We’re watching lightening fritz through the sky and hammer the hills around us. This is Southern California and a lightening storm is a novel sight.
Eight of us Art Guild Girls are sitting outside on a stone terrace, next to a undulating golf course, having lunch. The sky may be full of danger but as I am soon to find, there is more emotional danger at the table.
We ‘girls’ range in age from 40 to 80 plus, years old. We are the President of the Guild, on down through the ranks to The Sunshine Girl, which is me.
We do all the work that keeps the art meetings happening in town, we bring the demo artists that perform for all the local artists once a month, we bring in money, award scholarships to High School kids, keep the Art Library going, put on art shows and etc. We deserve a lunch at the end of the fiscal year and I have finally convinced my Guild friends that we do indeed need one.
The ladies ask me to order the wine. I order a bottle of red shiraz named ‘Layer Cake.’ How can one not order something with a name like that? And, I order a nice chardonnay.
We’re having a fun time. Oh sure, one lady has to tell us a story about a cat that she took on a trip that kept disappearing and we have to follow that darn cat through almost every state in the union. I keep saying, ‘So did it all work out OK?’ and she keeps saying, ‘I’m not through with the story yet,’ and everyone rolls their eyes and takes another lick of ‘Layer Cake.’
We’re eating and drinking and laughing and I’m thinking, ‘Oh, this lunch was such a good idea. We are all so happy together.’ Suddenly, ‘Ardath’ who is lost in her 70′s somewhere, looks at me and says says in her high-pitched wavey voice, “Oh Venus..you have such a won-der-ful personality! You have a fab-u-lous per-son-ality!”
I’m grinning and thanking her, “Thank you Ardath, that’s so sweet, thank you..” when she adds loudly, ‘But, that’s all you’ve got!”
“Are you always this way?” she asks.
Then, Ardath leans across the table and looks at me intently, as she shouts, “Are you Bi-po-lar?!” (more…)