I was typing in the address for Facehunter today and another website pops up: Facebook. Facebook on your computer screen can only of course mean one thing: there’s been a college student lurking on your keypad.
Of course, I know who the culprit is. About two weeks ago, I was visiting my sister Jennifer in London, where she is studying abroad. Jennifer has swiftly learned to call herself a “third year” and to call that thing you use in the bathroom “toilet roll.” I am praying each night that Jen doesn’t veer astray, in the direction of Insufferable American Who Doth Adopt Thy English Accent. I plan to someday warn my children about deceivers like that. “Stay away from people who affect accents, kids! They strangle puppies!”
I’ll have you know she’s an excellent host, my sister, sharing her hummus, carrot, and popcorn dinners, her Scrubs DVD’s, and her twin-sized bed. (Yes, we both slept in one twin-sized bed. Okay, that part is, perhaps, not the rosiest memory of the trip.)
What was very good was the cultural programming. We decided to see, in this order: The Seagull, Cryptogram, and Waiting for Godot. (Chekhov and Mamet and Beckett, oh my!) If this sounds like a depression-fest of existential angst, my response is I AM AWARE. What can I say? It made me feel nice and tingly in the belly.
The only other thing that you need to know about my trip to London is that I BOUGHT SOMETHING.
No, no my friends, don’t roll your eyes! Imagine not that I am merely indulging in my American, consumer-girl urges. This was no hedonistic pleasure ride, a whim to love and then cast aside, oh no no. This something was cheap (okay, cheap-ish), and most importantly, this was no Zara dress. It was something special.
It was a sunny Tuesday, Jen and I were wandering Soho trying to find a certain vintage store....
“Excuse me. We’re looking for Beyond Retro. We know it’s around here, but we don’t have the address. Sorry, you just... looked like you might know where it was,” I said, smiling so this girl would take my assessment as the compliment intended.
“Oh, my mate works there! Actually, I could take you!”
That was Coincidence #1.
10 minutes later, we had been led to the store by this adorable sprite of a vintage fairy, 20 minutes later, I had the bounty on my back: a coat from the 50’s that I’d scoped out a few days earlier. It had a soft, creamy fur collar, and on the inside left breast, the initials MAW.
“Feel it,” I told my sister. “It’s special.”
I did a quick Mary Tyler Moore before the mirror. And then zip, one swipe of the credit card and Mildred was mine.
(Oh, this coat is such a Mildred. Just wait till you see.)
Coincidence #2: A few days later, my sister emails me: “Look at Facehunter from October 17th.”
Posing on my screen was the vintage enabler, the girl who’d showed us the way, (second from bottom), and oddly enough, she’d helped us on the very day that picture was taken.