Let Me Check My Calendar

Posted by mwallach on January 14, 2011 in New To You, Tribe Members |

Dear That’s Life,

A case of mistaken identity can often be very funny or be very embarrassing. About two months ago I struck up a conversation in a parking lot with a man I thought was a neighbor of mine – except it was not. I stood there talking for a good couple of minutes, and he was clearly too polite to ask me who I was or why I was talking to him. And of course, because I am ‘me,’ I started talking to him like I knew exactly who he was, almost as if we were mid-conversation, picking up from a time before. It was only after I walked away did I stop and realize that, in fact, the man was not my neighbor and I had, as a result, just made a complete fool of myself. I walked it off. It was not the first time, nor would it be the last time, I had made a fool of myself. That’s life.

I have not confused one person for another lately. Instead, I confused dates of a simcha. And if the bar mitzvah had been located locally, and not in Ramat Bet Shemesh, and therefore had been one I planned on attending, I would probably have shown up there this shabbos – and would have been a week early.

I did not pull this date out of a hat. It did not come out of nowhere. The bar mitzvah was supposed to be this weekend but because much of the host’s family lives here, and not there, the decision was made to move the bar mitzvah within the actual yeshiva winter break vacation as it would be easier for them to attend. That was very logical and made complete sense – but I never knew the date had changed and when the invite came, I did not even check. And none of this would have been that big of a deal, had I not considered hopping on a flight and surprising them for shabbos.

I called and left a message during the week wishing them a mazal tov, saying that I wanted to make sure to reach them before things got completely crazy and all of their guests started arriving. I was this close to sending them flowers for shabbos, but never got myself together.  Last night, I stayed up late to call them and, with the time difference, wish them a mazal tov right before the simcha. That’s when things got cleared up.

“The bar mitzvah is next week, Miriam,” I heard with a chuckle. “Didn’t you check the invite?” I told them I hadn’t, and then felt pretty silly about my mid-week phone message wanting to catch them before things got hectic. “And I felt really badly that I had not sent you flowers for shabbos,” I added. “No worries,” laughed my friend. “You now have an entire additional week to get that taken care of.”

I really thought they were pulling my leg. I was convinced this was some practical joke. I asked them if they were sure the bar mitzvah was next week – ‘Um, yeah,’ was basically the response I got. With that, I decided to go to sleep and catch them next week. I wished them a good shabbos, said I was happy to have provided some comic relief and hung up.

I then turned to my husband and told him the confusion. Having seriously considered surprising my friend for the bar mitzvah, I said to him, “Wouldn’t it have been funny if I got to Israel only to find out that the bar mitzvah was NEXT week?”

Let’s just say, conidering how much tickets cost these days and everything involved with me picking up and going to Israel by myself, his response is not something I can print.  Rest assured, like many other events that take place in our lives, I was the only one who found it funny.

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