Italy was fantastic, and perhaps I will detail it later in the week; in Florence, I attended an Edith Wharton conference. I came home with a touch of Roman Fever* (a cold, really) so since I’m feeling a bit under the weather and jet laggy, it’s a good time to amuse you with a(n almost verbatim) phone message from a relative who said I could share the message here as long as she remains anonymous. You never know when you’re going to come across another Wharton person.
Hey, it’s me. I have a kind of funny story to tell you. I don’t know if it’s going to translate as funny, but – so, I was listening to your message and it was, like, a really long message because you were giving me your whole itinerary and I was in line at Target getting, like, some vegetables or something. So I’m listening and listening and listening. I’m on the phone just listening to your message. I’m not saying anything, obviously, because I’m just listening to the message. I go through – there’s one whole person in front of me who goes through all their stuff; I’m still listening. Then we get up to my things, and we’re still listening, so I say to the cashier, “I’m just listening to a message.” Right? And she’s like, “That is a long message!” I was like, “I know, I know, but I’m getting this itinerary – (laughing)” And then, I don’t know why – I was with [my husband] and I started to convey to him what the message was about. I was like, “Oh, Michelle’s telling me her itinerary because we were thinking maybe we could go out and meet each other while she’s in Italy and I’m in Germany and we’re just trying to see if there’s any overlap and then she’ll be in Florence and then in Rome and then the Edith Wharton conference is this night.” So, like, I’m giving him this whole thing, so then the cashier jumps in again and says, (pauses) “Edith Wharton? The author?” (laughing) So then it went into, like, this whole conversation about how she’s going to school to be a journalist, but she wants to be a war correspondent. And she’s really into history. She was a journalism major, but she really loves Edith Wharton. And she was like, “But she’s so depressing.” It was like the craziest thing. We had our own little Edith Wharton conference at Target in the checkout line. So it was hilarious and it was all your fault (laughing), and the bottom line is, you’re right, we are not going to be out there anytime close to each other. So unless I flew out early by, like, a week, we’re not going to see each other. But that’s a very amusing thing – at least it was to me – and I tried to convey it to you on this now very long message. So if you’re at Target and you’re listening to this, let me know what happens.
*get it? (bad joke)