I got a frantic phone call late on Friday night from my friend Hester—you know, Tea Lady partner and Sam Bric-a-Brac finder of amazing (new) clothing (“Hester here. A delicious DKNY suit in Jade just came in in a size 12 with the tags still on it.” “Ooh! Ooh! Ooh! On my way!”) She begged me to cover her shift at Bric-a-Brac on Saturday afternoon due to an emergency. She got invited to a theatre matinee in London. We all have the occasional dire emergency, and what kind of friend would I be if I said ‘no’? I’ll answer that. A not absolutely, drop-dead-gorgeous well dressed one. So although it was Shabbat and it was in Bric-a-brac, I said I’d do it for her.
I did the alternative service at Shul, accepted birthday wishes and a few kisses, but had to dash out early. Fortunately, I’d remembered to turn off my mobile. Loads of texts were waiting, including a particularly eloquent one from the Irish Lad: ‘Yom Huledet Sameakh. Xxx’ “A sheynem dank, Tee, especially for taking me to see Cousin Lenny for my pressie.”
The guys from Sam Books had given me my birthday card and present on Thursday; I didn’t expect one from Brics. Apparently when Hester rang Pia, the Manager, to explain about her elderly grandmother in the iron lung in Belfast or whatever and that I was covering her shift, she mentioned that I was charitably doing it on my birthday. I received a lovely antique brooch from the Brics guys. I’d seen it in the shop in the Estate Sale case and admired it, but it was expensive. It’s Murano glass, in the shape of a mandolin and absolutely beautiful colors. I’m sure Hester will hunt down the perfect outfit to wear with it.
It was my first shift in Brics, but I am never, ever working there again. For two reasons. Well a lot of reasons, including the mint green chemise from Phase Eight, the burgundy Ferragamos, the darling patchwork jeans for Amy, and the blue candles for my bedroom. The volunteers restock the displays as stuff gets sold, so it’s all, like, handed to me. And it all whispers seductively “You cannot survive without me!”
Things went okay really until about 4:00. We were extremely busy, but I coped. A young couple came in who were furnishing their first flat (young love is so sweet). They bought 24 wine glasses, in various sizes. Maybe they’re alcoholics. There was simply no way I could wrap and packed 24 glass items, even if they gave me until next Saturday to do it. I had to call Charlotte, a co-worker, off the pressing machine in the back (“Holy St. Nordstrom of the Rack! That’s a positively gorgeous skirt, Charlotte. What size is it?”) and ask her to do it. I hate being handicapped.
Saturday night Pinkie and Carol took me out to dinner at Il Ponte, the lovely new Italian restaurant on Hanger Hill. Carol had sneaked up earlier and dropped off an immense Happy Birthday balloon, which was sitting on the table when we walked in. Pinkie and I had eaten there before when Princie was here, and I’d done dinner on one of my dates. The food is wonderful. Carol works at the Dress Circle, which is one of the two really posh consignment shops in Weybridge. We might have chatted a bit about clothes during the meal. Pinkie gave me lovely gold hoop earrings for my birthday, and I got a bling keychain from Amy in the shape of a Scottie, to commemorate Hamish. Of course there was a cake, complete with a princess wearing a crown on it and everybody in the restaurant sang ‘Happy Birthday’, embarrassing me mightily.
The Irish Lad’s birthday card, incidentally, was a masterpiece. Since I used a bar mitzvah one for his birthday, he used me a Jewish New Year one for mine. I wonder if he had to go all the way to Golders Green to find it? The printed greeting said ‘Warm thoughts and many wishes for a good year.’ Tee added ‘Well, close enough, eh? It’s a Shanah Tovah for Regina!! Love ya.’
And I loved it so much that I posted a scan of Cheese Boy’s card, employing a theme of… well… cheese. He doctored it a bit so it was perfect, and the printed greeting on his was appropriate too- ‘Have edam good Birthday.”
Pinkie and I called in at the Grotto on our way home for a nightcap. We have pretty much stopped going there at all, and Chelsea Supporter Guy is quite upset with us. When we stopped in for a quick one to show Stuart the ‘infamous Grotto’ while he was visiting, Colin wouldn’t even speak to me. But I think I can carry on anyway. He figured out it was my birthday; I was carrying that big mother balloon and the rest of the cake. So he insisted on buying me a drink. I didn’t want him to. I really don’t like him. But it seemed churlish and rude to refuse.
On Sunday BooBoo and the Boy came over to mine. We’d decided to barbecue instead of going out to eat again. It seems that’s all I’ve been doing lately. More pressies. A shredder – something I really should have and not just for pictures and mash notes from old boyfriends. A handicapped bottle/can opener. Again, something I can really use. A lovely clock for the mantle. And a sort of joke gift that Boo spotted and really hit the mark about me.
One more drinks Do is scheduled with friends, and then I think my birthday will be officially over. Note to Darling Lulu: Duh! Did ya forget something???
I’ve got a big project for JDavid to do this week, a couple extra Sam shifts (Books, not Brics!) and another date with Piano Man. Piano Man is the guy formerly known as ‘Geordie Guy’. He reads the blog (who doesn’t? really) and complained. He didn’t like ‘Geordie Guy’. He suggested ‘Mr. Thursday’, but I didn’t like that. I get to make up the damned nicknames, not them. It’s not a democracy in “Jeano’s World’. So he’s ‘Piano Man’ now. And no, he can’t play the piano.