Sythyry (sythyry) wrote,

Invite [25 Thory 4261]

Me:"Anoof! Did you see Ilottat today?"

Anoof:"I did, as it happens."

Me:"Did you talk to him about, well, me finding a lover for cover?"

Anoof:"We didn't mention it. Something else seemed more urgent."

It is hard to describe how terrifying that sounded, given that I hadn't heard from Ilottat in a few days. I was sure he had dumped me for, oh, ... um ... a nice quiet Rassimel with a good Cloak of Another God spell.

Anoof:"Nothing like that, Sythyry. He was a bit nervous and unhappy though, in that awkward way of his."

Me:"Oh, no..."

Anoof:"Somehow the Belweldies, Ysgwyd's parents, found out about your affair with him."

Me:"Oh, no..." My first thought was that he'd never forgive me for that. My second was that he'd be demolished in various ways over it, and have no good reason to forgive me for such injuries.

Anoof:"So they're inviting you and him to an informal little dinner tomorrow night."

Me:"Oh, no..." In retrospect, I was being a bit monotonous, but I am sure that the three of them had different tones.

Anoof said reassuringly, "The Belweldies are rather the social climbers -- witness their marrying their daughter to a count's son."

Me:"You say that as if it should be reassuring. I do not see how having an adulterous, transaffectionate son-in-law improves their social station."

Anoof: [laughing] "You don't? Really?"

Me:"I don't. Really!"

Anoof:"Well, having a family connection to Hezimikkinen can hardly be a bad thing in Vheshrame. Socially or businessly. "

Me:"Well, I have almost as much influence with Zimi as, well, a dried trout does. I've barely seen zir a dozen times since I came to town. Zie said I'm not welcome at zir wing of the Ducal palace, unless I'm invited."

Anoof:[Laughing and wagging his tail]"Sythyry, that's lots of influence. How many people in Vheshrame get to see zir socially a dozen times in under a year? Much less can expect the occasional invitation from zir? You might not have much influence this year, or even this decade, but your long-term influence could be great. Zie's not going to stop inviting you to holiday events and suchlike, is zie?"

Me:"Not while I'm near Vheshrame, no. It would be rude."

Anoof:"Which is a degree of guaranteed access that nobody else in Vheshrame has."

Me:"Guaranteed, but useless. Zie does not take me seriously!"

Anoof:"True now. In a decade or two that may change. In any case, the Belweldies can hardly know about that when they invite you to an informal little dinner tomorrow night."

This seemed an excellent time to panic, rather than argue.

Me:"Yeek! An informal little dinner tomorrow night with my adulterous lover's in-laws! What should I do, Anoof?"

Anoof:"Be polite, yet aristocratic. Make it clear that you are the sort of social connection that they want their son-in-law to have. Don't emphasize the details of the relationship much -- just emphasize that the Belweldies are getting what they most want out of it. As Ilottat is."

It is very hard to listen to a Cani giving good social advice when you are properly panicking. I continued to babble variations on a theme of "What should I do?" for a while. I believe Anoof repeated his advice eighty-seven times before I heard it.

Me:"Oh ... that sounds like a good idea."

Anoof:"For tonight, though ... are you free?"

Me:"I don't know ... am I free?"

Anoof:"Well, Ilottat would like to see you."

There was much relieved flapping around the room. Arguably I should be quite embarrassed by how relieved I was that Ilottat was not so angry with me that he'd refuse to see me.

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