Saturday, November 12, 2011

Yesterday I went to my friend Pepper's photo exhibit where he was getting an award. F had bumped into him earlier in the day and found out that the exhibition was in the big official building across from our house; he said I could just pop in on my way back from teaching class and give Pepper a hug. I thought about going home to change, but I didn't want to be late. So I walked in all shlumpa-dinka with my pony tail all frizzy and bumpy and weird and still in sweats and sneakers. Once I creaked open the heavy wooden castle doors, there was no point of return.

In the last row I found my friend from Canada and her two lovely daughters. Of course it was a photo exhibit in Italy so there were like fourteen long drawn out speeches before it got to the award part. All of Pepper's other friends looked classy and Italian-like. The girls were sitting as though they were in church, well behaved and with good posture. I tried to put an end to all that. I made a mouse out of my scarf and tried to see how far I could make it jump towards the gentlemen in the row ahead of me. I whispered to the older girl and forced her to make fashion drawings with me. I played a raucous game of finger wrestling with the little one until the man sitting right next to us had to ask me (in italian): "Is that your daughter?" I said that, no, I was just a friend. I gestured towards her mother who was sitting at the end of the row looking elegant and occasion appropriate. He then said to me "Oh, I get it, you're the nanny, right?" I said no. He said, "But you're South American, right? I said that, no, I'm the friend from New York. He was all like, "Are you sure you're not the nanny from South America?" And I said that I was pretty sure I'd be the first one to know if I were. He paused and then said, "I have a daughter in San Francisco." And then he moved his seat to be further away from me. Oh why didn't I go home to change first?

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