, Jill, she has always been optomistic [sic] towards me about everything I’ve ever done. She truly believes im [sic] me and always knows that I can do whatever I want to do. Today I realize that she was right. I don’t know what I would do without my Mother’s encouragement. She’s a very important part of my life, even if she is on the phone more than me and that is a difficult task to accomplish. My mother has given me confidence which allows me to feel good about myself. She is a very giving person who has always wanted the best for me as any loving parent would. As for cooking, she is no Juliet [sic] Childs but her chocolate chip cookies kill any other cookie ever made. She’s an increidlbe [sic] lady and I’m a lucky kid.
Finallyl there is my father, Fred. He is my one and only Dad and I wouldn’t replace him for anyone in the world. Besides, I don’t think that is legal. I owe my Dad more than I owe anyone else. I have received the most out of him then [sic] from any other individual. He has given me the ability to be social with others. That is the base of anyone’s personality and because of my father, I have one. I have but only one thing to ask of my father today. Do not tell the guests any of your jokes. I don’t want them to leave. I just want to thank you Dad for everything, especially for the opportunity to stand here before you as a Bar Mitzvah.
I want to thank all of my family for everything you have given me.
I look upon myself today realizing that most of my qualities came from family. I used to think that a person was born with all of their personality traits intact. But now I realize that things like that must grow on you with time and experience. I am thankful to be able to grow up with family members like mine.
In closing my sermonette I’ve written a few words of rhyme to let you know how I feel.
I want to thank all of you for being here today.
To celebrate my Bar Mitzvah and to G-d I pray,
That as a man, the responsibilities I will take,
To accept what is expected I can understand and relate.
Thank you dear Mother, Dad, Mitchell, Rabbi and definitely Cantor Balaban,
For without your support, I never could perform as Brandon, the young man.
Yeah. I actually wrote and said those things. I’m a complete and utter ass. What’s more, how many times can you hear the expression “very important to me” before you never again want to hear the expression “very important to me” without killing yourself? I’m guessing only one more time, as I’m on the verge of cutting myself.
So, until letter “N” crawls into your boot and bites your pinkie toe, have at it, you vultures!