Let me tell you about Emily. We met last fall at her factory in Long Island City, where, daily, she performs miracles of upholstery for the wealthy, famous and occasional stragglers like ourselves who wander in. Extravagantly well-educated, well-read and well-bred, she is one of the most interesting people you could ever want to know. And it gets better: she likes chickens! We bonded rather quickly over hens and headboards, but then, wouldn’t anyone?
During our recent visit to NYC, Angie and I met Emily for lunch. Luckily, it was during those few beautiful spring days before the temperatures dipped back down into the 40’s and we basked in an idyllic sunny afternoon on the terrace of Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s restaurant, Nougatine, overlooking Columbus Circle and Central Park. We learned that in addition to running her upholstery empire and managing a family, (I’m guessing the former is a piece of cake compared with the latter), Emily is an intrepid traveler with a return visit to Iceland coming up this summer. She is also an accomplished artist and jewelry designer. Sometimes I get the impression that in this world, talent does not get evenly distributed, but if someone has to get all of it, I don’t mind that it’s her.
An afternoon with Emily is a gift in and of itself, yet yesterday, a “thank you” package arrived from her. Inside was a book, the description of which sounded oddly familiar; while we swapped “life stories”at lunch, Emily told us how a chance meeting with a former college beau and then a second chance meeting, had led to a series of definitively intentional meetings, which led to marriage and happily-ever-after. And, in fact, apparently, this book IS that story. Of course, since truth is so much stranger than fiction, and no one could possibly believe in such a felicitous outcome, the book is necessarily written in the form of a novel, by Emily’s husband, Philip B. Persinger. To learn more, go to: http://www.persinger.com/
Also inside the package was a card featuring a pitch-perfect drawing of Amelia! I will admit that I danced around with it for a full joyful minute before collecting myself and remembering that grown women of my age do not do such things. Especially women whose age is about to alarmingly advance. Emily could not possibly have known that tomorrow is my birthday, and yet, she sent what will most certainly be one of the best possible gifts I could hope for.