Saturday, July 05, 2008
She has a gift...
"I spit celery at you..."
That was one of the more memorable quotes from our girly weekend. My niece was enjoying a piece of celery during lunch, and spit the stringy part over her shoulder, where a couple happened to be sitting. She then turned around and realizing what she had done, confessed to them. I don't think they would have been quite so charmed if I had made the same confession, but you can say just about anything when you're cute and four years old.
It was a short and utterly sweet girls week on Martha's Vineyard. The weather was divine, the shopping was endless, the wine flowed generously, the food was delicious, and it was just a great time with a group of my favorite women. After two long visits to our favorite bead store -- Beadniks -- where we spent great sums of money on teeny tiny bags of beads & findings -- we made some wonderful jewelry pieces, and returned with just enough money to get our car out of hock in the ferry parking lot -- $48 for 3 days -- yikes. Add to that our fare for the ferry, and we are thinking of taking our car on the boat next year, just for the convenience. The weather reports before we left looked ominous, and while it poured buckets on the ride over and back, the trip in between was absolutely perfect. Sunny days, low humidity and cooler nights. Our girls weekend has been going on for more than 10 years with various dates and locations, and we've been blessed with unbelievably fair skies every time.
I realize that I promised funny stories, but while we laughed almost constantly, most of my stories are the "ya hadda be there" kind. Like when Liz wanted to face forward on the ferry to avoid getting sick, and the ferry kept changing direction out of the dock so she switched seats 4 times backward/forward/backward/forward. It was hilarious to watch, but see -- Not so funny here. Or when my sister's car kept stalling anytime she idled at a red light -- because she'll spend $150 on .25 oz. of designer facial moisturizer, but she won't get the part replaced that will keep her car from stalling.
But I did just think of one funny story that involves a previous year and this year...
While shopping on the Vineyard, my mom once again bought a rather expensive piece of clothing without trying it on, because she has "a gift" for being able to tell her size. This wouldn't be a big deal if she was shopping at a local retail store, but she does this on vacation in unique boutiques and then goes home before trying on the clothes. I'll begin with last year, when we stayed at my sister's house outside of Boston, and travelled to Newport, Rhode Island for the day and evening...
Mom: I love this dress. Ooh, it's expensive. Oh well, I'm on vacation. I'm buying it.
Mary: You'd better try it on first.
Mom: I don't have to. I have a gift.
Mary: A gift?
Mom: Yes. I've always been able to just look at clothing on the rack and tell if it fits me.
Mary: But we're in Newport. And we're leaving today. Don't you want to be sure?
Mom: I am sure! Look (holding it up) it fits. I can tell.
Mary: Okay, if you say so. But I'd try it on if I were you.
Mom. Nope. I'm fine.
Returning to my sister's house, hours from Newport and the swanky little boutique, we engage in one of our favorite activities -- wine-tasting. Lots and lots of tasting of entire bottles of wine. Well into bottle number three, we remember mom's dress, and ask her to try it on for us. (You can see where this is going). It's a white, flowy, lacy sundress, made of absolutely unforgivable cotton. We all agree it's very pretty and summery. She retreats to the spare bedroom, and we wait. And wait. And wait.
And wait? Was that a call for help? My sister Cheryl retreats to the bedroom, and fits of giggles ensue.
Mom: I'm stuck.
Cheryl: I see that. Let me help you (choke, laugh, gasp). Yup. There's no denying it. You have a gift, mom.
Indeed. For sure, my mom's greatest gift is the ability to laugh at herself, and to allow all of us to join in the fun. Apparently my mom's "gift" was also on vacation that week, and she came out of the room looking like 50 pounds of potatoes in a 10 pound bag. All that white, flowy cotton was deceivingly small.
Fast forward to this year on the Vineyard. We are in a sweet little boutique, and mom sees some black fabric on a display table. It gathers at the top and bottom, and has a strap at the top.
Mom: Oh, it's a purse. But wait, it has a hole in the bottom.
Kerri: That's because it's not a purse, it's a halter top.
Mom: Ooh. (holding it up). I like this.
Kerri: It's cute. It's drapy around the middle. I think it's very "you." Go try it on.
Mom: (scrunching up her nose). Naah. I don't want to. Besides, I have a gift.
Kerri: Seriously mom. A minute ago you didn't even know it was a shirt.
Mom: Yeah, but I can tell it will fit. Really.
Kerri: I can't believe you are doing this again.
Mom: I'm just getting it.
Kerri: Of course you are. Whatever!
Once again, this was our last day on the Vineyard, and we had already relinquished our house, so after shopping, we were returning to the ferry and to my sister's house for our last night. And once again, we began with wine-tasting, and then, with mom's fashion show. To our amazement, her gift had returned! The halter fit perfectly, and really really looked great.
So own your gifts. Believe in yourself. Occasionally you may fail. But that's okay. Particularly if you can laugh about it.