In the days when I was much more self-righteous and snotty than I am now (it’s not all gone), I would take pious delight in refusing invitations to parties during advent.
That piety helped to mask the fact that my gregarious outer man masks a truly inner loner.
I am a loner, but I have already been to two holiday parties this year. In both cases, right up until the moment I had leave my home I yearned for a sneeze which could be translated into a cold, and thus provide a great excuse not to attend.
Today’s party was down in Venice and it was for the out gay men at my Church a.k.a. “The Belles of St. Boniface”.
I’d hoped that my car would not start, or that it had a flat tyre. “No such luck” I muttered as I began the 25 mile ride to my hosts’ home in south Venice.
Once there, I had a lovely time. The hospitality was gracious, and the food was good.
(Not to rub it in for those of you who live in colder climes, but it is nice to be able to eat outdoors by a swimming pool in mid December!).
I had a long conversation with one of the other retired Priests at St. B’s and his wife. (They were there as gay-friendly parishioners). I’d never before done anything more than shake their hands, so it was good to get to know them a little better.
Most of all, it was great to enjoy the sociability of a party, and who cares if it is still advent.