I heard you made a bris today,
Please put it on my tab.
I know there’s words I’m s’posed to say.
Just put them on my tab.
Next to those I owe you for your son’s wedding,
And your Bar Mitzvahs; two or three?
Kiddushes, shalom zachors, chanukas ha-bayis, sheva brochos,
None of which were attended (…or acknowledged) by me.
You’d probably think it’s pretty dumb,
But I see these things as a zero sum.
And it seems to me that once I’ve missed one,
It’s as if I’ve missed them all.
So when I hear of your next event, I go numb,
And I’m embarrassed to it attention call.
(Why this one and not that one, after all.)
It’s not my fault; I hope you see,
Where I come from the children came one, two, or three.
And certainly with not such frequency,
That the mother of the bride,
Is a mother-to-be.
In my first 26 years, I went to just two weddings.
One broke up right away,
Where the other one was…I refuse to say.
Not one bris (‘cept mine) that I recall,
Shalom Zachors; I never heard of them at all.
Neighbors were people who put up good fences,
Minded their own business; never lived as dense as,
A dozen families to a building, a dozen buildings to a block,
In my suburban childhood, with your neighbors you don’t talk.
(And if one tries to get too friendly, then it’s time to call the cops.)
And though I’ve dwelt for decades in Yiddishe places,
I never got the hang of the Yiddishe paces.
With lifecycle events all publicly noted,
Of their double-digit children ‘til calendar is bloated.
So I beg you to forgive me if I don’t acknowledge or attend,
Believe me, it’s not because I don’t want to be your friend.
But when I start to get the feeling that your simchas never end, [And may they not!]
I’m thrown into overwhelm and my borders I defend.
So in not noting your good tiding, I don’t mean to offend,
Please, just put it on my tab.