As some of you who may be reading this might know, I have recently become (or more accurately, am in the process of becoming) an Orthodox Christian, and the evening of Monday, June 9, at about 6:30 found me and Leah at St. Maximus Orthodox Mission in Denton attending Vespers. Our Vespers service was special that night, as St. Tikhon's Mission choir, an octet from St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary in South Canaan Pennsylvania, was visiting our church. Our parish is very small, so a visit from such a prestigious choir is quite an honor. Not only did they sing the entire Vespers service, but they also performed a short concert afterward. I won't try to impart how amazing it was; suffice it to say that there is just something about those centuries old tones and litanies that is beyond description.
So, after the concert everyone went into the kitchen for food and coffee and and whatnot. There was a lot of everything, being that the week of June 8th through June 14th is a fast free week celebrating Pentecost; meaning that it is actually forbidden to fast. Basically, what this means is that everybody is allowed to enjoy all kinds of goodies all week because we have to fast again from June 15th through June 28th.
So, adhering proudly to the rules and being somewhat of a pig, I got in line and started to load down two plates and two bowls (these receptacles, in retrospect, being of dubious strength for the purposes I intended) with sausage, spaghetti, cheese, crackers, chips, cantaloupe, strawberries, potato salad, bread, hummus, cookies, cake, tomatoes, chicken, casserole, and quite possibly a few other items. Man, was I hungry and looking forward to inching my way over to the drink table, where I would pour some tea, after which Leah and I would make our way to a place where we could munch away in peace.
However, it was not to be because halfway to the drink table, the contents of my overburdened and thus weakened paperware decided to take a magical mystery tour of my forearms, chest, thighs, and shoes; a brief sojourn which ended as a pound and a half of food impacted with a square foot and a half of floor. The spectacle was witnessed by Fr. Justin, Matushka, sub deacon Dax, the entire St. Tikhon's octet, reader Ben, and about a dozen other parishoners. Matushka rushed over with some paper towels, saying something about the plate balancing skills which she had acquired while waiting tables... skills which I obviously lacked completely. After scooping it all back up onto one plate into a mound about 6 inches high, I had to qualify my embarrassment by announcing that I would have gone ahead and eaten it if I'd been at home... which I would have, really. As it was, I had to toss those dreams into the trash and share Leah's sparse plate. I just couldn't bear standing in line again.