The Uninvited Guest

I was going through some old photos yesterday and came across one of a raccoon eating ice cream at our wedding reception.  I’m sure that you have a box or three of old photos that have been stored in shoe boxes!  If you do not, well done.  However most of my friends do and I am guilty of this as well.  One day!  Yes, one day I’ll get them into photo albums.

But I digress.

This one photo of “the uninvited guest” reminded me not only of our wedding, but of going to Ukrainian weddings when living in my village in Manitoba.

I remember starting to attend weddings when I was about 5 years old.  Our parents would get an invite in the mail.  Written right on the envelope was my parents’ name with  “& Family”.   That’s what we did back then.  The whole family was invited.  No one worried about the cost per plate.  No one counted the guests as they came in the door.

We had no babysitters.  As children, we went to the church ceremony, the dinner reception and to the evening dance.  Our parents ate, drank and danced until 2:00am.  And we did too!  No, not drinking…the eating and dancing part!  When we got sleepy, we went to the car and slept in the backseat of the car until our parents were ready to go home.

As I got older, I started to attend weddings as “a guest of” my friends’ parents.  Yes, we were probably the first wedding crashers.  I recall one particular time when Marilyn, my best friend, and I went to a wedding with the local high school’s secretary.  It was okay, really because the secretary was invited and she asked us if we wanted to come along.  She knew that Marilyn and I loved to dance to Ukrainian dance music.

When it’s a cold winter’s night on the Prairies, doesn’t it make sense that young people gather together in a warm, safe place and do some dancing and being sociable with one another?

Looking back, I guess it was not nice to go uninvited. But there was no harm in it. We didn’t cause any damage or hurt anyone. It was good clean fun.  Getting together should bring out the best in us.

Gatherings at concerts, hockey and soccer games and dances are safe, happy places.  Well, at least they used to be when I was younger.  Getting together should also be safe today as well.

With the recent events in Paris, going out at all is making everyone in our country and around the world scared and thinking twice.   The “uninvited guest” takes on a whole different meaning.

My prayers go out to all in Paris!   Vichnaya Pamyat!


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