Written by Tracy Beckerman from LOST IN SUBURBIA
Getting my dress for a big, black tie Bar Mitzvah I was attending was the easy part. It was black. It was a dress. It fit. Enough said. No, the hardest part for me was doing all those annoying prep things a girl has to do to get ready for a big event. What does a man have to do…. Get a haircut? Shave? That’s about it. However, I needed to put my black tie transformation into effect a good month before the event.
First on my to-do-list was to tone up my triceps. Having unwisely purchased a sleeveless dress, I was now in the unfortunate position of having to firm up my bat wings so the other guests didn’t think I would take flight when I started dancing. I knew I wouldn’t be able to do that much about my Jewish genetically pre-disposed upper-arm waddle, but I thought maybe if I did a month’s worth of push ups, I might succeed in reducing the arm flab to more of a wiggle than a waddle.
Fortunately, the dress hid a good amount of mid-body acreage, and what it didn’t cover, two pair of Spanx would take care of. So I limited my workouts to upper body toning and decided to let the rest of it go to cellulite hell until the spring.
About a week before the party, I went to get my hair cut and colored, so it would be grown in just enough by the big event. Then I went in for a marathon tweezing/waxing session. Why marathon? Well, this is the dead of winter. I don’t know about you, but I need that extra hair growth on my legs to keep me warm when it’s cold outside. Typically I don’t shave or wax from about November until March. Do I start to resemble a Neanderthal by February. Yes. But at least my legs are warm. Is it attractive? No. But when my husband starts to complain, I just tell him to suck it up. That’s what he gets for marrying someone from European descent.
Had I been wearing a floor-length gown, I might have just shaved my ankles and called it a day. But I had bought a short dress and I wasn’t wearing pantyhose, so I had to de-hair the whole megilla. The technician was sweating and swearing by the time she got done with me, but I was relieved to see that my legs were as smooth as a baby’s bottom and the unibrow I had begun to sport was once again two distinct eyebrows.
The manicure went quickly, but the pedicure was another story. As with my legs, I tend to get lazy about my feet upkeep when my toes are not being displayed in gladiator sandals all summer. I don’t usually let it get too bad, though, because if I don’t cut my nails, my husband starts to complain that he feels like he’s in bed with a three-toed sloth. However, I was definitely overdue for some pedicuring and ultimately, that technician was sweating and swearing by the time she got done with me, too.
With my hair, legs, fingers, toes, eyebrows, and upper arms, all the best they could be without me changing places with a body double for the night, the big day arrived. The morning of the bar mitzvah the temperature outside plummeted so I ditched my temple dress in favor of long pants, knee socks and boots. Six hours later we returned home to get changed for the party. I locked myself in the bathroom, did my makeup, put on my dress, and emerged like a butterfly from a cocoon.
“How do I look,” I asked my husband as I twirled in front of him.
“You look great!” he exclaimed. “But what’s with your legs?”
“Huh?” I wondered. I had gotten dressed without a full-length mirror so I hadn’t looked below my waist. But now as I hiked a leg up onto the bed, I saw that the knee socks I’d been wearing all morning had been pressed into my legs for six hours by my boots and had left me imprinted with a distinct argyle pattern from the knees down.
“Ack!!! I have etchings on my legs!” I cried. “What will I tell people?”
My husband smirked. “Tell them you’re of European descent.”
Tracy Beckerman is a nice Jewish girl from the suburbs of New York, who got married and moved to the suburbs of New Jersey where she learned the only difference between the Jewish girls in NY and the Jewish Girls in NJ is the size of their hair and which mall they go to. After her kids were born, Tracy quit her high-powered job in television to stay home with her kids so she could be a great mommy and also have more time to go shoe shopping. Tracy is the author of the book, “Rebel without a Minivan: Observations on Life in the Burbs.” She writes the syndicated humor column Lost in Suburbia, blogs for Lifetime Television’s show, The Balancing Act, is a contributing columnist at Today’s Mama and tries to convince her kids that Hebrew school is FUN (!) and no, they still can’t have a %&#@ Christmas tree even if they call it a Hanukkah bush.