Last night, for the second straight year, I went to the home of some friends of mine over in Happy Valley , who were kind enough to lend me some of their cutlery for my own most recent dinner party for the Night To Be Observed. Given the fact that I work on the west side of town and the evening was on the east side of town, and it typically takes long enough to drive to make it impractical to do so often and unreasonable to expect to do so quickly, I was expected not to arrive particularly soon. As it was, despite having to work a little bit later than I intended, I was able to get across town in about an hour, half an hour earlier than expected, and instead of spending the time reading in the park next door, I figured that the extra half hour of socializing would be good, and so I was the first to arrive by some margin.
The guests for the dinner were an eclectic mix. Some of the people I see at every dinner party I go to on account of being close friends who happen to live nearby. Other faces change from year to year, including a lady I had never met who had an adorable toddler who was quite timid and afraid of the friendly but large dogs the hosts have. He bravely managed to stay up most of the whole night without being too fussy, impressive since I did not get home until after midnight, and he and his mother did not leave too much before I did. Not all children could stay up more than four hours past their bedtime without becoming a mess, and it was pleasing to see the little guy be able to hold it together. Indeed, most of the rest of us were pretty tired too by the time the evening was up, but the company, with an engaged couple out of Seattle, the mother of the groom-to-be, and a few members of our local congregation, was quite pleasant and friendly, and we managed to hold conversations that lasted for hours.
At this particular Night To Be Much Observed, the theme was the most memorable Days of Unleavened Bread. A lot of people chose seminal moments in life, such as a return to observance after a time away, or chose those events spent with faithful departed brethren. I chose the spring feast of 2009, which I spent in South America, a particularly disastrous episode of life. Even the hosts’ son managed a memorable incident, discussing last year’s first Passover spent alone, and bemoaning his comment from last year. He seems a particularly sensitive young man, and it was a bit painful to see him beat himself up over having said something unwise a year ago. Hardly a day goes by without me saying or writing something unwise, and at some point one needs to let it go. I tried to encourage him as best as I was able, for I know too what happens when embarrassing comments occur at dinner parties in front of the wrong people.
Of particular interest was the lengthy chat I had with the engaged couple from Seattle. The lady of the couple had moved around a bit and grown up in Tennessee, and the gentleman was someone I narrowly missed knowing as a teen when his father was almost transferred to Central Florida in the late 1990’s, and whose brother had once been married to a classmate of mine from ABC who delighted in flirtatious attention from most guys in our class and was said to have daddy issues, and who is already on her second marriage. I was reminded that I had been an unintentional prophet of some sort of similar trouble for her when she had been cast as the woman with seven husbands in the skit written by a classmate of mine and I for our ABC class year’s Lifenets Charity Auction. Between that conversation and my mother’s phone call, I wondered if I was getting a somewhat belated warning, as well as some much needed encouragement. Small wonder that as soon as I got home I feel asleep almost as soon as my head hit the pillow, even though I wanted to do some writing last night. That almost never happens.
 See, for example: