Saturday, January 2, 2010


Babson Hurley says that one should never have their photograph appear in print unless it is an engagement announcement or an obituary. Of course, Babson's photo appears in our Weekly's Society pages almost monthly, but that is strictly because she is far too well mannered to grab the camera from Garret Richmond's hands and smash it to pieces. Babson does not 'pose' for a photograph. She is merely 'photographed', and the two are entirely different things. Naturally Garret seeks out Babson at every function and does his best to frame her in a nice shot. After all, there really is no one else in town as stylish and all together fabulous as Babson. So of course Babson's pixel's decorate many a party page.

But the point here is that there are those that seek attention and those that do not. And there are also those that do not seek attention but attention seeks them, such as Babs Hurley. But this point is not about Babson but about Constance Cortnoy, obviously. Constance, being the obvious sort that seeks at attention when attention clearly does not seek her.

Not that Constance is completely without merit. She's quite organized, from what I'm told. And I understand she also a very accurate speller. Eleanor Saunders once told Isabel that she, Eleanor that is, not Constance, dreamed of mistyping the words 'heretofore' and 'henceforward' throughout the Women's Club newsletter as an assault to Constance's keen sense for wordiness. I will immediately admit that I don't quite understand the strategy of Eleanor's assault. But, having known Constance for most of our lives I absolutely get the gist of it. Eleanor and Constance, as you may probably guess, once co edited the newsletter. Eleanor had had her proverbial fill, of Constance that is, not the newsletter.

But the point here, or heretofore, is that Constance Cortnoy is a seeker of attention. And though her attempts are most certainly made in earnest, they often miss their marks entirely. And that is exactly what I said to Isabel and Lolly when I met them for coffee at the Gryphon and told them of Constance's email to Missy Jamison.

Now Missy is a sweet enough old gal. But dim really as a room without a window. More to the point, the most peculiar thing is that Missy has absolutely nothing to do with investigative journalism, she merely scribbles the ins our outs of the charity events for The Weekly's Society page. Not that there is anything wrong with that. Why really, isn't her page - or pages to be more accurate as she usually culls about eight of them on any given week, the most anticipated and widely read in the paper. That is, of course, until the enormous popularity of my own works.

But why, we all asked. Indeed. It's that attention seeking thing about her, don't you see.

Now, as anyone within ear shot of our little Wayne knows by now, a tremendously well mannered and good tasted burglar has been rummaging thru the coffers of some very fine neighborhood homes. And, as Isabel, Lolly Desjardin, Iggy Braithwaite and I have detected in a sleuthlike manner - taking off with the hats best thought to be in line to win the Most Beautiful Hat Competition at this years Radnor Races Tailgate.

Why, any fool or even a nasty insurance man like Mr. Kuflick would eventually come to reckon, those who's hats had been lifted were obviously not the One lifting the hats. And I was just the day before telling Iggy how I'd explained this theory to my editor, Mr. Petigrew, when old Constance emails this scoop to none other than Missy Jamison. No doubt the prim stick overheard me, as she was sitting in the row ahead of us at a meeting for the 'tea cup' drive.

So slight me she did, and an intended slight it was. One might think that since Constance and I are both members of the Main Line Women's Organization and school mates from St. Ignatius Academy, that she would approach me with this scoop of hers. Instead, Missy Jamison ran the headline on the front page of the society column: "CORDUROY HAT GONE MISSING - FEARED HAT SNATCH BY GENTLEMAN BURGLAR" and continued in her column to quote a "sad faced Connie Corduroy lamented that she was obviously owning a stunner of a hat for the burglar to have stolen it."

Isabel, Lolly, Iggy and I all knew that Missy Jamison meant to quote Constance Cortnoy. And, further, that 'sad faced' is her perpetual look, unless you were to go with some other accurate adjectives such as 'crabby', 'constipated' or 'contrite'. Constances' face, that is, not Missy's. But, as I say, Missy is dimmer than the low switch and rarely pays attention to the correct spelling of a name, unless it is a truly important name. Like Babson Hurley.

Alas, with all the hubbub that Missy's column was sure to attract this week, I submitted my sure to be overlooked column:

Dear Veronica,
I suspect I've done something very bad. In fact, I know I've done something very bad, more than one thing. I very much want to make amends but my wife won't let me. I'm a bit afraid of her, you know. How should I go about this?
A good neighbor

Dear Neighbor,
You probably won't see this as I am sure that you, like everyone else, will be busy reading the Society column and how Constance Cortnoy's hat was snatched by that nice burglar. The headline refers to a corduroy hat, but I doubt it was actually made of corduroy. I don't think that Constance has worn corduroy since freshman year when some of the actives in the sorority made fun of her fire engine red corduroy pants. She stomped off to her room and telephoned her mother who immediately telephone the sorority alumnae board who immediately telephoned the chapter president who instantly did absolutely nothing. I do think Constance has learned her lessons on corduroy fabrics. Obviously it was just a mistype of her last name Cortnoy.
But back to your frightening wife and your misadventures. My guess is that you'll have to make your amends without your wife's knowing.
Yours sincerely,

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