Tuesday, 5 August 2014
A few weeks back I was asked by a friend to accompany her to a function celebrating two anniversaries for a gay couple of her acquaintance. I know of the gay couple and have attended several large picnics where they were present but I have never spoken to them and frankly wouldn't recognise them if they were standing in front of me. I wasn't invited to the function by them as such, my friend was going to take me as the 'plus one' in her invitation.
In the meantime I received directly an invitation to attend a 90th birthday tea for a very dear friend of my late parents. I know the 'birthday boy' personally and we have met for coffee conversations on numerous occasions since my parents' deaths.
The two parties were scheduled for the same time.
In most situations I would not think of reneging from a prior arrangement but in this instance I felt a greater responsibility to mark the milestone of a cherished friend of my parents than to accompany an admittedly long-standing friend to a party hosted by people I don't really know and who haven't specifically invited me anyway.
I told my friend I was going to break my promise to her and go to the birthday party instead. My friend said that was OK with her but I sensed she wasn't entirely happy with me.
I attended the birthday party and was warmly welcomed by the 'birthday boy' who was clearly touched by my attendance. This morning, only a week following the birthday party, his son rang to inform me that his father passed away yesterday.
I'm so pleased that I let my heart rule over 'social manners'.