Monday, September 03, 2007

Spending to impress

My almost-13-year-old charge is about to celebrate his Bar Mitzvah.

In order to escape the outrageous expense and over-the-top celebration that is usually required by Manhattan standards, they decided to celebrate it outside of the city.

What started as an escape from abundance has turned into an extravagant beach party at an exclusive club in the Hamptons.

The expense alone is more than the average person can afford and I am sure it is going to be even more over the top than it would have been in the city. Fortunately for my charge, his parents have really made it all about him and his friends and the people who care about him, but I see his mom battling to keep herself from becoming entwined in the other mothers money games in a race to impress the peerage.

Why do parents spend, literally tens of thousands on this?

Is it mostly to impress their friends?

These Manhattan Bar Mitzvah's are like weddings, when really it should be about the experience. I have on more than one occasion heard many mothers talking about the upcoming celebrations, all of them mentioning the money and the fabulous cost and expense of creating the best they can afford. And nobody wants to be the one not to be able to afford the best of everything!

Its like they are bragging or something. It is quite nauseating to watch and be part of any of their discussions..

At least 10 of my charges friends are celebrating their Bar Mitzvah this year.
Here are some of the comments I have been witness to and part of.

"I am afraid our invitations were too tacky, yes they cost a few thousand, but one still worries about such things"

"I said that I refuse to pay $5000 for flowers, but I can't live without the custom made brown suede sofas"

"This is going to cost more than most weddings"

" .....forget the expense, I want ours to be the best"

"I cant spend enough money on this..."

Oh and it goes on.
And on!

1 comment:

gnarly nanny said...

erg... isn't a bar mitzvah a RELIGIOUS event? this sort of overzealous spending for SPIRITUAL events (wedding, bar/bat mitzvah, communion, confirmation) is entirely CONTRADICTORY to the idea of spirituality and religion in general! yikes. i don't like it and i won't practice it myself that's for sure, like say if i were to get married, have a baby, etc. if people are giving gifts, yes it's nice to give them a pretty favor and a yummy brunch or whatever but it's not neccesary to spend like 'my super sweet 16'! in fact it's a complete hipocracy... a farce and a slap in the face to judaism and christianity.