Although I worked a bit later than usual even by my usual standards for this day of the week, largely because I was setting up e-mail rules to inform my co-workers that their special report requests would not be answered tomorrow, traffic was not so bad and so I was able to arrive at the location for the Night To Be Much Observed  rather early. As I was one of the first two people to arrive I drank some iced tea and tried to finish my book before the evening got too far along. As it happened everyone had arrived and I was eating my entree by the time I finished with the book, so I was not unsociable for too much of the evening, even if I was frequently distracted from my reading while it was going on by listening to others and piping in on conversations and making my comments as to the food we were eating.
Speaking of the food, while I had been tempted to eat some bread before everyone else showed up, I managed to restrain myself from that temptation. Anyone who knows me and has seen me eat can recognize the sort of habits I have which include drinking fairly substantial amounts of sweet tea despite the risks and eating a lot of bread. One of the more difficult aspects of the Days of Unleavened Bread for me is finding a way to replace all of the bread I eat with alternate sources of carbohydrates. I eat a lot of rice, but it’s not the same, and the fact that it is not always easy to find matzos in our area’s supermarkets does not make that aspect of the Days of Unleavened Bread any easier. As someone who believes in the need to eat unleavened bread for seven days and not merely avoid eating leavened bread, that presents more than a little bit of a difficulty. So when our hostess brought a large amount of unleavened bread, I was quite pleased and managed to eat quite a bit of it without managing to spoil my appetite in the least. That was something that I found satisfying and pleasant.
As the evening wore on I managed to entertain those around me with tails of hospital visits and fluke injuries related to church activities and comments about why it was probably a good thing that I did not get too much caffeine because I generally do not need it. The people around me were, for the most part, much more quiet sorts of people than I am, but overall I have to say that it was enjoyable company. As is common, I only got to talk to those who were fairly close to me throughout most of the evening, but it seemed as if everyone had a good time and was entertained, and the most unwise decision of the night was one of our dinner companions who found the piña coladas not to their liking. Other than that, everyone seems to have enjoyed themselves and ate to their hearts’ content. I know I did.
Soon after arriving back home, after I had changed into my usual pjs, I found with a knock on the door that I had a guest of the hostess of my roommate for the Night To Be Much Observed. A telephone tree had failed to contact me, as happens from time to time, and I found out that the director of our a capella choir was in the hospital from an ongoing kidney condition, a problem I certainly take very seriously. With a fervent hope that his health improves and that he is able to be released from the hospital soon, I agreed to visit home tomorrow evening after services if he had not been released yet to sing to him. The entertainment theme of the evening had taken an unexpectedly somber term. My own concerns about the long-term viability of my own longsuffering kidneys and the health concerns of our a capella choir director was a reminder that not all is fun and games, but that this time of the year is a great trial for many of us in different ways. And while we hope for the best, we know that this life is full of a great deal of difficulty and struggle.
 See, for example: