This Fourth of July weekend I attended a fabulous wedding at the fabulous Liberty Hotel for my dear friend whom I have known since we were four. It is lovely at this age, to be able to go to “the wedding of someone I actually love,” (as quote in Four Weddings and a Funeral). And the Liberty Hotel having been converted from a former penitentiary, has a unique historical appeal. I wore a new dress to this wedding: (cue amusing story about my mother).
In the event that I buy a dress needing some minor alterations, my mother will step in. We are descended from a long line of seamstresses, but sadly, I find myself at this age only able to sew a button and possibly, a hem. My mom was en route to her 45th college class reunion outside Boston several weeks ago on a Friday and she offered to take me to lunch and to help do a small alteration on my dress. The front of this wrap style dress just needed to be stitched so I wouldn’t flash the entire crowd at the wedding. After enjoying a nearby sushi lunch, my mom came back to the office with me. I showed her where the garment was hanging in the coat closet and told her I would go find a conference room for her to complete the task. She tried to get me to try on the dress but I told her I didn’t think that would be necessary.
My mother has some very democratic ideals. She believes that all work is noble and that no work is beneath her. It did not matter, for example that she was the owner of her family’s restaurant, because no filthy task at the banquet hall was beneath her, (provided she could carry out her other tasks hygienically afterward). While very admirable, the only problem with this particular value set is that, if she is able, she will often do things like spontaneously fold laundry at the home of friends, or serve her own coffee at diners. It is probably for this same reason that when I returned to the front coat closet, she was sitting inside on the floor, already mid stitch. Suddenly, I envisioned our high-profile clients, meeting in conferences rooms just around the corner, stumbling upon this seamstress sitting cross-legged on the closet floor where they had stored their things. When I insisted that she get up off the floor, she said: “Oh no, I’m fine here”. And when I insisted further, she actually looked annoyed at my interrupting her work. Well, I escorted her to a conference room and not a minute later, one of our company’s guests walked into the coat closet to retrieve a brief case. I think I spared him quite the surprise.