‘Where Can I Hear Your Lectures, Mary Fons?’

posted in: Story, Work 12
No, it’s not Impressionism. It IS art, however, and we look great! “Two Ladies in the Cafe” by Kirchner, c. 1928. Image via Wikipedia.


We’re sitting at a legendary cafe in Paris in the coolest arrondissement. I don’t know which one that is, but in this fantasy, you and I hang out there all the time. We’re so cool as Americans in Paris, we like don’t even remember the name of the street we’re on. In a good way.

It’s springtime. Arborial perfection is blooming all around us, hedges are full and lush again — it’s just ecstasy in flowers, in France, everywhere you look. The whole world is an impressionist painting. What I’m trying to say is that in this fantasy, the world is pretty and we are cool. Also, we are drinking the best cafes au lait of our lives.

Also we’re both fabulously wealthy and neither of us have health insurance problems or student loans (or whatever it is you’re stressing about right now.) On top of all that, you, my dear, have never looked better. And I tell you so.

“You’ve never looked better,” I tell you. You demure, but you know it’s true. Our extremely hot waiter is shamelessly hitting on me and he presently brings us our millefeuille. Our other waiter, who is the (equally hot) brother of the first waiter, brings us a more sparkling water.

“Will zere be anyzing else, mademoiselles?” they both say together, which is weird, but also charming.

“Non, non,” we say, and flit them away. Silly boys. We are women with things to talk about

“Mary,” you say, and you lean in. “Everyone’s all aquiver about these lectures you gave at QuiltCon.

“Oh?” I say, and stir a sugar lump into my cafe au lait, making sure my pinkie is very straight. “Is that the word on the chapeau?” 

You look confused.

“Mary, a chapeau is a hat. Do you mean promenade, perhaps? The word on the promenade?” 

I nod vigorously, nearly knocking off my chapeau. 

“Indeed, that is the word out there, that you are quite the lecturer, Miss Fons. Of course, I’ve known it all along. You’ve been giving great lectures for years!”

“You are my best friend,” I say, and we cry and hug. I love you so much. What would I do without you?

“But Mary,” you say, as the hot waiter’s hot brother slips you his mobile number when he drops the check. “Mary, where can I see these lectures? I wasn’t at QuiltCon and you’ve decided to not take any more road gigs now that you’re Editorial Director of Quiltfolk and working on other Very Big Projects That Cannot Be Announced At This Time. Whatever shall I and the rest of your adoring public do?” 

I pat your hand and point to the hot waiter’s hot brother’s phone number which is burning a hole in the tablecloth, that’s how hot he is; I tell you how the young man is clearly in love with you and this perks you right up.

Then I say, “My darling bosom buddy — and all my adoring fans. You’ll just have to wait a little while. I promise you I’ll be lecturing again soon. But not yet. And I can’t put a taped version of my lectures on the internet because it’s just not the same! I love lecturing almost more than anything, so you have to trust me that I’ll either be back on the road in some kind of incarnation or —”

“Or??” you say, and I can tell your heart’s beating fast. “Or what?!”

I sit back in my pretty chair in my pretty dress and smile a benevolently conspiratorial smile. “Or I’ll find a way to give you all my energy, information, passion, and humor in another form of media. You’ll see.”

“You beast,” you say, and throw your head back and laugh a throaty laugh. (In this fantasy, the two of us are always throwing our heads back and laughing throaty laughs.) “I do hear you’re quite funny,” you continue, and you reach for your sexy lipstick. A pause, and then:

“Mary, all I wanted to know was about your lectures and where I might be able to see or hear them. Why did you set us up as young, single women in Paris with all the flowers and the hot waiters and the crying?”

“Why on Earth not?” I say, and raise a forkful of millefeuille to my lips.


12 Responses

  1. Becca G
    | Reply

    Ah Marie( french sounding) zee hotie brothers need to have an even hotter older single wealthy Uncle ( approx 63) because the brothers are much to young for me.
    Ooh lala.

  2. Mary Ann
    | Reply

    I wasn’t able to get to your lecture but the hall talk was all agog! So I will just have to keep hanging around til you give us the scoop.

  3. Karen Morrell Johnson
    | Reply

    I can TOTALLY see us together at that cafe in Paree, sipping cafe ablaut and being fabulous!

  4. Marianne ten Kate
    | Reply

    I was at QuiltCon for both lectures and they were great. Moving, informative, and highly entertaining. Honestly, we ALL laughed and cried; not in equal measure – but at all the right times! It sounds like a cliche, but Mary’s journalistic angle, punchy graphics and high energy delivery were captivating. Rush to see her when your and her schedules allow!

  5. Nan Wilson
    | Reply

    Made my day! I’m off to teach my own class with a grin.

  6. Patti-Ann Kubacki
    | Reply

    Why on earth not? Exactly. I can’t wait to see what happens and when and how we will have your lectures.

  7. Jo
    | Reply

    Mary, I read this while having my coffee this morning…I was there with you and your BFF and you are right, the waiters were hot!

  8. Anita Brayton
    | Reply

    I must advertise. Mary will be at Bayside Quilters of the Eastern Shore, Easton, MD on April 11, 2018. Check our website: Baysidequilters.com and look at the newsletters for details.

    I heard her in 2017 Quiltcon. On my way out of the lecture I was texting the Programs chair to book Mary. Only available date was in April, 2018!

    The girl can talk!

  9. Georgia O'Neal
    | Reply

    OOOHH may wee mon cher !!! I hope to be the wise aged pne sitting at ze table !!! But honestly Mary, it is VERY cold where I am – can you please cover the sock monkey – just a leetle ? Merci

  10. Emilio
    | Reply

    It’s the 7th Arrondissement! It’ll happen soon!!!

  11. HelenMarie Marshall
    | Reply
  12. Jay
    | Reply

    As a male fan, I’m not sure I’d be so thrilled with the waiter, but I’ll take a French pastry and listen to your stories any day, Paris or not. And don’t make your lectures available on the internet! This is *your* work and *your* time and you should be well compensated for it! If everyone knows they can watch your lecture on YouTube a week later, there’s less incentive to spend money and come see you in person. Congratulations on a successful job at Quilt Con. Hopefully more of us can make it next year to hear you speak!

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