Sunday, May 21, 2006

Things that make you feel old...but still good...

Yesterday evening, Agnes and I were invited to a formal Debutante Ball in honor of Erica, the daughter of our friends Rico and Mary Lou. I also had the honor of serving as the Master of Ceremonies, and so I had a vested interest in how the evening came off.

In the end, despite the best efforts of the Virginia Department of Transportation (whose weekend construction activities generated massive traffic jams that threw the setup and the entertainment schedule out the window), the Ball was a smashing success. The food was excellent, the DJ had a great mix of ballroom and more "contemporary" dance music, and the crowd was large, happy, ready to party, and forgiving of the minor glitches along the way.

I was astounded, though, by Erica. I don't see her often (hadn't, in fact, seen her for a year or two), and was shocked that I didn't even recognize her at first! The little girl I'd first met as a six-year old had suddenly turned into a poised and beautiful woman. I felt old. But I felt good, too, because when I looked at Erica and her older brother Raphael, I saw two wonderful and talented young people who have made their parents proud and who gave me hope that the generations coming up behind us aren't hopeless after all. There's nothing quite like seeing a room full of high-school age people dressed to the nines to restore your faith in the younger generation.

So Agnes and I had a great time. But more than that, in a time of inflation, war, intolerance, and political and religious demagoguery, it was great to see a racially and ethnically mixed crowd enjoying a fun evening together in honor of one outstanding young woman.

Yes, there's hope!

Enjoy the rest of the weekend. More thoughts tomorrow.


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