So the HP dinner happened a couple of days ago now, and only just now am I able to begin blogging about it, as I've been quite literally on my back doped up with painkillers since I got home from it. Apparently spending nearly 12 hours in "on" mode isn't so good for people with chronic illnesses, who knew? :P
I volunteered to help in the kitchen so I arrived in the morning. I spent the next four hours peeling and chopping vegetables which I imagine sounds very boring but honestly it was the best job I could have had. I got to be helpful and free up time for others to do more important activities without straining myself in any way. I enjoy chopping and peeling vegetables, as I find it very meditative, so I don't even feel like I was working that hard. It was a pleasure to be useful before the actual dinner, and it helped calm my nerves about it all - after all, I was helping, I was present, and I was focussed. What was there to be nervous about in such a state?
My boy came with me and did general dogsbody work through the day and evening - he helped out wherever he was required. Duties that he was involved in that day were so many - helping with the spit, helping with the potatoes, valet duties, drinks service, and probably more things behind the scenes that I did not see.
I had put the pressure on my boy a little before this event - I wanted him to make me proud. And that he did. By being flexible and ready to help wherever he was needed in whatever way was needed, he made himself available for service in a way that truly, truly did me proud. I am so honoured to be Daddy to such a dedicated and caring boy, who will put his hand up for whatever is needed.
At three, which was when the dominants were to be arriving (though many arrived early), I went and got dressed. Last year my boy organized for all my friends to put money in to get me a specially tailored suit, and we finally picked it up this past week. I combined that with the tailored shirt that I got with it, and my leather vest. I must have looked fabulous, everyone complimented me - though I wonder what it says about me that people sounded so surprised that I looked so good ;)
It was the perfect debut for my suit; as many of the people involved with the dinner had put in money for it, and it was such a special occasion for me. I felt proud and humbled at the same time by it all.
I went out the back so I could enter through the front door - my theory was that all the other dominants got to come through the front door, so I wanted to as well :) In the living room we dominants gathered and chatted and it was lovely. Drinks and nibbles were served by two wonderful submissives.
I was very quiet - not just at this point but through the whole night. It wasn't shyness for once; it was that I was genuinely enjoying just listening. People had wonderful stories and thoughts to share, and as I said at one point - I enjoy hearing about people's lives. I am only 25 and haven't had a life yet. :) It was then commented, "but look at how you're starting!", and I have to agree. To be present at such an event was glorious, and especially wonderful for me as the youngest person at the table.
When the time came, we were introduced to our servers for the evening - two servers to three dominants. I was served by the wonderful Taya and Ben, who were both charming and I felt very cared for by them.
We were then seated at the table and it felt like the night truly began. We talked and joked and shared stories and it was wonderful. The food was amazing, cooked by the wonderful Ms Lyn, and it was just sensational. The service was beautiful, despite the visible nerves all the submissives worked cleanly and quickly and I was never left wanting for anything. Maid Michelle made sure our drinks continued to flow with dedication.
As our meal finished, all the submissives gathered in the dining room and a cake was brought out and placed in front of Bella.
I don't know how comfortable people involved would be for me to describe what came next in detail, so I will refrain. However, I still want to express my feelings.
To watch Bella receive her Master's cover from such a respected and experienced person, surrounded by her Leather family and community, was such an honour, I can't even express it properly with only words. I teared up as I watched, rapt with joy. As I hugged her after I managed to choke out some words - "Thank you, for being you. I look up to you so much."
It's so true and so much bigger than those words could convey - but choked up with emotion it's often hard to get across meaning like that. Bella is such a role model for me, she is so kind, gentle and extremely skilled, and her dedication to Leather, service and kindness is beyond amazing. Should I be half the person she is as I grow, I will be a great person.
To share in such an event with her was such an honour, such a pleasure. To be present was, as its word implies, a gift.
After the ceremony we all shared in the cake and some more concrete gifts - as the dinner was "Christmas in July" themed, we had a kris kringle. Just to truly top off the night for me, my kris kringle gift was a beautiful clear paddle made by maid Michelle. This was such good luck for me for so many reasons - I have been wanting a paddle for some time, but unable to afford one. I also admire Michelle's work so much, but again, cash is rather tight at the moment, so being able to own a piece of Michelle's work makes me incredibly happy.
Not long after the kris kringle, sadly I had to leave as my body was starting to hurt in a very bad way and the tiredness that I'd been keeping at bay for a few hours crept up on me all at once. Boy drove me home and from there we went straight to bed, where I stayed until this morning, essentially.
I have so many feelings about the high protocol dinner - it was so wonderful, such a bright spot in my life, and something I already know I will look back on as I grow and always smile about.
One particular pleasure for me was being the youngest person at the table - by at least ten years, I believe. It was such an honour to be in the company of my elders and to listen to their thoughts and stories. Thank you all for being so amazing and being so kind.
The kindness of Leather folk is perhaps my favourite thing about them. I believe in kindness; I believe that it's a powerful thing and it's something I strive to be as much as I can (without hurting myself of course). Kindness is what bridges gaps between us all, regardless of age, gender, race, orientation, or anything else. The kindness that filled the gaps between us all at the dinner was palpable and beautiful.
Thank you to all those at the table, for your kindness and conversation and joy.
Thank you to all those who served, for your kindness and dedication and care.
(And thank you to the pup who sat in the corner, giving us all warmth and laughter... such a contribution can't be denied either, and was certainly a wonderful addition to the dinner.)
Thank you to the host, for your kindness and generosity.
Thank you to Bella, for everything you have done for the community and everything you are, and for letting us all be a part of such a special moment for you.
Thank you, Leather community, for allowing me such an experience so early in my life, one that I will treasure for the rest of it.