K's not big on parties and hoopla, but I figured an event like this deserved a celebration. After a well-crafted pitch and three weeks of begging for a guest list, I got K to agree to a simple dinner with those who know her best.
The list was short, and it was missing contact information for most of the guests, but one name stood out. Pastor Craig.
Next to his e-mail address was a short notation. "Highly unlikely that he could make it."
I didn't see the point in inviting someone who had little-to-no shot at coming. So I thought I'd increase the odds of an affirmative R.S.V.P. by calling the Pastor and getting the date on his calendar right away. A quick trip to Google was all I needed.
"Good afternoon, Pastor Craig's office."
This should have been a red flag right here. K mentioned he was the pastor of small ministry. Too small for an office, and way too small for a secretary.
"Is Pastor Craig available?"
"No, may I take a message?"
"Sure." I gave my name and phone number.
"What is this regarding?" Something in her tone of voice wasn't quite right.
"I'm calling to extend an invitation to an event."
"Are you friend of Pastor's?"
"Um, no, not exactly." This was going downhill fast. I dodged a few more questions and hung up the phone.
A few days went by, and I didn't get a return call. When I went back to the Web site, the Pastor's bio and photo popped up. This man was about 20 years older than I expected.
I called the wrong Pastor Craig.
So, somewhere in Chicago, there likely is a man who has to explain why some woman called to invite him to a dinner. I just pray his church isn't one that is full of drama.
Who am I kidding? That woman's tone of voice told me all I need to know.
Pastor Craig, I'm really really sorry.