What do you take to a circumcision party? Flowers, cookies,
November 30, 2001
I was sitting in the office working on my usual nine-hour day-dreaming
session when my boss rudely interrupted me.
"I would like to invite you to my son's party," he said while
handing me the invitation.
"Oh, a birthday party?" I asked.
"No! Circumcision party."
What the hell! I almost fell off my chair. I opened the invitation and
sure enough, it WAS a circumcision party.
Noticing my freaky and uncomfortable reaction, my boss explained, "My
wife is from Turkey and traditionally, boys are circumcised between the
ages of five to twelve. She wanted it that way!"
Things like this happens quit often in Middle East where friends, neighbors,
and relatives are invited to circumcision parties. Tea, sweets, and refreshments
are served while grownups watch the poor kid getting his dingy shopped off.
I guess it makes grownups feel good about themselves since they are not
the one on display (for a change) and it's not their equipment that is getting
But I never thought anyone in their right mind would throw a circumcision
PARTY nowadays especially in America. I thought they would take care of
it in the hospital as soon as the kid is born and get it over with.
New-born boys are too stupid to realize that half of their manhood is
about to be cut off by a sharp knife. It surly prevents boys from getting
traumatized by the act since they won't remember a thing when they grow
up. It makes perfect sense cause there will be enough episodes in life which
will traumatize men, such as dating women and credit card bills.
Come to think of it, circumcising boys later in life, probably is an
effective weapon to control the kid's behavior. "You go do your homework
at this instant, young man, or I will circumcise your ass!"
Honestly, I was not sure what to expect. I mean, what do you wear to
a party like that? Should I go casual or should I wear suit and tie? What
do you take to a circumcision party? Flowers, cookies, Band-Aid? What do
you do while you are at the party? Are they gonna play music? Is there dinner?
Can you take a date? What kind of drinks do they serve? Champaign?
I pulled into the street where my boss and his family live. I'm one of
them Iranians who are always late for parties but I was not about to be
late for this one. I guess I was just curious. I felt sorry for the boy.
But I had never been invited to a circumcision party before.
I found a spot, parked my car, and walked to the house. The door was
open and the house was full of people. I got there just in time. The ceremony
was about to begin. The poor kid was standing on a table with his pants
down looking confused. There was a circle of people around him mostly men
and some women. There was a skinny guy standing in front of the boy with
surgical gloves, scissors, and clamps ready to go at it.
"Is he a doctor?" I asked the gentleman next to me.
"He is a used-car salesman and a part time circumcision master.
He circumcises Jews and Moslems. He is very good."
The circumcision master started blurring some Arabic words and grabbed
the boy's equipment with a clamp. Then with an unexpected move, he cut off
the skin. Blood spattered all over the place. The kid let out a loud scream
that woke up the whole neighborhood.
I grabbed my crouch and turned around. The guy next to me fell on his
knees and started barffing. The big guy cross the room passed out. The lady
next to him ran out of the room, screaming hysterically. The rest of the
people in the room looked down with embarrassment. One drunken dude in the
back started clapping and cheering like his favorite baseball team just
won the World Series.
I ran out of the house and jumped in my car. I sat behind the wheels
gasping for air. I could not believe what I just witnessed. I pulled out
the cell phone and called my mom, "Hay mom, remember my therapist said
that I was traumatized at some point during my childhood? Was I circumcised
in the hospital?"
"Well son, Your father and I don't like to talk about that incident.
Let me put it this way. You were embarrassing, but the party was great."