It was a long cold day and I don’t really feel like going out tonight. I’d rather curl up in an armchair with a book, music, glass of wine and a juicy steak. Well, you don’t exactly curl up with a steak, you sit up and eat it nicely. A crackling log fire, also not with me in the armchair, would be the rest of my most desired evening. But I bought those tickets for a ceilidh, so to that we must go for the friend I bought them from would otherwise think I’d just been polite in buying them, whilst actually I was being friendly. At least, I thought, I wouldn’t have to get dinner ready and there was food in the fridge for Ro to prepare his own.
During the afternoon, I got out the tickets and looked for the time it is to start. I saw those words that are the bane of the churchgoer’s life. “Bring and share supper”.
‘Bring’ – it’s a good word, a giving word. ‘Share’ – how generous and friendly. Sometimes it means embarrassment, when you’ve made some hasty cheese sandwiches and bring them along to find everyone else has been spending the day cooking. Sometimes, you go to more effort and find that everyone dives happily at your home-made smoked salmon mousse and chocolate brownies, leaving you to the Tesco’s Basic Pork Pie, quartered and ignored. However, if it’s a friendly get-together, you don’t mind, it’s all part of the occasion. But when you’ve paid to go and you aren’t going to dance as your knee is more than usually achy and the Quasimodo Lurch is not a desirable part of Strip the Willow and you’re tired and hungry, the thought of being fed, preferably with a nice plate of hot chilli or shepherd’s pie, or even macaroni cheese, is an appealing one. I’d have paid an extra fiver happily for it.
I trust it’s a dress-down occasion. I’m not climbing out of my jeans and into more elegant clothes, not for nothing nor no one.