Yes, yes. The first lunch with the Board President, some 30+ years my senior. She used to play tennis all the time but she currently plays golf. Do I play? Oh, there is a wonderful ladies golf club I could join, she said, if I could find the time, but, no, of course I probably could not find it now. The time, that is.
This is the Little Town club at 12:15. Never noticed this place before, set along the fairly busy street. A private club dating back to about a century ago, for elite Santa Barbarian females. A nice place to stop for lunch in between shopping, on thier visits from Montecito. Not much has changed.
Heavy wood beams on the ceiling, beautifully hand painted, as are the panels in the great room. Palm fronds and such, carefully restored. The glass panes in the windows wave, as old glass is wont to do. Now this is a special room, she tells me reverently, the ladies' room, replete with fainting couches. I'd give my left breast to just be alone there for a nap. I wonder what they call the restroom? I hope it is the Powder Room, of course.
A thousand withered society ghosts observe me curiously. Whatever is she doing here?
The lunch conversation is perfectly controlled, as is the service. Until a few years ago, I'm told, the waitresses wore little blue and white uniforms, you know. Too many godamned utensils to choose from. The first plate is a fried tomato salad, with three perfect slices; one orange, one red, one green. So so. The entree is too small, but lovely. We exchange rigid conversation and perfect posture in the garden, at a table with a placard bearig her husband's name. The fingerbowls are brought out before dessert. You don't have to use them, of course. Oh, aren't we having some fun now?
I do believe I committed a faux pas by thanking our server. It is all about the tradition in this place. The sun beamed down on the crystal. Lanky women in neutral power suits floated betwixt the formal rooms. So very nice, we'll have to do this again soon. If only I could fill this place with my fantastic girlfriends, and copious glasses of red wine. Sigh.
I've never been happier to breathe car exhaust, upon my exit. Or to get out of my stockings that night. Now I understand why men tear off their neckties at the end of the day.
Such amusing monkeys, are we not?