I woke up on Saturday morning disgusted with myself and all that’s been happening around me. I’m sick of doctors and hearing tests, medication and most of all…worry.
I want a day that is just filled with fun, laughter and a lightness of being.
Is that too much to ask?
“Absolutely not,” said my pal Camille when I asked if she’d join me. “you deserve a day on the town Susannah, what’s more, I’m going to plan it.”
I can’t tell you how elated this made me and scared all at the same time. One could say I’m a little out of practice fun wise while Camille reigns queen.
“We’ll start at Saks, hit Uniqlo…mosey up to Prada to see the new bags. We’ll stop in Bendels before Bergdorfs, pop into Vuitton, Chanel, Burberry then Tiffany, before we end up at Bloomies to pick up a little lingerie since they’re having a big sale…how does that sound…Susannah, are you there?” (I may have fainted)
“It sounds expensive.”
“Good…you need to buy a few things…if you don’t mind me saying, your shopping muscle has atrophied. I’m tired of seeing you in those tights and that old black sweater that’s seen better days. You look like an anemic mime at a wake.”
“Well thanks a lot.”
“I’m just saying. Let’s live a little…we’ll go to lunch…hit the Carlyle…maybe even book a room and pretend we’re on vacation.” (Omigod)
As she was talking I may have been approaching orgasm. It made me realize the funnel I’ve been living in. This hearing business has taken over my life and perhaps a tad too much so. I’m not denying it’s my biggest priority at the moment, but there is life beyond…
please raise your hand when or if you hear the beep.
I met Camille on the steps of St. Pats because frankly, Saks on a Saturday, solo, scares me. You’ve never seen so many tourists buying designer, everything that’s not nailed down, in your life. One needs to be armed. I saw that first…that’s mine…scusi, but we no act like-a this in Roma.
Oh yeah…who are you kidding?
We always go straight to better dresses where we ooh and ah…she over style, me cost. Camille said it’s like admiring the animals at the zoo…as much as you may want that orangutan, it’s just not an option. Of course this little fable goes right out the window as she tosses another few hundred dollars onto her, oh so frayed American Express Card.
You can practically hear it whimper as it goes through the machine.
I saw one of Camille’s bills once by mistake and had to lie down. Her minimum payment rivaled my rent.
One of the reasons I’m so unnerved at the moment is because of my mounting medical bills. I can’t handle owing money. Camille, on the other hand, can’t handle not owing it.
“It makes me feel alive and part of the world,” she tells me. “Life’s short, and let’s face it, we really have no idea if there’s a Bloomingdales on the other side or not, so we must shop at the flagship store on this one.”
It’s hard to believe Camille has never been in therapy forever insisting it’s a complete waste of time. “Buying a pair of Jimmie Choos does more for a girl than a nap on that couch talking about how some bully took your lunch at the playground, or how your mother hit you with a hairbrush.” (for me it was a wooden spoon)
It’s nice having a pal so different from yourself. I spent years on couches either with post menopausal therapists or men whose names escape me. This of course is why Camille has so many more shoes than I do, even though I can quote Freud and Jimmy Cannellini whose sofa smelled of formaldehyde. No he wasn’t a funeral director, he bought it for 20 bucks from a parlor that closed. The stuff one remembers, but back to the present.
When we finally got to Bloomingdales I needed a drink so we hurried through robes and nighties grabbing a few thongs (one could never own too many) before cabbing it to Bemelmans. Oh, it was like the Emerald City after that endless layover in Munchkin Land.
It was already well after 4 so we had Cosmopolitans in chilled champagne flutes.
I was Carrie, and she was Samantha.
I’m not supposed to be drinking but as Camille reminded me, “This is… no worry, fuck it Saturday, so you get to have a drink…or two.”
So we sat and sipped, giggled and gossiped about every patron in the place. We ogled the men, made fun of their dates…ate so many potato chips that my flats started to stretch.
Suddenly Camille turned to me and said, “I bought you something when you weren’t looking.”
She hands me her biggest shopping bag smiling like a Cheshire cat who just caught a whale.
“Camille, I don’t know what to say,” and I didn’t since I was slightly drunk and oh so salty, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t thrilled.
I pull out the pale pink Carolina Herrera day dress we admired at Saks. “Omigod Camille, I can’t believe it.”
Before I could launch into a litany of you shouldn’t haves, she stopped me. “Hold on..waiter…two more.”
With fresh drinks in our hand Camille proposed a toast.
“To my friend, who’s been having a really tough time as of late. But Monday, when she goes to see that fat doctor who I’ve got a contract out on, she’ll be in the prettiest dress turning heads of all the pricks who have never known a woman as wonderful as she…and…
“and that’s quite enough,’ I said, tears beginning to well.
I raised my glass.