What I wore: I was warned in advance by Mrs. Gardenwinkle that the Bedhead Hills Wasp and Skeet-Shoot Club has a "no jeans" rule in the dining room, but I had a lesson scheduled after lunch so I wore my riding clothes, consisting of freshly cleaned tall dress boots (courtesy of the expert polishing skills of the Bacon Provider), safari tan full-seat Pikeur breeches, black long-sleeved Ralph Lauren polo shirt, new Ibex zippered cardigan sweater, Baker-plaid-trimmed barn coat, black and white check scarf.
What I did beforehand: baked bread (I made the dough the night before)
Why I went: A number of Mrs. Gardenwinkle's year-end tax items came to the house, and I mailed them to her at her new condo. In return, I got a nice card in the mail, with her thanks, and the invitation to join her and a friend for lunch; she had written her email address in cursive just before she signed off, suggesting I reply that way.
|A hand-written card from the previous owner
Where I sat: in the seat I was offered, with the view of the covered patio and golf course
Things that were sad: my hosts greeted our server by his first name; his mechanical smile and polite reply reminded me of the obsequious servers at Busch's Grove, back in the St. Louis I grew up in, where white people felt no obligation to pretend not to be paternalistic in their racism.
Things that were funny: the wallpaper in the Ladies Lounge; listening to Mrs. Triumph and Mrs. Gardenwinkle talk about the Republican presidential candidates; the story of the homeless man in the Bedhead Hills Library
Things that were not funny: See "Things that were funny" and "Things that were sad."
What it is: I had a salad with grilled salmon on it. It was just the right size fillet and it was perfectly cooked. The cookie was smallish but freshly baked so the chocolate was melted. The cappuccino was made by one of those do-it-all machines, topped with a bland froth of tasteless milk foam and a tell-tale brown dot of machine-drizzled espresso in the middle.
Who should see it: I hope they invite me to something again. Mrs. Gardenwinkle isn't much like my mom (her taste is more like my mom's mom's), but they'd be the same age if my mom was alive.
What I saw on the way home: cars and trucks and bare naked trees
What I forgot to tell you: It's been bothering me for more than two weeks-- something discussed at lunch but I couldn't remember. Somehow it came out of the conversation about the Broadway smash-hit "Hamilton," but I didn't remember until yesterday. Mrs. Triumph was describing how to get tickets for a matinee, and Mrs. Gardenwinkle was saying that she'd heard it made sense to get the assisted hearing device because, "There are just so many words!" The topic then shifted to the ten dollar bill, with Hamilton's picture on it, and the possibility of a new design with a woman on the ten or the twenty, and Mrs. Gardenwinkle said, with feeling, "It's such nonsense! Why do they have to go and change who's on the dollars!?"
I've been stewing about it ever since, wondering what might make the most convincing argument. I said nothing at the time, though I'd like a bill with an American woman on it, and I think when we get one I will go to the bank to get a whole stack of them, to give out as tips.