A Rabbit, a Penguin, and Betty Boop walked into a bar - No, actually, they walked into a bookstore and visited a Harlot, but I'm getting ahead of the story.
Betty Boop (my penfriend Terry from Idaho) flew to Manhattan for a visit last week, and Rabbit (that's me) spent two days with her. We indulged ourselves shamelessly. We were gluttonous, greedy women -- but neither for food nor jewelry. Oh no! We went for yarns, pens, and books!
(Oy, did we indulge ourselves on pens and ink. I bought two pens, including this beauty, and enough ink to [insert writing goals here].)
If you are not a letter-writer, you probably are wondering whether two women who never met in person are really friends. Yes. Terry and I have been corresponding for 20 years, conversing and sharing as close friends do. Do not confuse the medium with the message. The medium -- pen and ink, e-mail, teletype -- is incidental. We are who we are. In our case, our favorite apparatus occasioned the splurge.
Where was I? Oh yes. Rabbit and Ms. Boop had a vegetarian dinner at Zen Palate. Then, they decided to visit the Yarn Harlot at Columbus Circle. They should have taken a taxi. By the time they reached Borders, the Harlot had finished her talk, but they bought books to be signed anyway.
"Look!" said Rabbit. "There's Helen of Troy!" Seriously. Helen (of Troy) was there to see the Harlot, too. I introduced my friends, and looked out at the crowd of knitters waiting to have their books signed.
Penguin Girl (Penny) had e-mailed to say that she might visit the Harlot that night as well. We had never met (in person). I'd seen pictures, but I'm not good at translating from 2-D to 3, and I do have the typical Rabbit skittishness about crowds. But I saw a small woman wearing a beautiful Logan River Wrap, and I intuited - and I was right! - that the woman was Penny.
So the Rabbit, the Penguin, and Betty Boop walked into a bar - no, actually, they walked into the Borders cafe, where they were joined by Helen of Troy and Helen's friends. A chatty and companionable time was had by all. My Rabbitty skittishness was eased greatly by a ginger cookie, British Breakfast tea, and the unmistakable scent of synchronicity: the near-random meeting of women, knitters and friends, occasioned by the witty and encouraging writings of The Yarn Harlot. It seemed, as they say, beshert.
What else did Terry and I do? We visited the Museum of Modern Art, where we met up with Penny, had another delightful tea-and-talk, and saw two exhibits. One, "Color Chart," did nothing for me. Except for Andy Warhol's inspired portraits of Marilyn Monroe, the entire exhibit looked (to me) like paint chips from Home Depot.
The other exhibit, "Design and the Elastic Mind," is described as an examination of "disruptive innovation." Just that phrase is enough to delight me, and I remain utterly enchanted by the honeycomb vase, created by one designer and 40,000 bees.
I don't allow any visitor to NYC to leave without a visit to Tiffany's. I love Tiffany's. I've never bought anything in the store, and probably never will - but - the old-world, easy elegance of that store charms me and amuses my abductees. As Terry said, "There's a little bit of Holly Golightly in us all." Definitely so.
Betty Boop has flown back to Idaho. The Penguin has returned to Brooklyn. Rabbit is back in her warren, but maybe now she'll be a little less reluctant to emerge.