Monday, July 04, 2011

Saved by the, um, Bar Mitzvah invitation

Certain types of challenging situations don't go away, but simply keep recurring in different forms. Consider the invitation that we received to a barbecue that was supposed to have taken place yesterday, when I was still in Shloshim for my father. Regretfully, I explained that I could not attend. Now, we've just gotten word that the barbecue has been rescheduled--for next Shabbat/Sabbath at 3 PM. Oy. Traveling there on Shabbat would be only half the halachic problem (the problem in terms of halachah/Jewish religious law)--the other half would be that all the food would be cooked on Shabbat. Isn't it fortunate that we just so happen to have received a Bar Mitzvah invitation for the same date. That spares us a lot of explaining.


Blogger Larry Lennhoff said...

It really shouldn't. Explanations in this case only make matters worse. Miss Manners advice is

The chief way to avoid rudeness when declining is not to give any excuse. This is also a way to avoid easily detected falsehoods. She need only say, “You’re so nice to ask me, but I’m afraid I can’t.”

Tue Jul 05, 09:17:00 AM 2011  
Blogger Miami Al said...

Yeah, you've picked up bad habits working with frummies.

There is no need to get into all of this with people. Thank you for the invite, but I can't make it. You don't need to explain anything.

It's religious exhibitionism, your religious practices are nobody's business but your own.

Tue Jul 05, 10:05:00 AM 2011  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Just decline an invitation without saying why? I'm not sure I could pull that one off without appearing and/or feeling rude. I'll have to think about that one. Al, I think I prefer your previous suggestion of having a "previous engagement." That that previous engagement happens to consist of going to Mincha-Maariv is, as you said, nobody's business.

In this particular case, we really do have an invitation to a Bar Mitzvah. Our friends don't really have to know that, with our cantor currently on vacation, my husband will probably stay put at our local synagogue while I go gallivanting off to the Bar Mitzvah celebration by myself.

Tue Jul 05, 12:53:00 PM 2011  

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