I tried to think of her name and couldn’t, but remembered she was someone who’d been in one of the creative writing classes I took.
“Oh, hello,” I said. “How are you?”
“I’m fine,” she answered. “Same old stuff. Are you here visiting?”
I nodded my head, smiling.
“It must seem so boring here after the way you live,” she said.
I didn’t get it.
“What way do I live?” I asked, laughing.
“Why, in New York! I dream of living there, without my family, I’d be in heaven. All of the fancy restaurants, the nightlife, well I can’t even imagine.
“Are you still at the same magazine?” she asked, then sensed my confusion. “Mademoiselle! We all knew that you were going to work at Mademoiselle someday. We’d heard you were hired as soon as you graduated from college. We were all jealous.”
I started to laugh again, adjusting my packages.
“Right! Mademoiselle. No, I was only there a year. I live on a farm now, about an hour from here,” I said.
“Wow! What an awful shock that must have been, going to a farm after the excitement of living in New York City!”
She grimaced at the thought.
“I guess the job wasn’t all that it was cracked up to be?”
“No, it really wasn’t,” I said, smiling.
“Well listen, it was great seeing you again, Philipa. See you next year at our fifteen year reunion!”
“Fifteen? How’s that possible? It was nice seeing you, too.”
She waved as she walked away.
Looking for my mother and mother-in-law, I’d had enough shopping. Suddenly, I missed my husband and our children. I missed the farm, its rolling topography and the small, quaint outbuildings Wax build around the property. Our house was old and rambling, drafty in the winter and hotter than ever in the summer. The furniture was beat from the abuse of the bodies of four little boys. My hair was still a mess. My days revolved around Wax and our boys. But I had the most exciting life I could have ever imagined.
Excerpt from Mademoiselle by Suzanne Jenkins
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