COLUMN: How Covid-19 affects my sweet sixteen

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Illustration by Max Gaffin (‘22)/Eastside News Editor

“OMG! There are only 1,087 more days until your sweet sixteen,” said my friend Ava, in the midst of my seventh-grade year. Planning my sweet sixteen in middle school might seem crazy from afar, but it means something more to me.
In seventh grade, there were five seasons: winter, spring, summer, fall, and bat mitzvah.
All of my friends were, and are, Jewish, and therefore had big parties to celebrate their coming-of-age. I spent every weekend at a synagogue watching my friends become a Jewish adult. I longed for a day that would allow me to feel the same way as them.
I thought of the events that represent the embodiment of womanhood, mostly the ones that I have seen other Indians have. It was only natural that the first thing I came up with was: A SWEET SIXTEEN! In recent years, other Indian girls similar to me have dreamed about their extreme, over-the-top sweet sixteen. Although it is not in the Indian culture to have a ceremony for turning sixteen, we have adopted it into our list of milestones for women. I worked feverishly to plan out everything.
Sadly, none of those preparations are useful today.
So, fast forward three years and that is when the real planning comes in. Dresses, venues, entertainment, food, centerpieces, decorations, invitations and more?! There is an extraordinary amount of factors that blend to form the ‘perfect party.’
I have had the date set for about two years, and along with that, my venue. However, by far the most stressful thing to create, when in high school, is the guest list.
Having to choose among a wide range of school friends, close friends, soccer friends, camp friends, and mutual friends was the toughest choice to make when planning. Obviously, I would never want to exclude anyone or make them feel ‘rejected’ by me in any way. It is frustrating to have limited space for guests.
Since I have been talking about my special day for so long, it would be natural for one to think that I have had my selection for a dress since forever. Not really…
My mom and I went to Macy’s casually, not expecting to find anything, and I was immediately drawn to an indigo, sparkly, ballroom-like dress that absolutely took my breath away.
As for what is happening at my sweet sixteen, there are delicious food options and blaring music that will keep guests occupied for the unforgettable night. It excites me to know that I had a day that was all to myself; I am able to spend the most amazing night with the people who make it so special.
However, sadly, my day will be pushed back even further. Due to the recent pandemic, my family and I decided to postpone my sweet sixteen in order to celebrate it under safer conditions. I’ve waited three years – what’s another six months?