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.