Opinion: A forever invitation


For a long time, we have celebrated Thanksgiving with our friends, the Haversticks, at a nice local restaurant. Bob likes to plan ahead, so we usually know around July 4 where we are going and what time we are eating. And where we should park.

About four years ago, other friends, the Goslings, invited us to stop by in the late afternoon on Thanksgiving and have dessert, or I should say: another dessert. We have looked forward to this every year and assumed they would ask us again. And now we come to what Mary Ellen and I call the Gosling dilemma. It’s getting close to Thanksgiving as I write this, and neither Dan nor Noelle had mentioned a thing about it. We see them at church and always have a nice chat. Nothing was said.

“We could just show up,” I said to my wife. “Except for my spilling red wine on their carpet three years in a row, why would they not invite us?”

“Maybe we shouldn’t go,” Mary Ellen said. “But they might expect us and then be insulted if we didn’t show up. Of course, if we simply went to the door and rang the bell, they couldn’t really turn us away. Could they?”

This past Sunday, Dan was at church and I decided we needed to settle this.

“So, Dan, are you looking forward to seeing your family this holiday?”

“Yes, we are, but not as many are coming as last year.”

“Oh, that’s too bad.  I guess you guys will have a lot of pie left over.”

He smiled and nodded. I didn’t know what I should say next.: A) I sure love pie; B) See you Thursday; or C) Have a great Thanksgiving without us.

Finally, I just blurted it out, “Dan, are we going to see you on Thanksgiving?”

“Well, of course. We just assumed you were going to drop over.”

“Really? You never mentioned it.”

“You guys are always invited for pie.”

I pushed my luck.

“You mean forever?”

“Yes, Dick, in perpetuity.”

You seldom hear the word perpetuity and pie in the same conversation.

When I got home, I was eager to tell my wife.

“Listen to this, Mary Ellen. You and I have a place to go in perpetuity.”

“I know I do, but you’re not getting into heaven with two unpaid speeding tickets.”

“No, not heaven. Dan said we can have pie at their place on Thanksgiving for as long as we live.”

“That’s very nice of them. I’ll get a bottle of merlot to take.”

“What should I bring, Dear?”

“Carpet cleaner.”