Thursday, January 05, 2006

Such a little girl

It's LilyB's birthday today. I hope she forgives me for posting the only picture of her I could find on the internet. It's not bad but it's not her at her best, she's a very polished young lady and this is, I think, a face book picture from college. I'm not 100% sure but I think she must be turning 23 today.

I have known Lily since before she was in grade school. Back then the favorite story about her was this:

Teacher: Where did you get those beautiful blue eyes?
LillyB: Bloomingdale's.

Come to think of it, that's still a pretty popular story about her. However, we have a lot more to go on now. I'll just tell a personal one from my experience to commemorate her day.

About 3 years ago LilyB was studying in Paris and her sister, Quewlkat, was studying in Rennes. It was the perfect opportunity to spend some time in France and see them both. I stayed with other friends there but saw LilyB a lot. One day I asked her to help me shop for the people at home, and for myself. She's a whiz at this, she learned to bargain at her mother's knee and she's only gotten better as time has worn on. So we compared and we thought and we tried on and we had clerks call other stores and, of course, we purchased. At one point we were looking at bags and I was, apparently, wearing the wrong coat with which to truly appreciate the colors in the bags in question so Lily made me wear her lovely, tasteful trench coat and then sling the bag over my shoulder to see how it worked. And by bag I mean about 10 bags in different combinations of colors until we were absolutely sure I had the right one.

We also explored. KarenTenK's husband's family used to own a chocolate store so we found it and we bought some treats for ourselves and then wanted a place to sit and keep talking while we enjoyed them. We ended up walking down some steps and along a path to a bench beside the Seine. We sat there, huddled in the slight chill, sharing bon bons out of a paper bag and we talked. I have no clue what we talked about. School, work, her family, my family, life after college, the boyfriends, whatever. And at some point a little voice in my head pulled on my brain's sleeve and said, "Hey! You're sitting here having a regular old conversation with Lily beside the Seine!" And I was. Lily, who I have known since she was 4 or maybe 5 when I had just moved to New York. Lily who has made me happy and proud and has broken my heart. Lily who has been instrumental in teaching me what the truth really sounds like. And here we were in Paris, sitting beside the Seine, just chatting like that was normal.

I want to do it again. And someday I'm sure we will.

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