|Silver Fork Necklace|
Well, I hate to be the one to tell you this, but we all need a little touching up now and then. So with appointments made all we had to do was get there. When I called the shop I told Kathy we would probably need the whole morning…we need of a lot of attention. In fact I’m sure she thought I was kidding when I said we needed to clear out all the inauspicious energy (that’s a Feng Shui term for you non-Zen believers) we’d stored up since our last girl trip.
We check into the Historic Excelsior House on West Austin and are escorted to room 214, The Lady Bird Johnson Room. Besides us, other short time famous guests included Ulysses S. Grant, Oscar Wilde, and of course Lady Bird Johnson. Our room is located across the street from the historically renowned haunted Jefferson Hotel. Just so you know the Jefferson Hotel was NEVER a choice for the two of us. In fact we didn’t even want to look toward the place for fear one of the “permanent guests” might see it was “us” and try to squat in our room. Not gonna happen!
Unpacked we walk the streets, proud to be a tourist. And proud we were, there was not an architectural structure with a door on it, we didn’t venture into. After a few drop in’s, we noticed a definite theme in all the little shops. Whether it was a gift shop, jew’ry shop, sweet shop, or junk shop, when you walked in, a statuette caught our attention. In each store it was always black, however, in some stores it had a black collar and in others it had a purple one. Imagine a black 20-inch cone shape object, wider at the bottom, towering to a point at the top and on the very top was a stuffed black cat head.
Ruby J and I surmised the town has a strong following of some sort. Maybe the blacK Kat Kollar was a symbol to “other’s” that they were members (black collar) or high priest’s (purple collar) of the organization. Our inqusitiveness got to be a challenge, and we were not let down. Every establishment we entered, within 30 seconds, the statuette was sighted. We got brave and started asking the shop owners what it was. We never saw but the one statuette in any store, so they weren’t selling them. Here’s the strange part, everyone we asked gave a different answer. Some didn’t even remember how it got there; just that it was or always had been-there. Now we are really creeped out and start thinking we’ve asked way too many questions and are looking over our shoulders as we make our way back to the hotel.
Night comes as we lay and talk about the ghostly spirits we know are lurking across the street. Then we settle on the notion that Lady Bird Johnson would never allow them in her room, so we rest peacefully. Morning comes and we can hardly wait to be beautified. We linger over a wonderful breakfast on the hotel’s garden terrace, not wanting to ever leave THIS setting. It’s a beautiful flower garden, butterflies, song birds, white linen table clothes and orange juice in champagne glasses. Can life get better than this very moment? Why yes! Remember the inauspicious energy? Coming back to reality, we down any last drops of coffee and we are off to beauty land.
Beauty and the Book is the perfect size for cozy girl time. We get there a little early and are the only customers there. We have to touch everything-twice. Oh yow, this is our kinda candy store. We were pampered, entertained, de-stressed, polished, brushed and combed for almost 4 hours. Kathy entertained us with her wit, literary passion and beauty skills as we were taken to a whole other girl-beauty world. We laughed, made fun of, praised, gawked, and ooo’d and awed with each new treasure. That’s when it happened. I didn’t see it, but Ruby J can be a very sly, sneaky woman when she wants to be. I mean the whole shop can’t be more than 300 square feet. Salon on one end, books on the other and eye candy in the middle. I never saw it coming and surly was not prepared to respond.
Starved, we leave our little bit of heaven, and say our thank you’s and goodbyes to our new best friend Kathy. We saw a wonderful little eatery with French sidewalk table ambiance just down the street so that’s where we end up, still talking and reminiscing. Sitting outside drinking refreshing herbal ice tea, Ruby J says, “Venus, I bought you a present.” Surprised, I say, “Me?” After all I had been with her all morning and never saw her buy a thing. Ruby J responds, “Yes, you-nit wad, but I don’t know if you will like it.” I’m thinking have I ever NOT liked anything you gave me, gees. Ruby J continued, “But, well it’s a, it’s a fork necklace Venus.” I sat there for what seemed like FOREVER trying to have a positive reaction. Finally I said (trying not to laugh or show the “you got me a what” emotion), “Ruby J, I’ve never had a fork necklace that is so sweet.” “Now if you don’t like it, we can take it back, or I’ll keep it,” Ruby continued. My mind is racing as I try to grasp what, why, and has Ruby J had a stroke? Quick, what’s the stupid acronym for signs of a stroke….I can’t think that fast, is it raise your arm, stick out your tongue, buy your friend a fork necklace?
Ruby J pulls out a small bag and lays it on the table. I feel bad because I didn’t buy her anything, but not that bad. I look at the bag, like maybe it needs to marinade there for a while until it turns into another jew’ry type utensil, like a silver necklace. Looking at me with that, well are you gonna open it, it’s the best present I every bought expression, I slowly pull the bag towards me. Softly I open the ends, like it might jump out and slid my hand inside. I feel tissue paper and what feels like a ladle, or a ladle that’s had the handle broken off. Smiling I gently start to unfold each layer of tissue paper, and sure enough it’s a fork.