Friday, November 04, 2005

I Had a Dinner Date

tonight with two priests, a monk, a catechumen, my radio show co-host and my wife. We ate Chinese, shared conversion stories, cut up (yeah, priests and monks can cut up....), found out we knew mutual friends (but then Orthodoxy is a small world...), and ended the meal with the Fathers quietly chanting the after meal thanksgiving in the middle of the restaurant. Black robes, hats, beards, chanting...and none of it even felt wierd. Maybe this "orthodox thing" is sinking in.

Father Damian calls me ahead and says, I'm bringing a priest, a monk and another person to dinner with me. You aren't paying for it this time, its going on my card. I say, OK. The check comes, he picks it up. I slip him some cash under the table. He looks at the bill. He looks at the money. He looks at the bill again. He reaches in his pocket. He folds the black leather holder and puts his head on it. He looks at me. "You won't believe this... I forgot my wallet."
"Of course you did..." We both grin.

As we leave, Monk Joseph says, gee you really look familiar...have you ever been to St. Paisius Monastery? I said, yeah, I've built a lot of stuff there for them. He says That's it! I worked on the laundry building with you when I was visiting there once. Ah, I say, Hagia Laundria...yes, I remember you now... you were the guy in the black robe with the beard! He laughs heartily. We all part in peace and good spirits.

A nice Friday evening out.


Elizabeth said...

Wow. Sounds wonderful !
I love the Hagia Laundria :-0

Meg said...

A nice Friday evening out, and *radically* needed. But I'd love to know the reactions of the other patrons to the black robes, beards, and chanting....

s-p said...

Hi Meg,
Actually, that's the wierd part...I was not self concious enough to look at other people to see their reactions for once. I was so focussed on what WE were doing and our conversations it never occurred to me to look over someone's shoulder to see other people. On the other hand, when I was at the homeless shelter with the woman out of prison I was in my cassock and with my "new Chinese look", I look like someone stepping out of the Matrix in it. :) A few of the homeless people were doing second and third glances and one woman was talking with her group and I heard her say as they were grabbing her arm, "Hey, I just want to go ask him who the hell he is!" ahem. No comment. :)

olympiada said...

I wish I were there. I am already ready for a dinner date my self!
Enjoy seeing you out in the discussion groups.
And yes monks can cut it up, I know this, many of my friends are monks.

Philippa said...

Very cool! Wish I could have been there to share in the fun. I'm still getting used to being around priests and joking around. Our new priest and I have been cracking jokes at one's cool and weird all at the same time!

s-p said...

Hi Philippa,
I know what you mean. I had a major "clergy image tweak" a few months ago when I heard a Bishop quote a line from "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" in a homily. :)

Mimi said...

Sounds wonderful! I had lunch once with three priests and enjoyed it very much.

When you start to tell the story, though, it sounds like the lead in to a joke!