Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Heart of Hearts

This was quite a memorable Valentine’s weekend. It was time for David to check back in to the White House, and I had an appointment with my dentist – both in D.C. When I found my dentist Brad Schneiderman, some 25 years ago, we were just kids working our way through new careers. He went to school for his career study, I went to Iowa for the Presidential primaries. As with so many people who did not have pediatric dentists, my fears about that chair and all the procedures, were not rational. In other words, I had to be medicated even for a cleaning. Imagine my relief when I confessed all this to Brad, and he said, “OK, but I have to charge you for the gas.” Anyway, I told him that he was not allowed to retire until I died – so that is where I go for tooth issues.

Maybe I buried the lead. Once a year my pal Mike Berman has a Valentine’s Day luncheon party for his “girlfriends”. No one can agree on when they started but it was somewhere between 15 and 34 years ago. And the size has grown from about six of us at a small restaurant, to about 100 of us at the Four Seasons Hotel. It is one of my favorite events of the year. It’s great to see Michael, a friend for many years. It is equally fun to catch up with women friends who I now see about once a year, and to make new friends with people Michael has added, depending on circumstances, and an occasional client. And, as can only happen in Washington, it is the hottest ticket in town. Everyone knows about it and if you aren’t invited, you think you should have been. Anyway, (again), it is not a party I would ever miss, regardless of my location.

We stayed with Steve and Janie, part of the family we created when we moved away from our hometowns – Boonton and Salt Lake City. It was a weekend of non-stop laughs, which started at Argia, a terrific neo-American restaurant in Falls Church, Va. (Yes, there are great places in suburban Washington).

As is our custom on Chinese New Year, we went to our favorite place for dim sum, Mark’s Duck House. For years I have been giving all of the employees, from Chinese wait staff to Hispanic busboys, a beautiful ‘good luck’ envelope – which includes a simple good luck freshly printed, crisp dollar bill. They all appreciate the fact that I remember, and that I go out of my way to find the loveliest envelopes that are made—which I can usually find in China Town in NYC. It is always better to have many people at this food feast -- breakfast/brunch/lunch, so it is an opportunity to see other members of our very special family. It seemed even more important to gather this group, this, the first year we no longer live in Virginia. Kind of an assurance to people we love that we will not disappear from their lives. Unfortunately, not everyone we wanted to join us could be there, but there is always another new year.

And the icing on the cake, for these yearly events, was that Davey posted, (as he has for too many years to confess) a love note for me on the Washington Post Valentine page). Since we live in New York, it’s a good thing we were visiting. There used to be an entire section, a dozen single spaced pages, now it is only a single half page. It is a happy repeated memory for me, but now mixed with a sadness about the lack of expressions of love on the other eleven 1/2 pages, no longer existing sentiments.
(Soon to be a blog about my theory of why they disappeared.) But for now…. We’re just sayin’…. Iris

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