February 9, 2020 – The wonderful group of folks from my previous congregation have continued a tradition of the Second Sunday Lunch (the “SSL”). Monthly, after services, we would get together at a local restaurant to enjoy each other’s company. Fast forward a few years and our wonderful pastor retires. In its ultimate wisdom, the Methodist church appoints an ego maniac is as the the new pastor and literally almost every one leaves the church. Yet, this group of people, bonded by love, gather frequently to hold on to what we had and still do have as a group.
Since I was first going to services (at my new church), then the lunch, held at a local yacht club, I wanted to get this beautiful blazer out to see the light of day. But the weather just didn’t cooperate, so I went wintery, a cute sweater, leggings and boots. Many times I have let the weather dictate my wardrobe, something a woman would do. I didn’t force an outfit I wanted to wear, opting for something appropriate for both the weather and the occasion.
The whole day was an ego trip. I walk into church and a woman immediately tells me how stylish I am and that she admires my outfit every time she sees me. Wow…. I received one complement after another.
Many there make a point of making sure they greet me and are always so kind. I sat with another refugee from my previous church, which I enjoyed. Two ladies from church had also seen me earlier in the week at the chamber music concert. I had to leave services a little early to make the SSL. In doing so, I had to walk past the altar as well as the pastor’s wife. I leaned over to her and told her “I am Catholic and we always leave early!”. She chuckled.
The SSL itself was great as always, renewing many friendships. We had a buffet. I was in line and a gentleman introduced himself to me. We had attended the same church for years, but had never met. We started talking, it came up that I was Catholic. So was he. I talked about my 16 years of Catholic education, so had he. I asked where he went to school, same as me. I asked when he graduated, same as me! Ends up, we were in the same class in college. He was an English major, so we had no real opportunity to have known each other (other than having met at a party, which we hadn’t). What are the odds! I hope to see him again (as myself). We have since corresponded and he now knows both sides of me and will be having a beer and enjoying our favorite college basketball team very soon! I cannot state this enough, being open and honest makes all of “this” a complete nonissue. Smart, appropriate, confident and visible, that’s how I roll. A delightful day all in all.
I was able to get out my usual three times this week, but had a down day in between each outing, which was nice. My face appreciated the break as did the rest of me. There are still days I ask myself why I am doing this (getting dressed), but am always reminded of the joy it brings me. Done this hundreds of times, still have that voice in the back of my head. The voice only whispers occasionally now, it used to scream at me frequently. I don’t think it will ever go away completely, though.
FYI, today I am in the middle of what may be one of my most interesting volunteer gigs ever! By the way, the fact that this is in red is a hint. Stay tuned…..