I’m with my friends, Joanne and Camille ready to embark on a serious shopping spree. Joanne always thought Black Friday meant that any minute a minstrel show was about to commence. I shouldn’t laugh since I assumed it had something to do with weather.
Of course Camille, our professor in all matters concerning cloth and markdowns, educated us fast on what it means to suit up for the consumer’s most important day of the calender year.
Frankly I don’t understand why the National Guard isn’t called in to check us all for concealed weapons. I mean the stuff you encounter at Saks and Bloomingdales I believe is what inspired the crazy powers that be to make the film, The Hunger Games.
Joanne had a slip pulled right from beneath her when she sneaked out from the dressing room to get a smaller size. A woman, the length of Julie Newmar, looked at her half Hanro dangling below her waist and said, “That doesn’t fit you…it’s huge…but it would fit me,” quickly yanking it clean almost knocking poor Joanne off her feet. How cute she looked in her polka-dotted thong standing between postnatal nippers and Spanx.
It’s certainly not my favorite day of the year since I don’t shop like I’m on a reconnaissance mission for cruise wear. Yes, you do get substantial deals, no question, but at a price…pun always intended.
See, I just wanted to go drink. I spent Thanksgiving primarily alone with Anne Lamott reading her new book, Stitches, and no, it’s not humorous leaving one by its name. It actually was so serious I wept from three to five. It’s a quick ninety-six page read that makes you want to go to the mirror and genuflect to yourself…but this is a whole other essay, isn’t it?
I wanted to loll at Bemelmans with a silo of Cabernet watching the world go by on its way to the bathroom.
Camille and Joanne, however, wait for this day all year, so I was outnumbered.
“We’ll get there, eventually,” Camille said, “and boy, will we need it.”
Now that was an understatement, especially after Joanne got hit in the head with a Birkin bag. Why it’s always her who seems to get sartorially accosted is a mystery. We were at Bergdorf coming out of wallets, Camille just buying a new Fendi billfold that was reduced to practically nothing. Not that she needed one but as she put it, “Now I’ll never need one, now having one in the wings.” Yes, she said that.
Joanne had stopped to peruse the world’s most expensive purse that I think is so bulky not to mention ugly, when a lady came up behind her, grabbed it, slamming it over her head as she beelined it to the nearest register. Oh yes, by all means, drop a cool three thou, why don’t you, while our poor pal hemorrhages to death. I mean Joanne really got hit.
Camille, the Joan of Arc of accessories, ran after her. “Hey, you stupid bitch, look what you did…you hurt our friend.”
Don’t hold back Camille, whatever you do.
The woman, who really looked crazed, like she was on Thorazine, crack and Dewars Black Label while watching The Shining, bought that Birkin so fast running out to 57th Street as if she had a getaway car waiting.
“ICE,” Camille screamed, “CAN SOMEONE GET US SOME ICE.” I finally, after being in shock, spoke…saying something oh so useful.
“You know Camille, we’re not at a deli.”
Oddly enough, a security guard came with some ice cubes in a paper cup we held to Joanne’s head that was actually bleeding. The Birkin’s clasp must have graced her forehead as it flew by like a blue lizard Frisbee.
“Come on,” snapped Camille, “you need a stitch.”
There’s that word again…Oh Anne Lamott, how you do get around.
After spending three hours at Lenox Hill Hospital Emergency which rivals hell or at least The Department of Motor Vehicles with decor that could easily blind you, we finally made it to our beloved Carlyle, and did I want to kiss its walls.
Joanne, with a striking bandage on her head, looking as if she just made it back from Gettysburg while Camille, bless her, splurged on a bottle of Moet, made me feel all fuzzy inside.
“It’s so pricey Camille…what are you doing?”
“What am I doing? I’m about to toast my two best friends…one on the disabled list, the other who should be, since you’re so nuts Susannah.”
“I take that as a great compliment Camille, especially coming from you, although it would help if you’d be more specific.”
“What’s in your bag?”
Camille bent down pulling out a chipped framed picture of the very first Lenox Hill Hospital emergency room dated I don’t know, 1960?…from my Saks shopping bag. It annoyed me in all its ugliness as we sat there for far too long. So I put it out of its misery, or at least the wall it now no longer graces.
“Besides, I saved so much money on the wallet I don’t need that I can afford this.”
“Joanne, how you doin babes,” I said.
“Do you think you could both shut-up and just open that goddamned bottle?”
“Thank God she’s feeling better.”
Camille nodded as she threatened Eddie the bartender, if he didn’t get over to our table…
So concludes another Black Friday.