Sunday, December 10, 2006

Bewildering Invitation

Like most folks around this time of year, I receive my share of invitations to holiday parties, celetrations, and religious observances. One that I received this season especially caught my attention. Under a subsection of the e-mailed invitation is a topic called "What else should you remember?" It addresses two subjects:

Be sure you have showered before hand, trimmed your nails, freshened your breath, washed your hands and the like before coming. That's not only polite, but it's also important for ritual purity.

Please come sober and OFF drugs. Alcohol (such as mulled wine) will be served to non-minors who want it, but it's important for ritual to be powerful to start out in a normal, grounded state of mind. Otherwise, you're just partying all the time, rather than starting out grounded and ending grounded. Ritual is about improving mundane life rather than being an escape from it.
Well, I can see the drug and alcohol policy, particularly since such a celebration might be confused with a party where such things may be indulged. But the first one????? One wonders what types of folks the hostess usually invites to her events. Perhaps I'm overly bourgeois, but maintaining good personal hygeine is high on my list of priorities. I find this cautionary in an invitation extended to (presumably) adult Pagans to a private gathering appalling. Am I naïve?


Anonymous said...

That's rude, if you ask me. Cautions about alcohol are totally appropriate, but "Please shower"? I'd be insulted. I'd probably decline attending.

How very gauche. ;)

steward said...

It seems to me that someone would only add that first paragraph because the host has had experiences with people who are interesting to talk to but don't exactly have... a traditional sense of hygeine.

I recall when I was taking a course at the local community college, a classmate of mine who was Orthodox Jewish (at least based on what he wore) tended to smell like he hadn't bathed in 3 weeks. We have several different sects of Orthodox in my county, so maybe there's a Jewish sect that doesn't like bathing too much. Maybe it was just him. Whatever, it seems to me that the first paragraph would stem from experience.

Does not the second paragraph stem from experience, too, albeit experiences maybe 20 or 30 years ago?

Broomstick Chronicles said...

Yes, I'm sure that's where it came from, Steward, but it makes one wonder just what kind of guests this person invites to her private sabbats. She's not inviting Orthodox Jews; she's inviting Pagans. FWIW, I won't be attending.

Chas S. Clifton said...

Maybe those instructions are for the ones who stay for the sex party afterwards?


Mama Kelly said...

I have to agree ... one wonders how well the invitees are known if, in the invitation, the hostess feels the need to make a formal request for good hygeine ...

One would think (hope?) that that would be common sense before attending any kind of group gathering be it a ritual or just a party.

Joyous Yule

Mama Kelly

Kat Schorr said...

LOl This is great! I think she has every right to put this in her invitation if she thinks that perhaps some of the attendees might not have an awareness of their personal hygeine!

I have met pagans that feel that it is okay to be "natural" (ei not bathing regularly, etc). Try being stuck next to one during a long ritual. Yuck!

It's her party, anyone offended can choose not to go, and those that take care of themselves should be thankful for her trying to make it clear what her expectations are to ensure everyone's comfort.

Anywho, I enjoy reading your blog. Thanks!

Yewtree said...

There's nothing worse than doing a ritual with someone who is ... er ... fragrant. I've seen this in various circle etiquette documents. But I think the way it is worded leaves something to be desired - people know how to wash, I suppose, even if they haven't done it for a while.