When my brother Philip attends a party he invariably comments, “Am I not the socialest of all possible butterflies?” This week, I felt like a socialist butterfly my own self.

When my wife was involved in local politics (chiefly 2002-2022), she loved attending social events. It was an important part of why she was so effective. I occasionally got to attend as arm candy, though it’s not really my thing. I joke that when we first arrived, she was my wife. But after she became one of the most well-known people in town, I became her husband. It’s nice to attend events with her because she knows everyone and can remind me who is who. I’m terrible with faces and names.

For Pride, I went to a flag raising at Town Hall. It was fun to see all my queer friends. After the flag raising there was a presentation by Justice Roderick Ireland, one of judges that decided the constitutional question that enabled same-sex marriage in Massachusetts 20 years ago, followed by a panel discussion. Unfortunately, the event was indoors, so I was unable to attend. But my friends who were there said it was very moving.

Next, we attended a giant party that was a fundraiser for the Family Outreach of Amherst. They run two events annually, Warm Up the Night in the fall and Light Up the Night in the spring. They’re huge events that have a number of vendors that bring samples of beverages and foods and attract hundreds of people to eat, drink, mingle, and chat. We saws dozens of people, including the UMassAmherst Chancellor whom I have been in meetings with dozens of times, but had not been able to meet face-to-face (since I can’t attend indoor meetings).

My union held a get together for a co-president who’s stepping back after many years of service. It was a smaller event, but still with a lot of people and social interaction.

Finally, the Amherst town council president holds a “garden party” at her home every year that, also, attracts many of the politically active people from the town and University. Once again the Chancellor was there, so I got to hang out with him for the second time in a week. Our state rep was there. And our former state senator. After the long isolation during the height of the pandemic it was nice to catch up and reconnect with people we haven’t seen in a year or more.

My wife had even more events, but that was enough for me for a while. Now I’m ready to stay home and get back to my writing.

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