Yesterday I met Trish Foley, a great friend and former colleague at Victoria, for lunch and an afternoon of theater. We had lunch at Orso, a place known for individual pizzas, and it reminded us both of our photo shoots when pizza was the cuisine of the day--and night. Chinese food got its licks in, too. This pizza is sliver thin and has lovely fresh basil atop.
The play was based on Ilene Beckerman's Love, Loss, and What I Wore. I think I spotted a couple of husbands in tow, but it was a girl's afternoon out, for sure. Mostly, it is funny and familiar--like all the stuff we carry around in our handbags. There were a few poignant moments based on stories contributed by women who were not in the book. Tyne Daly, a Tony award-winning actress, presented the little drawings of outfits from the book and told the author's story. Trish and I laughed along with everyone else at the related moments of costume disaster. Some of you may remember when we covered Ilene's unique art in Victoria. Maybe a few in the audience discovered her in our pages.
Before meeting Trish, I stopped to have a pair of glass frames adjusted. I may be a dainty lass about some things, but when it comes to eyeglasses--I might as well be King Kong. In my handbag, along with all the lipsticks, pens, and other things I was to hear about in a few hours, I had a proof of the cover of My First Best Friend. Trish's picture with her best friend, Celeste, is on the back cover--two young girls on a beach walk on Long Island. And I wanted to share it with her. The young woman who helped me is my favorite of the opticians who are there to either fit you with new glasses or keep the ones you have operational. She knows me well! I decided to show her what my specs have been focused on lately. And she mentioned that she had a first best friend story, too. Since I'm hoping to continue the dialogue on this marvelous subject with a web site, I was anxious to hear her story. It was one that stopped me in my tracks and ended up with us hugging each other.
My optician is from another country, coming here as a young child. Her parents were divorced when she and her sister were very, very young. The children were divided. Coming to America with her father, M., I shall call her, entered school. And on that first day, she met her first best friend--the sister she had lost when the parents separated. "When I heard my last name, I responded," she said, "and so did another girl in the class." Providence untied two sisters who have been inseparable since. They are both young moms and enjoy each others families so very much.
You can imagine how fast my heart was beating. While I wish I had found this story while I was still collecting memories of first best friends, I was reminded, yet again, of the power of love and connection. Like Victoria, My First Best Friend, was a labor of love for me, in more ways than one. If you have a story, wait until the web site or blog for the book goes up. I'd adore hearing about the special power of friendship in your lives.