Last night was the Bar Mitzvah Se'udah of my oldest son. It was (if I may say so) a nice affair - the music was good, the number of people was small (by New York standards, anyway) and the food, as I was told, was delicious. Since no one likes to listen to speakers, we kept it at a minimum - I spoke for about four minutes and the Bar Mitzvah boy spoke for about five - and that was it. I spent some time at all the tables on the men's side and managed to spend "quality time" with just about all the guests.
The downside of that was that I really did not get a chance to eat too much. I ate part of one course with some friends, part of the barekas with family members, part of the main course with an old rebbe of mine from elementary school who I've kept in touch with (he was the Bar Mitzvah boy's sandek thireen years ago), and desert with my sister's father-in-law and his son-in-law (my brother-in-law's brother-in-law [or, as I like to say, my brother-in-law once removed]). But, in reality, I didn't eat much of anything.
By the time we got home, we were exhausted. Kaput - and it was only about 9:30 (we started earlier because we wanted to have kids at the se'udah and have people stay as long as possible). Not too much longer after we got home, I got into my sleeping attire (pajama bottoms and a T-shirt - don't ask) and was ready to settle in for the night. However, before I was going to do that, I was going to get something to eat - we brought home food and I was hungry!
Before we actually started eating, I asked my wife if Rabbi & Mrs. Neighbor were there, since I didn't see them. We were expecting them to come (Mrs. Neighbor had even done Eeees's makeup for the affair), but, in the end, neither one of us had seen them. As if on cue, there was a knock at the door. Before she even got up to answer the door, Eeees smiled and said "it's them." Sure enough, there they were at the door, dressed up, wishing us Mazel Tov. (I quickly threw on a pair of pants over my pajama bottoms!) They had another simcha to go to (a family vort,[engagement party] suddenly called) and apologized for not being there. We invited them in, offered them a chance to sit down. At that point, I said "Listen, I was about to eat something from the Bar Mitzvah since I really didn't get a chance to eat. Why don't you sit have something too?" So, we brought out the challah rolls, the barekas, the potatos and the chicken and served another meal. The Bar Mitzvah boy joined us as well. As we washed and started to eat, I remembered that the musician had given us a CD he recorded at the end of the affair; so I pulled it out and put it on the stereo. The Bar Mitzvah boy said his speech again and he and Rabbi Neighbor even danced for a while (I was all danced out by that point)!
Afterwards, we had dessert and bentched (how many Bar Mitzvah boys can say that they led in bentching twice on the night of their Bar Mitzvah se'udah?) and they went on home.
In truth, however, although I was ready to plotz before they came, that portion of the evening became one of the highlights of the day. It was nice to have a chance after all the hustle and bustle and greeting and shaking hands and music and photographers and everything else that went into it, to have a chance to sit down with friends and just have a simple pleasant meal. It definitely beat sitting in my pajamas in front of the TV with the chicken. We got to immediately reminisce some of the highlights of the evening and share and laugh about the good (if exhausting) time we had.
It was truly a nice end to the Bar Mitzvah day.