First of all, I ITCH. I am slightly allergic to spiders, and when one of my little house spiders bites me, the site swells up madly, and itches unbearably. And continues itching after the swelling goes down. So I'm sitting here clawing madly at my arm, this morning's recipient of a spider bite. Mosquito bites I scratch a couple of times and they go away, but a spider bite itches for at least two days and drives me nuts.
So tonight was Sarah's second birthday party...that's as opposed to the filet de perche dinner in France - and we had the best time. It was even a P.S. 41 and Greenwich House daycare reunion of sorts, given the number of the old gang who turned up. I am MORE than in favor of this keeping up with the gang stuff, on account of I have friends from fifty years ago and more, and count them as my best assets...face it, who is better equipped to deal with one's occasional self-dramatizations than people who've known you since you were 13 years old?
Toward the end of this delightful occasion, distinct weirdness occurred. We had been sitting in the garden of a perfectly lovely bar on Avenue C when it started to rain seriously (we had had some minor spits, which we ignored), so we went into the part of the garden which had a canopy. Since there were a LOT of us, we sort of took over the whole area...except for an elderly lady (I should say in her seventies or thereabouts) who sat right down with us with her beer and cigarettes.
I found myself sitting next to her at one point and thought, oh, well, here's a lonely person, and introduced myself and asked her name, which happened to be Mary. Hoo boy, should I ever have ignored her. Mary was only too happy to have someone to talk to, which she proceeded to do. I politely asked what she did (or, given her age) what she had done.
It turned out that Mary came from a long line of...well, not undertakers...but sort of midwives for the dead, in that she worked her way through college preparing bodies for burial and eventually worked for the morgue. She had a great deal to say on the subject. She actually had WAY too much to say on the subject. She then proceeded to tell me the history of the Jews. Which I thought was even odder, since she had informed me that she was not Jewish. (Oh, don't ask how we got there...I don't know either.)
I finally got away from Mary and the dead bodies and raced over to Sarah to tell her this bizarreness...to which my child's reaction was a large goofy grin and the remark: "This is the best birthday EVER!"
I am now officially creeped out. But it was a terrific party. Except for strange elderly ladies with a thing for dead bodies.