Restraining Order

I never knew how much restraint I had until spontaneously, inviting a woman I know over for tea.

She’s my age, a wife and mother, raised by decent parents with probably fewer vices than mine, yet her manners rival an otter’s who might even have hers beat.   

That said…

I am extremely neat, a fact often brought to my attention.

The reason for this is, your environment is the one thing you can control.  Everything else in your life is a crap shoot, but a nice, orderly home is up to you.

Trish, I’ll call her, has tons of money, owning a very expensive apartment that needs a dramatic overhaul.  She’s been interviewing contractors, never meeting her approval, for a decade, while the walls come tumbling down.  Let’s just say, bunkers have more appeal.

I have a fraction of what she has, but you still walk in here thinking an Astor is in residence, just one with a few quirks.

It’s not hard to have a charming place.  Most of my things come from thrift stores but, yes…I do have an eye, inherited from my mother who could have taken a slum and got it into House and Garden Magazine.

But I’m digressing.

Trish, the little darling, didn’t stop criticizing my place till she left, making it the longest cup of tea in history.


This seemed to mystify her like I was the Harry Houdini of homemakers.  I do have several closets, she opened without asking, making chirping noises at my neatly arranged shelves.

Then she went on about my many horse prints gracing the walls.  She owns a Warhol  that the way it’s framed on her crumbling bedroom wall, looks as if she won it in a poker game, where my posters, all from, are framed as if they could hang at the Met.

I never brag over anything, so as she systematically tore my house to shreds, I said nothing, allowing her to feel better about her own shabby shambles by not picking up the rope, as they say…in other words, not engaging, though my blood was about to burst through every artery.

BUT…as she was FINALLY leaving, taking one last potshot at my beloved umbrella stand, that did it.

“I keep mine in the closet…why must you exhibit them this way Susannah…I mean really…don’t you think it’s a bit much?”

“Actually Trish, I was thinking of getting an even bigger one so I can make more of an impression when someone like you, who could use a few pointers, comes to visit.  Would you like me to come over and help you organize? I could get rid of so much of that JUNK, you have…and recommend my framer for that one UGLY painting you own.”

As I was speaking I led her into the hall before calmly, shutting the door.

I have restraint alright, just with a few umbrellas.    


About Susannah Bianchi

I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves. My eBooks, A New York Diary, Model Behavior: Friends For Life and Notes From A Working Cat can be found on Thanks.
This entry was posted in Connecticut, Family, Fashion, grace, Home, humor, money, New York City, women and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

25 Responses to Restraining Order

  1. I would have clubbed her with a couple umbrellas!


  2. micklively says:

    How do you set about choosing friends? I think you need a process review. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  3. セレネ says:

    😮 It looks like a good place for umbrellas though :p

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m surprised you didn’t use your heaviest umbrella to thrash her head. You have remarkable restraint. Sight unseen, I adore your apartment.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. skinnyuz2b says:

    Susannah, there is a big difference between a friend and an acquaintance. Some of the latter often become the former. But in this case I hope for your sake she remains in the latter category!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Obviously she called in sick when they taught manners. Even if you don’t like someone’s décor, it’s best to keep that to yourself. That said, perhaps she doesn’t realize how terrible her place looks. What would you call her décor…shabby shabby?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Why on earth would anyone put umbrellas in a closet? They need a place to dry if they’re wet. That being said, it’s just unconscionable to criticize someone’s house like that. I’m guessing there won’t be a second tea date with her.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Umbrellas are to keep the storm off you – she should’ve had one through the whole visit – I sensed a big one! You were wonderful.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Gail Kaufman says:

    I’m a neat freak too and take a lot of heat for that. Somehow, when my “friends” tell me my home always looks clean, it sounds more like an insult than a compliment.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Why is that? Let’s discuss this. I get more flack for my neatness. I had a woman invite me to her house disinvite me because she said, it wasn’t clean enough for me. I was thrown. Never heard from her again. Granted, she’s a nutty model I only see work wise, but it’s as if, like you said, I committed a crime. Sigh


  10. She just had to say it didn’t she … so lucky that umbrella wasn’t shoved up her ass. I have a sister-in-law like this. ALWAYS has to comment … ALWAYS.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Alva Chinn says:

    Love this one!!! Mrs Snooty is one who clearly thinks having $$$ gives one a right to look and act like a horses ass. So in future as she’s walking, talking and pooping let her do it in her own home… just sayin’


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