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Lunch with the Dog-Lady

April 7, 2006

Tuesday we had lunch with Dog-Lady. I say “we” because it was three co-workers and myself. My co-worker, Betsy, had met Dog-Lady in the park outside of our offices and since Betsy loves dogs and talks to everyone, she’d struck a conversation with Dog-Lady who owns Jack the standard poodle. A friendship had sprung immediately. Betsy just got a new job in D.C. and wanted us all to meet Dog-Lady before she leaves so that’s how it ended up that we had lunch with Dog-Lady.

The air was sunny and filled with floating petals as we walked across the street to Dog-Lady’s “condo” in a gorgeous old building in Mount Vernon. We had been warned that Dog-Lady was not a “less is more” kind of girl. No, she’s a more is more kind of girl. Her apartment rivals Versaille. We stepped into her sitting room that was painted a bright fuschia that had three gilded mirrors on three walls. One mirror was a recent acquisition that was so huge that when they removed it from it’s original apartment it had to be brought down on top of the elevator! Shelves lined the walls and were stacked with books. Chinese porcelain was stashed everywhere and the floors were layered with oriental rugs.

The dining room walls were painted black and she had toile fabric for curtains. A giant safe in the wall stored liquor (found original to the house when moving walls). The kitchen was a bright red, the bathroom had knockoff van Goghs everywhere, even over the shower. The bedroom even had a secret doorway in the bookshelf! Jack the poodle loved me scratching his neck and Jasper the huge cat sunned himself on the back of a chair.

Dog-Lady had made a delicious Indian lunch for us: chicken on rice with various toppings of nuts, coconut, peach chutney, and scallions. We sat in the fuchsia room and listened to her tell funny stories and talk about how she got her first job in the CIA.

“Back when I was young,” Dog-Lady said (she must be pushing 70), “there were three things for a girl to do. Be a teacher, a nurse, or a secretary.” Dog-Lady wasn’t interested in that and ended up making a CIA career for herself. Of course, she couldn’t tell us any of those stories. We just had to be content knowing she’d been to Japan, Germany, London, and Milan, to name a few.

Unfortunately, we eventually had to go back to work. But in my line of work, you’re always meeting interesting people (very interesting people). I hope to see Dog-Lady again out in the park and say hi.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. April 7, 2006 3:17 pm

    Was it the safe or the liquor that was found original in the house? 🙂

    Couldn’t resist. What a fun adventure.

  2. April 7, 2006 4:57 pm

    What a vivid vignette you’ve just written. I love your descriptive pieces, you know. My favorite thing in that house would have been the secret door in the bookcase. Very Nancy Drewish, huh?
    I often wonder how many old people make up stories about having worked for the CIA. I mean, c’mon, you can say “I can’t tell you about that, though, in detail, ” when really they mean, “I led a boring life in Nebraska, and since I can’t remember much because of my old age, I willjust let all of us sit here and think about my glamourous, albeit fictitious, life!” I met a woman who said she worked for the CIA and threw lavish dinner parties for American spies, but all she could tell us was what she served for dinner. Yeh, right. She, too, had been to Japan, Germany, and Milan. “)

  3. April 7, 2006 7:31 pm

    Yes, I do know who you are! You’re the gorgeous red head that’s remarkably stylish and has a wonderful voice! Thanks for commenting on my blog. It’s all so embarrassing and true! I love this story by the way and I really want that lady’s place. We’ll have to get together sometime 🙂 Beth

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