Tonight's dinner was a date June and I have been consciously ignoring since the beginning of the year hoping it would go away, but it finally arrived anyway. In honour of Fathers' Day, a distant cousin of mine invited my whole extended paternal clan down for dinner at the Ritz-Carlton. It was to be a gathering of everyone whose common ancestor went back up to 6 generations -- my great-grandfather. People I've never seen before in my life were going to be introduced to me as some relative or other, by blood or marriage. Well, you know how much I look forward to first contact situations.
I expected a much bigger turnout, but several families were unrepresented, so there weren't that many people there that I didn't already know. Well, there was mom's old colleague who turned out to be my aunt, a cousin from Edinburgh, and by some quirk along the generational line (and not because I'm that old) there was this little girl who was my grand-niece.
The evening turned out less painful than we anticipated. There was a little handshaking and a couple of exchanged pleasantries, but nothing uncomfortable or awkward. The programme promised table games, but thankfully the organizer conveniently ignored that item. As it was, there was so much on offer at the buffet tables, and it was a bit sad that there weren't more of us to help finish off the amount we left over.
After dinner, we had a bit of a sing-along worship session, followed by some preaching of good family values, particularly that of the Man's role as husband and father in the family. It was Father's Day, after all. It was a biblically patriarchal message, but it was my dad that set the example for us in a practical way -- he paid for dinner on behalf of the side of the family he represented. Thanks, dad! and Happy Dad's Day!