How often do you have a perfect day? Never, that’s when.
So, I was completely shocked to have a perfect day on Wednesday. It went like this, although the sequence has been jumbled.
In the early evening, I met my old friend Mary Jo for drinks at the Algonquin. Mary Jo knew me when I was young, she knew me before I had kids, she was the first visitor at the hospital after our daughter was born. We talked and drank astronomically priced drinks (you have to pay through the wazoo for that kind of high-tone literary atmosphere, I found out; how, on earth did the hard drinkers at the Round Table afford it?).
Then we set off through the midtown throngs to get to a theater to see Love, Loss and What I Wore. I’d loved the book of the same name by Ilene Beckerman and greatly admire the show’s authors Nora and Delia Ephron. Tyne Daly, Rosie O’Donnell and Samantha Bee were in the rotating cast of actresses who performed that night for an audience of mostly women of a certain age, so, naturally, I felt right at home. It was funny, it was poignant and it was divine. I just wished my daughter could have been there, too, since it’s a perfect mother-daughter event.
Then, to end the perfect day, I went back to our apartment, where my husband had roses and champagne waiting. This, believe me, doesn’t happen on a regular basis.
But it happened Wednesday night because my agent had called in the late afternoon to tell me she’d received an offer on my novel. An offer on my novel from a wonderful, enthusiastic editor who loves the book. What can I say? I was delirious.
Another day, I’ll take it apart. I’ll start to worry about everything, since that’s what happens when a book’s going to be published. You get your wishes fulfilled one day, then wake up to a host of new problems and complaints the next. I know. I’ve been through it before.
But not on Wednesday, the perfect day, when I wore a beige shell with a taupe sweater and black knit pants and a scarf. I felt loved and happy and I celebrated. The losses and hangover could come on another day. On a perfect day, you don’t have time for them.
(Copyright 2009 by Ruth Pennebaker)
Read one of my favorite earlier posts: What? Now they give you a present just to give birth?
I’m so glad you had a perfect day. I wish you more of them. And we’ll have to gather at the Algonquin and toast our books.
I’m so envious of your life in NY.
Congratulations on your perfect day and I cannot wait for your book to be published.
I’m off to Texas for the first time ever next week and will be thinking of you.
The perfection is only possible for people that appreciate it.
So very happy for your great news.
We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us. E.M. Foster
Boy, just the book deal would have been enough for me! Good thing you documented this fabulous day!
Thank you both. Lorna, where are you going in Texas? Suzy, you’re talking $18 drinks.
Wonderful Wednesday; Congratualtions Ruth!
Great news Ruth. You’ll have them re naming the Dorothy Parker chair at the Algonquin at this pace
Congratulations, Ruth, on your latest book deal! That’s fantastic. Soon we’ll all be saying “we knew you when.”
I’m headed to Fort Worth for a couple of days and then to Houston to see the Space Center. Unfortunately, we won’t have time for Austin, I’d love to see it.
Is it bad that I’d like to go to a rodeo? Does that make me a terrible tourist or can I put that down as being interested in the Texan culture?
Mazel tov, Ruth! It couldn’t happen to a better writer! I love reading about your NY experiences (exploits?) and hope to get back there soon (Hallie decided NYC is a cool place, so she is anxious to go back too–though last time, the M&M store in Times Square was her favorite haunt.)
Thanks to you all. Lorna — Of course you should go to the rodeo, as long as you pronounce it the Texas way, RO-dee-oh.
Congratulations, Ruth!! This is such exciting news! I can’t wait to read your book. You are an awesome writer. Please keep me informed, so I can buy it and tell everybody I know to do the same.
Ruth! Great news! When where does book come out?
Probably winter of 11.
Congratulations Ruth! Can’t wait to feast my eyes on your novel!
As I said via email … congratu-friggin-lations.
Excellent! Consider yourself hugged.
A day doesn’t get much better than that one, whatever the price of the drinks. I raise a virtual glass to the future of your novel and look forward to reading it.
I hope it is not too late to add my congratulations to the many you have already received… Does the novel have a title yet?
You’re never too late, Duchess. The current title is What Did I Do to Deserve This?
Congratulations on all counts, but I think the roses & champagne from hubby is the real clincher that made it a Perfect Day.
I think it was the reputations of those hard drinking Round Tablers of the ’20s that eventually elevated prices. As their reputations rose to mythological heights so did prices on the bill of fare.
My brother attended an American Library Association symposium in NYC back in the ’80s. During his stay in NYC, he wanted to soak up some atmosphere in the Algonquin’s Oak Room. So while communing with the literary ghosts, he had to content himself with a dinner of tossed salad and one martini. Price: $78. Ka-ching, back then!