A re you familiar with the annoyance of a wad of chewed-up gum stuck to your heel? It’s this miniscule, unserviceable thing, but it really gets in the way? Somehow, that’s what I feel like when one of my siblings gets married. I feel like I’m the gum sticking to the heel. Useless. Annoying. Not that anyone gives me those vibes, it’s just that there’s so much to do, and I am of no help whatsoever.

“When the invitations are complete, it’s as if we’re halfway through,” I overheard my mother mentioning to my father one day while he was skimming through some bills.

Hey! That’s what I can do! I have enough saliva to seal a factory of envelopes, capable hands for folding invites, and how competent do you need to be to affix a stamp to the right-hand corner of each envelope?

“Ma, how about leave the invitations for me?” I offered courageously.

“Are you sure, sheifeleh? We have around 2,000 pieces. That’s a lot of work!”

As many times as I announce that I am not a baby anymore, my mother always treats me as if I’m still in diapers. Being the youngest in my family, I was desperate to prove myself.

“Don’t worry. I’ll get my friends to help me, and it’s going to be organized and fun and quick, and it’s going to take off a gargantuan mountain of stress from your shoulders.” I wasn’t coming up for breath.

My friends were all game. Invitation stuffing sans a sleepover would be dull, so we did both. We dubbed our very systematic and organized assembly line of invitation-completing with the title, Operation: Triple S. The addressing of the envelopes we left to the printers, but the stuffing, sealing, and stamping was allocated to all of us. With popcorn and laughter to pull us through the night (Careful! No oil stains please!), we dedicated an entire night to tackle it, never even getting to don our pajamas.

Everyone got to work. As soon as the first S from Operation Triple S was completed, we marked the box with a single S. When a box sported three S’s, we put it in Simchah Station. (Hey, maybe it should be Quintuple S?) When the sun shyly peeked through the window slats, there was an admirable stack of boxes waiting to be taken to the post office.

“Ice cream on me!” I announced as we made our way, bleary-eyed, to the nearest ice cream store for an ultra-nourishing breakfast. Credit going to our overtiredness, every funny and not funny word elicited endless giggles from all of us. We licked our ice creams in a dazed stupor while I kept reminding everyone of our massive accomplishment.

“Do you realize that we finished eight full cartons, each containing 250 stuffed envelopes? My mom is finally gonna think big of me!” (Excerpted from Mishpacha Jr., Issue 682)