It started with a visit to our neighborhood antique shop. When my sister-in-law, Carrie, drives from the big city to our little town to see us, she loves to hit that eclectic treasure chest of a store where vintage linens, dishes, jewelry, furniture share shelf space with VHS cassettes from the 90's and cheap plastic sunglasses. We'd been talking about fancy hats, about how some of the women in our parish have taken to wearing them on Pascha (our Orthodox Easter service) and aren't they just so festive and classy? I swoon over the costumes in those BBC period mini-series. The tailored dresses, gloves, and yes those elegant and quirky hats, sweet like icing on a cake, are, in my humble opinion, downright fabulous.
Lo and behold, we came across a stand of such hats - hats with netting, with silk flowers stained with age, straw hats, velvet hats and the winner black bowed hat seen on Carrie above. For a cool eight bucks, my sister-in-law swooped it up and added it to her other purchases: a retro stainless steel lunch box and gold patterned magazine rack. Back at our house, she was kind enough to indulge my obsession with picture taking by animatedly posing for some photos; I was in the mood to experiment with a vintage processing technique.
What a good sport she is, my sister-in-law, and smart, and funny, and generous, and beautiful, and Orthodox ... and single (Are you an Orthodox Christian single male between the ages of 30 and 45 with manners, social skills and a great sense of humor? E-mail me.) .
Yeah, I'm going there, because I have a whole lot of respect for busy, single, Orthodox Christian men and women with a love for the Church hard-pressed to find other singles with those same values, that same worldview. It isn't easy being single. Dating in your late twenties, thirties, forties, etc. is not for the faint of heart. Staying true to your beliefs while being single, when it would be worlds easier to compromise, to trade those convictions for companionship and affection, is an arduous act of selflessness and sacrifice too seldom appreciated or understood. I tip my hat to you, my single brothers and sisters (Get it? Tip my hat? from before?)!
Please pray for me and I will pray for you.
We're all in this together.