Laughing At The Bar Mitzvah Chaos

stressed-to-laughterYou know how you can have something happen to you that is horribly stressful at the time, but mellows out into a funny story with time? Well, two of those things happened to us before NHL’s Bar Mitzvah. Each of these caused us much stress – and, I’m sure, a few extra grey hairs. However, looking back on it all, we can laugh about it.

Printing Brochures

It was the day before NHL’s big day. I was off of work and helping B by running a few errands. My first stop was a local office supply store whose name I don’t want to use for reasons that will soon be obvious. Let’s call them Scissors. Anyway, I went to Scissors to print out the brochures that would be available for family and friends to pick up. They gave such information as what NHL was doing, who was being called up, and why certain rituals were important. Since we had printed many things with them in the past, I walked into Scissors confident that I’d soon be on my way to my next destination.

The first snag occurred when they announced that the “e-mail to print” service was down. I was counting on using this since the file was on my phone and not a USB thumb drive. (Yes, I know. I should have had it on a thumb drive.) I went to my next stop – which was close by – in the hopes that the service would be back online when I was done. Unfortunately, when I called them back up post-second-stop, they said the service was still down. There was good news, though. They had a website that I could use to upload the document to them.


So I went to the site, created an account, uploaded my document, and went to select my local store. Problem Number Two. The website wouldn’t let me select a store. I went back into Scissors to see if they could help me. As the staff member was puzzling over my phone, trying to figure out why this wasn’t working, I glanced at their printers. I noted that their printers supported Google Drive. I could easily put the file on Google Drive and grab it from there!

Problem solved, right?


The printer let me log into Google Drive, but then hung. Eventually, another staff member told me that the Google Drive connection was down. And that the USB ports on the printers didn’t work either. The only way they could print was by connecting a USB thumb drive to their own computer behind the staff desk – and they refused to plug in my phone.

I left Scissors and drove to a nearby FedEx Office. At this point, I was nearing panic mode. I had a lot of other things to do and these programs were important. I needed to get them ready for the next day. Thankfully, the staff there were excellent and showed me exactly what to do. I e-mailed the file to an address they gave me and received a pick up code about half a minute later. After typing this into the printer, I could see my document on a small screen. (Very helpful in making sure I was printing the two-sided document so that folding it didn’t result in the center pages being upside down.) I ran off a quick test copy and then printed the rest of the copies. I thanked the staff members and then happily went on my way.

Do you think the story is over just yet?

Of course, it isn’t.

Later that day, B called me. Apparently, when I copied the file from the template we were given, I missed something. The template was from the previous Bar Mitzvah and I had missed one instance of the previous Bar Mitzvah boy’s name. Every single copy was saying the wrong name in this one spot. I was dumbstruck. I swore that I did a Search and Replace on the document and couldn’t believe I had missed that. FedEx Office had been reasonably priced, but the copies still cost over $100. I wasn’t looking forward to paying again for another set of copies.

Thankfully, our temple staff came to the rescue. They printed off a set of stickers with NHL’s name on them. B sat down on a tiny chair by a tiny table (meant for preschoolers), cutting out tiny NHL name stickers, to cover over the mistake.

The Morning Clothing Rush

On Friday night, we placed all of our clothing out so that we wouldn’t be rushing around early Saturday morning. Saturday morning, we woke up, ate a quick breakfast, and got our clothes to put on. I immediately noticed a problem. My pants were way too tight. I tried on the jacket and that, too, was too tight. Now, I had tried my suit on about three weeks prior and it fit fine. I wasn’t watching my weight at the time, but knew I couldn’t have gained THAT much weight THAT quickly. Still, I couldn’t wear these clothes. Tossing them aside, I rummaged through my closet. I found another suit, tried it on, but it was too small as well. Bigger than the first one, but still didn’t fit right. Finally, after much stress, I found dress pants and a jacket that fit and didn’t look horrible together. Resigned to wearing a less-than-ideal outfit, I went to help the boys get dressed.

NHL was having a particularly hard time. He declared that he needed a belt, but his belts were nowhere to be found. Finally, exasperated, I told him that the pants had fit him fine when he tried them on before and he shouldn’t need a belt. He replied that the pants were way too big on him.

Now you know those sitcoms where something happens that all of the characters realize except for the one dumb one? You know how all action stops, the other characters look at the dumb guy, and wait a few seconds for him to catch up? Well, that was me at that moment.

I was flabbergasted at that moment. What else was going to go wrong? First my clothes were too small and then NHL’s clothes were too big…. Wait a second…

Yes, I had put on NHL’s dress clothes and NHL had put on my suit. NHL is big enough now that his clothes look like they might fit me, but he’s not so big that they actually fit. In hindsight, we’re just lucky I didn’t rip NHL’s clothes when I tried putting them on. I don’t know what we would have done then. So NHL and I swapped clothes and – surprise surprise – our clothes fit perfectly again.


Like I said, at the time these were highly stressful situations, but time has allowed us to laugh about them. Of course, next time I’d like to get the funny stories and skip the stress. I have enough grey hairs as it is!

NOTE: The image above combines Petrified Smiley Face Silhouette and Laughing Smiley Face Silhouette. Both are by GDJ and both are available at