We have just spent the night in the fourth different bed in five nights. Thank God for friends.
I was hired for a new position in a newly created communications department of a long established association in the big city. My boss and I would be writing press releases, organizing events and publishing a monthly newsletter. I was twenty one and was going to get to write .
I bought a new wardrobe with my big time salary and a Mustang car. My desk was in front of a window with an unobstructed view of the Vancouver harbour. I was Mary friggin Tyler Moore and was going to take the world on with my smile.
On my first morning I met with the long time head secretary/office manager, let’s call her Midge Peabody. She explained the benefit package. They had medical but no dental. The staff voted down the dental package because none of them still had their teeth.
Every morning Midge would come in early, pour her coffee and open her newspaper to the obituary section. She checked the obituarys for her name to see if she was in fact alive and had to work that day.
In addition to Midge there was a Rose who couldn’t abide the German woman in the office down the hall cause you know, the war thirty years earlier.. Betty with the stout legs and support hose. She didn’t marry til her fifties when she met a beau at square dancing lessons.
Carolyn was an American who drove every day from Blaine. She was way too old to wear the inappropriately frilly dresses she chose.
Evelyn, my favourite, had the body of a ballerina. She wore her hair in an Audrey Hepburn bun and smoked cigarettes with an Audrey Hepburn like cigarette holder. She could do the splits wearing her Chanel suit. With her Rob Roy in one hand, cigarette in the other, she would slip off her heels hike up her skirt and slip to the floor not spilling a drop.
It was my first real exposure to older women as friends of mine, not my mothers. This eclectic group of women, all of whom were at least 30 years older than me were a gas. I learned so much from them and to this day can remember the gut laughing times we shared.
It occurs to me that I am now the older woman with an eclectic group of older women friends. Although I’m pretty sure we all still have our teeth we do have our idiosyncrasies. I’m okay with that.. the women in my life are amazing.
One morning, Midge stands up from her paper at her desk, takes her purse out of the bottom drawer gets her coat and walks past me. Apparently this was it. The day she had been waiting for. Her name, Midge Peabody was listed in the obituaries. She was taking
the day off