This article originally appeared in the Just for Teens Issue


Whether you’re planning your own blessed birthday bash or playing the token Christian kid from Mordecai’s soccer team who thought kugel was the Jewish word for Jesus, there’s more than one way to come of age at your local Bar or Bat Mitzvah. Here are some tips on how to Cha-Cha-slide into that special someone’s heart:  

Dress to impress: No matter how sexy your grandfather was, his hand-me-down suit just isn’t going to cut it for this one. Same goes for your grandmother’s blood diamonds. It’s time to get to dELiA’s or Macy’s for a fresh set of threads.

Loosen up with some beverages: Two or three glasses of Kedem grape juice and you’ll feel like the stuff is coursing through your veins. Better yet, get your hands on Aunt Sara’s Manischewitz.

Prepare for small talk: It’s important to master some Yiddish colloquialisms so that you don’t feel out of place in conversation. “Mazel tov” means “good fortune” or “congratulations.” “Chutzpah” is a type of braided bread typically reserved for ceremonial occasions. And of course, “B’karov etzlech” means “I want to grind on this dance floor with you ‘til the sun comes up or until my mother picks me up at 10:30 pm, whichever comes first.”

Making your move: It’s like you always pictured it. The dance floor has devolved into a Kedem-fueled bacchanal. Suddenly, the poignant opening tones of I Gotta Feeling resound through the country club banquet hall. The air is pregnant with sexual frustration. shouts “mazel tov” and you look down to find a pair of hands gripping your hips for dear life.

It’s Mordecai. It’s always been Mordecai.


—M. Sanghvi