Today I thought I'd give y'all a slice of life here in Greenwich, and have chosen the last 24 hours as the tranche du jour, as it were. Consider it a kind of reality show, but in words instead of pictures. The theme (I think) is something along the lines of you never know what a day may bring, which is why it's usually worthwhile to get out of bed in the morning and carpe the diem.
My first adventure was at the grocery store, where one of the local librarians was on a car key hunt. She seemed slightly frazzled (well, who wouldn't be? - walking home with several bags of groceries is no one's idea of fun), so I took her arm and suggested we do a walk-through of her path through the supermarket. I will spare you the details of what librarians have on their shopping list; suffice it to say that as we entered the last aisle I asked, "What pockets do you have?" She told me she had already looked in her trouser pockets, so I asked if she had any others. She put her hands in her jacket pockets, and a sheepish grin came over her face. The missing keys were found.
Of course, I ratted her out to her colleagues when I got to the village library a few minutes later, and they gleefully said she had pulled the same stunt there a few days earlier. I guess the changeover to jacket weather has discombobulated her usual pocketing patterns...well, it can happen to the best of us, I suppose. My usual method for finding something is to remember where I saw it last - with luck, a mental snapshot will appear, and with it the missing object. One hopes this method will continue to work as long as the engrams themselves continue to do the same.
While working at the library, I was treated to the sounds of the children's story hour. There was enthusiastic singing about the wheels on the bus and the grand old Duke of York. The toddlers sing the same songs every week, and seem never to tire of them. So many of them want to come that a lottery had to be instituted; the lovely children's room given by my dear friend Josie Merck was being packed to the rafters. I think Josie has probably given more pleasure to more people with her thoughtfulness than just about anyone else in town.
Then it was off to Greenwich Avenue, where I dropped off a couple of 2007 calendars for two young ladies who have been successful self-employed entrepreneurs for many years. It's nice to know that despite the kudzu-like growth of the chain stores in town, there is still room for people like these two women to flourish.
And thence to the main library to pick up copies of Stephen King and Robert Parker's new books. There was an unfortunate article about Greenwich in the Gray Lady - my good friend and erstwhile best man Robert Tate is apparently being investigated by the feds because of "inappropriate material" found on his computer. I have known Bob for over 20 years, and have traveled with him and the choir he directed to England; I would have trusted him with my own son, and in fact did. Should an opportunity arise to be a character witness for Bob, I will endeavor to be first in what I know will be a long of choir parents to attest that he never, ever, laid an inappropriate finger on any of his charges. The sad part is that most personal computers host a plethora of material that some might consider "inappropriate"; would you want the feds looking through your hard drive, dear reader? My heart goes out to Bob, who does not deserve this kind of abrupt end to an extraordinarily distinguished career.
Then it was time for my afternoon drive through the back country to leaf-peep. I filled the tank at $2.53 a gallon - the lowest price in this area for many months. We here in Fairfield Country are the victims of a scam known as "zone pricing", which is just a euphemism for "soak the rich". Many attempts to get the state legislature to outlaw this patently unfair practice have failed; the oil lobby is pretty strong, in case you were in any doubt. Since the price of crude is on the rise again, I decided to fill 'er up, even though driving with a full tank puts a dent in one's mileage. It's like driving with a dead body in the trunk, for those of you who may know that sensation. As for myself, I speak metaphorically, of course.
The leaves are still gorgeous, I am pleased to report. I stopped off at the new Stanwich Congregational Church, where I chanced to run into Don Osgood, who has written a history of the church. Since history is my bag - well, one of them - I bought a copy at the church bookstore for him to autograph. We spent a pleasant half hour looking at the books each of us has written. Yes, dear reader, it was turning out to be a day well worth getting out of bed for.
I then raced over to Round Hill Community Church, where I had volunteered to help set up for the annual Harvest Dinner. But I was behind schedule, and when I got there everything was done. The aroma of the roasting turkeys was scrumptious. I ran into the parish secretary, Lynda, who had been very helpful a few weeks earlier when I was looking for pictures of the church for a new edition of one of my books. She told me I was on her "new best friends list", which was very pleasing to hear. It was thanks to her persuasion that I had signed up for the dinner, and the mouth-watering smells once more ratified the decision to climb out of bed.
But there were still two hours to kill before the dinner, so I went home to put on some socks and grab a blazer. I wanted to do due honor to the feast, and also to try to make a favorable impression on the crowd about to assemble. One never knows what a day may bring, after all...oops, already said that, but in the event I think it's worth repeating.
For when I got back to the church hall, the first person I met was a slim blonde, along with her mother and brother and brother's significant other. The SB kindly did a name tag for me, as my handwriting is iffy at best, and a squiggle at worst (the result of skipping first grade, where those skills are reportedly taught).
The SB, like your humble scribe, has been in and out of wedlock more than once. But unlike many who have been through the wars, she was all good humor and upbeat fun. We clicked, and had a wonderful evening. Unwilling for it to end too quickly, we went with her brother and his SO to a local dive for further refreshment. Then it was time to take her home to the back country, where the deer population was kind enough not to molest us (they can do as much damage to a car as a car can do to them). "Turn left here," she said - and there we were, heading down a long country driveway, past barns and stables and messuages and granges and who knows what all. Whoops! It seemed your humble scribe had a major heiress on his hands.
Now, both the former wives came from economically comfortable familes, by which I mean with net worths in the low seven figures. I never took a dime from either of them, but it was certainly convenient that when it came time to part there was no need to talk of alimony. So unlike many of my male compeers who have suffered through divorce court, I was fortunate to be able to cut the economic cord cleanly - twice.
The SB, however, was clearly in a different league altogether. I must tell you, dear reader, if you don't already know, that there is something intimidating to finding out that the cute girl in jeans and a sweater with whom you've been flirting all evening grew up on an estate the size of Liechtenstein. I suddenly felt out of my depth.
The hour was late, so the SB did not invite me in. A quick kiss, and the evening was over. My head was swirling, what with the wine, the yummy dinner, the afterparty, and the shock of driving half a mile from the road to her house. And the kiss, of course.
So here I am the next morning, reflecting (yet again) on what a difference a day makes. People also seem to be looking at me differently today - does something show in my face?
I'm not sure what it says about me that instead of taking more proactive steps I am sitting here at the computer blogging away like there's no tomorrow...and of course wondering what tomorrow may bring. Not to mention the rest of today....