The organ-ising could have gone better. Unfortunately, I played the tune from a different book than the one used for the words, as I preferred the arrangement, and I realised after I’d started that I’d forgotten to check the number of verses. I hoped it would be the same as in the book I was using. It wasn’t. There was an extra verse and the congregation carried on singing. I caught up in the second line. It gave people a golden opportunity to be kind, and for me to be humble.
The next hymn tune was Hyfrydol (sung to Alleluia, sing to Jesus and I will sing the wondrous story amongst, possibly, other hymns) which I like very much. I learned it properly, a long time ago, as it is quite tricky in bits (I am quite lazy and often pretty well sight-read) and so let my fingers twinkly exuberantly over the keys, to the extent that the congregation lagged behind to begin with and had to buck their ideas up and sing faster. Hah!
Later, a friend told me that he had been helping, in a professional and advisory capacity, a woman who had got her life into something of a mess. In the course of conversation, she discovered that, when wearing his other hat, he’s a self-employed carpenter and she said that she has some work needing to be done at her house and asked if he’d be able to do it. He said that he’s in a quandary. He would like to help her, and he could do with the work. However, he knows that she is quite needy and vulnerable and has an instinct that he might find himself in an awkward situation if he were to visit her at home. He knows that she is grateful to him for his help and that they like each other. She’s also, he said gloomily, a very attractive woman. He knows (for he’s a realist) that, for someone who has been treated quite badly by men in the past, to be talked to as a person rather than a sex object and to be helped without an expectation of ‘reward’ (other than payment of a fair bill), might be quite a heady experience and he doesn’t want to risk engaging her emotions.
I’ll make it clear that I know him and his wife well and they are very close. I do not think for a minute that he’d lead this woman on. I am taking his word for it, that there isn’t a problem but there might be.
Whether he does the work or not, I’m sure he will keep her at arm’s length, because he is aware of the situation. But I do know how naively one can get into an awkward spot. And I wonder if one is culpable if, just because of being friendly, ones actions are misinterpreted?
I had an awkward situation of my own about a year ago, which still rankles a bit. It was all dealt with amicably at the time, but this reminded me that I still feel a bit peculiar about it.