NO SUSHI!!! I kept bringing it up to every conversation I entered, part of my reasons for coming to this event has been the food, everyone responded that no-one comes for the food and everyone comes for the people. Well that’s because you people can walk out side and chose from a plethora of restaurants, while I must drive at least 2 hours to reach one. I couldn’t believe it, last years dinner had a whole table of sushi, craved meats and a bunch of other smorgasbord favorites. This year had seen cutbacks, gone was the large neatly displayed sushi table with fellow alumni fending off each other for that last piece of pickled ginger, gone were the chaffers filled with bubbling Asian delights and low carb dieters nightmares, gone was the goodness that created an atmosphere of happily fed alumni and my rants of how good the food was while not noticing that I was spraying pieces of rice and seaweed bits all over whomever I was speaking to. In its stead was something more awful then the traditional kabalas ponim at the Atrium, not only was there a lacking of sushi or meat, there wasn’t even that lame broccoli salad with cranberries that every frummy event must have, no power washed lettuce and mango-strawberry salad here, nope, just a bunch of clear glass bowls with chunks of fruit. FRUIT does not replace the smorgasbord of last year, at least treat us to something of lesser value, but not so low as too make us long to turn the clocks back. It was like being laid off without a severance package, thrown out onto the cold street in front of GM and have a pack of dogs waiting to eat you alive. To go from sushi and pepper steak to fruit and a few platters of franks in blanks and small potato knishes was like them pocketing all of our money and not giving us anything in return, the chutzpah.
Then it hit me like a parking meter in the middle of the street, these people at the yeshiva were business men and by doing this it was sure to click in peoples minds that the yeshiva was broke. It may have not been broke, but it does get the mind asking oneself if the yeshiva decided to save money by doing away with the fineries in order to make more on the dinner. The cost of the dinner was the same as last year, it was pretty dump to give the first diner a very attractive appeal, in business you save the grand sale for the end of the season. My ranting about the lack of good food was met by the response that indeed the yeshiva was broke.
So I wandered the room shaking hands picking up peoples mid winter colds and making small talk. The venerable what are you up to’s? When are you getting married? How many kids do you have? Even a where’s your wife was asked? (I was supposed to be married in June) I came to the discovery that in the yeshiva world there is no such thing as class reunion since the classes have like 20 kids at most, instead they mark up the price, throw in a tax deduction and call it a dinner. Not only do they fulfill the class reunion function, but they charge a heck of a lot more and gather together multiple classes of folks. Of course with the invention of facebook the ultimate in stalking and Jewish geography at the same time, you really can pass up these small talk awkward opportunities in place of the occasional message to your old classmates online.
So I got to see a bunch of people that don’t necessarily interest me much, but the small talk and shidduch stories were good to hold me down. I must say that the speeches were a little much and I see why they honor certain people. By honoring a person that had a large graduating class and most of whom live in the New York area they are bound to garner a better audience. It always works out that one rich kid who is currently attending yeshiva must be honored. It doesn’t fool anyone in the audience that the people being honored as parents of the year might as well beat their kids and be registered sex offenders, as long as they pay that full tuition and their kid passes the drug tests, its all good. The speeches always last too long at these events and they start them right as you sit down to your underdressed mixed greens plate usually toped with some sort of flavorless salmon. Well at this event it was flavorless salmon with no sauce on top of some spaghetti and a martini glass of salad void of its dressing. Why must poor hungry souls go without dressing, in the name of tasteless foods everywhere, you fancy caterers must give up on presentation a little bit in order for the taste. Ye the starter plates looked nice, but based on the fact that only forks and knives adorned the sides of my plate, I was displeased that a bowl of butternut squash soup garnished with mint leaves would not follow this rather good looking bad tasting piece of salmon.
On a brighter the note the speeches were actually entertaining and pleasing. The divrei Torah ran like water and the laughs filled the room. I sat schmoozing with a bunch of fine folks and saw lots of people I wanted to see, I got a chance to promote my blog and get feedback from people who found it and easily figured out it was me. I really cant keep my anonymity. Everyone was in good spirits and we all got to fulfill the mitzvah of mellava malka with this suedas mitzvah.
The main meal was good, roast beef and a piece of chicken breast sat side by side over some roasted veggies. It was good and satisfying, I ate two meals and had me a white Russia that luckily being a yeshiva event wouldn’t classify me as a gay man, everyone else was drinking them too, FAGS. The other thing that’s also nice and interesting to see is the hot wives. Yep every events got them and it is interesting to see who scored big. It is also interesting to see which wives have had like 5 kids and still retain their power to make heads turn as they walk into the old G & Sons in Boro-Park.
The desert was by far the best, even though I couldn’t stomach anymore food, the desert was a bit large, unfortunately many people had left already so the point of attraction was moot. I still dug in with some rather tasty, doughy chocolate filled croissants, some apple crumble with blueberry topping, a slice of ice cream cake and a bunch of tasting from the cake table with the read haired waitress who was flirting with me the whole time.
Overall a good dinner and good time, just some advice to those who ran this event. Bring the damned smorgasbord back with the damned sushi.