First, the upsherin. Yesterday was my son's birthday and hence his upsherin. Mazal tov to everyone involved, including me, my wife, and our son. My wife worked very hard planning the whole thing. She made a big party, served a bunch of food, rented a hall, etc. All of this in my estimation was much bigger and gaudier than it had to be. I had in mind just clearing out the couch and the table in our apartment and having people come and go here like a revolving-door party. I thought the whole idea of a "big" event thing was a dumb idea since we are terribly unemployed and in a really bad financial position, and thus I thought throwing a big party now was a waste of money. However, I went along with it nonetheless because it was important to my wife because she had in her mind that it was important to my son who I don't know whether he would have remembered either way where he had is party or its size. I suppose I'm a minimalist in many ways, and I carry that mentality to many areas of my life. Simpler and cleaner is always better. More fancy usually means more cluttered and thus no longer so comfy. Either way, my wife is usually more realistic about things and so she usually pumps them up in size to what is appropriate.
So the party was a hit; everybody had a great time. The rabbis of the community showed up, and I'm sure my son had a great time. What would have been just an average event if I did it ended up being a large community event, and it looks to me as if a lot of people had a great time. I smiled a lot, waved, and said hello to a lot of people, and I was proud of my son.
One thing in particular that upset me was that I kept speaking to everyone who was cutting the hair to cut the back, the front, etc. but not to cut off the payis. Obviously Lubavichers don't keep the payis, but I wanted it to be my wife and my choice how long or short to cut them. Everyone agreed with me and cut around the payis except my wife's father who completely ignored what I said, disagreed with me, and took a large snip of my son's payis RIGHT AFTER I TOLD HIM NOT TO. Wow was I upset, but I shrugged it off and said to myself that maybe he didn't understand me or maybe he didn't comprehend the importance of what I was saying. Maybe he didn't even hear me because he wasn't listening because he was so happy for us on our joyous occasion.
Then it came time for the party to be over. Nobody was leaving, and there was a big mess on the tables because nobody was cleaning up. So I took a few garbage bags and started cleaning off the tables. It was innocuous. Nobody minded. My wife's dad and my dad both noticed that I started cleaning up and so at first without my knowing, they started breaking down tables. I didn't think much about it because they were not kicking anyone out and I knew my wife would freak if she thought that we were kicking people out because she has a firm belief that guests should leave on their own and not be escorted out and I respect her opinion. After a while when I noticed people started leaving and congregating by the exit doors (with the exception of a few groups who were still sitting and chatting), I also started breaking down tables and moving the chairs against the wall. After everything was over and the tables were broken down my wife came over to me inflamed why I was kicking out our guests, but I told her that I had nothing to do with that and it was her own father that started breaking down the tables. She backed off.
The whole day I was feeling ill from a stomach virus that I got from going over one of my wife's friend's houses a few days beforehand. For the past few days, I've been vomiting and I've been dizzy and nauseous, but I pulled myself together to help my wife out in any way she needed to set up for this event. After the event ended (we only rented the hall for a specific few hours and we noted those hours in our invitations), however, nobody was leaving and a few of my wife's college buddies started to show up. My wife's parents were also ignoring the time limits of our stay there, and they were wasting time playing around. My daughter was being pushed around on a skateboard, and my son was running around with his grandfather. Obviously since nobody was going anywhere and I was feeling sick as hell (I was dripping wet from sweat), I spoke to my mom and she told me that she didn't feel as if there was anything wrong with me excusing myself and going home. That's what I did. I spoke to my wife, and she agreed that I should go home and get some rest since the event [even though it was over] wasn't ending any time soon.
Instead of going to bed and resting when I got home, I spent some time cleaning up the house and getting it back in order because it was a wreck by the time we left for the event. Feeling faint, I whipped up a vegetable shake in the blender to get some nutrients into me, thinking that maybe it will clear up my head and give me some energy to make it through the day. My wife walked in at this point, she saw me and snarled, and then commented that "if I was well enough to be making smoothies, then I should have stayed behind and not left her alone at the event." I explained to her that I really wasn't feeling well, and that in addition to her dad and mom helping out, I also left my dad and brother behind to help out as well (as they did because within the hour they were all here at the house.) Fair enough.
Then it came time to cut the hair.... [next blog post].