I've been to Mass more in the last seven weeks than I've been in the last seven months.
Tonight, I was in church, because the funeral home we used hosts an annual Remembrance Mass for those they laid to rest throughout the year. Whatever gets us through the night, I suppose...
There was a candlelight ceremony, which looked like it was quite lovely, though I was only halfway there for it. The acoustics in the church, you see, were horrifically bad, so there was nothing for my poor broken ears to pick up but echoes. Eventually, I tuned out and went into Mass auto-pilot. I know when to kneel, I know when to stand, and I know when to murmur in response; all the while, I'm staring at my beautiful new boots, admiring their perfect design and wondering if I'm ever going to get feeling back into my toes. It's better than being angry and cursing at God, I suppose, and it's comforting to know that I'm regaining my regular sense of vanity and self-absorption.
Right around the responsorial psalms, I snuck a look at my watch and realized that next week at that time, I'd be on a plane, getting ready for take-off to jolly old England.
Have I mentioned that yet? Have I mentioned that one day, about three weeks ago, the world up and decided that I needed an invitation to my head office's Christmas party, and to see my friends, and walk around my favourite city and just get away from here for a while? And have I mentioned that they decided to do it when British Airways was feeling particularly generous and humane with its rates?
To be honest, I didn't have the energy to get that excited about this before tonight, but now, it's a week away, and the thrill is starting to mount. Of course, it's also bringing along a healthy share of suspicion, because honestly, this whole little unexpected holiday is starting to look a little too perfect for me.
Let's review, shall we?
Right, so, aside from the fact that it's London for God's sake, it will also be the start of December, and the fairy lights will be up, making everything magical and pretty. Every step I take will be set to the soundtrack of Love Actually, which will be on a loop in my head the entire time I'm there, because that is just how I'm wired.
I will be catching up with friends who will let me cry and make me laugh and charm me into having more fun than I think I'm actually able to have, because they are very, very skilled at making me feel fantastic.
My six nights in London will be spent in a neighbourhood that I have on good authority is "a mix of corporate twonks and fashion victims" which suits me just fine, thank you. Also, in a stroke of (again, suspicious) good luck, I will not have to sell my liver to settle the bill, which is important. (It's England, after all, and one needs a functioning liver just to get through customs.)
And, oh! I almost forgot! I even found The Perfect Outfit to wear to the Christmas party! And honestly, once I finished paying for that little number, I thought, well, that's it then. What else can go my way? On cue, Jezebel called me and let me know that Tate Britain has decided to hang a couple of pretty pictures I might like. Dear God, poppets, it's like the cherry on top! The Tate is showing Degas and Toulouse-Lautrec. Ballerinas and Can-Can girls! Does it get better than that for your Mare? No! No, it does not!
And so I'm going to London. It'll be lovely, I'm sure, but at the end of the day, I can't help but wonder if these tides of circumstance would have turned my way if life wasn't what it was right now...
No sense thinking about that, though. Distraction is distraction, and if the universe wants to wrap it up in a fantastically attractive package for me, who am I to question it?
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