Thursday, July 17, 2014

My friend, Ms. F was just here

and THAT woman has stories that need to be told!

She came over to use the pool.  I knew her from back when I had a membership at the Y, and I would go to "Open Swim," and walk back-and-forth with the older ladies in the shallow end.  She was the first one to quit the Y, because of reasons, and when I finally quit before the move to NC, my hope was that I would end up in a building that had a pool, so I wouldn't have to rejoin.  I have landed in a building with a pool (you've probably seen it in my pics), so I have no need of the Y.  And let's face it, the walking gang doesn't need me to keep 'em walking in the shallow end!

So Ms. F had been our local contact when we were moving, storing some of our possessions while we were in "local" transit (staying pet-friendly in Whittier), and she is our friend, and I knew, since she was holding some mail for us and did not have a Y membership herself, that she would likely enjoy an open invitation to use the pool.  Today, she took us up on our offer.

She brought a bottle of red wine, which she opened right away, and then we stashed the corkscrew gift in the drawer (it has a built-in foil cutter!).  We drank from "poolware" that she'd also brought.  We sat and chatted.  Eventually, she and I left Stephen to work some more on his book, and we took our refilled glasses downstairs to hit the water.

The sun was warm.  The pool was cold.  She "dove" in from the steps that she'd inched down; I got back up out of the steps and jumped into the deep end.  We both started treading water or swimming short laps or walking on the line that separates shallow from deep, to get our muscles moving and to make the water feel warmer.

Ms. F caught me up on the Y ladies' situations, with whom she had managed to maintain relationships, even without the maintenance of her membership.  Ms. A is in the hospital with a blood clot in her brain, but is expected to survive.  Others have other issues that are being watched.  All are still living their lives, but there is a new sense of "orphanage" that we don't think about when we're young(er).

We got out of the pool and reapplied sunscreen to Irish Ms. F's fair, exposed skin.  I sat facing the sun, to try to tan my belly.  We talked about our friends who have retired to Florida, and the regaining of that relationship that had been feared lost.  We talked about late-in-life orphanage.  I realized that I no longer have ANY older living relatives on my mother's side of the family, (older than MY generation of cousins).  Ms. F is also "the last."

Then she went on to continue the "name-dropping" habit that she has.  Ms. F doesn't drop names to impress - she's simply relaying events in her life.  I asked her if I could blog about her, and she gave me permission, as long as I post no photos or name her by name, as there are one or two folks in her past she'd rather not reacquaint herself with. ("Bitch" and "The Embodiment of Evil" - these may have been exaggerations, but I don't know the suspects personally, so I'll take Ms. F's word)

In future posts, if Ms. F approves, we'll talk about "Ted and Joanie" and "Uncle Dick" and other important figures in her life.  For now, I'll just tell you about how she "impersonated" Woody Allen.

Ms. F was living and breathing New York, and WA was a prominent figure at the time (not that he's not prominent now, but you understand).  So Ms. F would call a restaurant for which reservations were simply impossible, and say "Mr. Allen would like a table for 4 this evening at 7:30" or "Mr. Allen would like four tickets for tonight's premiere," which would be met with "will Ms. Farrow be joining him?" to which she would reply, "Ms. Farrow may be joining him, but Mr. Allen would like four tickets."  Then, when Ms. F arrived with her three friends, she would say "Mr. Allen is unable to hold his reservation and has released it for us."

Everyone but the restaurants and theatres knew Ms. F was running this scam, and it was working.  Until the evening her foursome showed up at Elaine's, and the hostess said, "Mr. Allen has already arrived.  Shall I take you to him?"

Ms. F had to oblige, of course, so there she was, facing the man himself.  He asked how long she'd been doing this.  "Two years," she said.  "Well done," he said.  He offered her his table for four at another impossible location, which she graciously accepted.  She didn't indicate to me whether that was the end of "impersonating" Woody Allen, but I like to think she found herself an even-bigger fish to fry after that.

I do hope Ms. F will continue relaying her life experiences to me in small-enough chunks for me to remember long enough to blog about them.  I hope she'll make swimming with me in our building's pool a regular thing.  I hope she doesn't bring wine every time, because, um... I'm a lightweight?  and if I hadn't started typing this almost immediately after she left this afternoon, I'm sure I would have forgotten most of it.  If you'd like to hear more about Ms. F's life and the celebrities that have filled it, please comment to that effect, here, on the blog.  You're welcome to comment anonymously.  If she is to see your comments, it'll only be here (not on Facebook).


  1. O-M-G! I love her, love her, love her! What a terrific story. She's got some major cojones. I can't wait to hear more of Ms. F's stories.

    Uncle Eddie is the last one, by the way. Not completely orphaned, yet (on that side of the family). We may not know how to find him/contact him, but all of the cousins believe he's still around - somewhere.

    1. I had completely forgotten about Uncle Aardvark - because he's "lost" to us, I guess. So we're orphaned of women by blood, at least.

      Hopefully, Ms. F will read this post (I emailed her the link to the whole blog) and read your comment and will allow me to post again.

  2. She sounds like an amazing person to know! I really want to go swimming now too!

    1. I'm debating it myself, right now. I did have a 1 p.m. call time today, so I've been dressed in my "costume" all day. My call time's been pushed to 3 p.m., which means I COULD take a dip RIGHT NOW and still have time to get to set... hmm...

      Ms. F is a ton of fun. She could easily be one of (or a conglomeration of all of) the women on Mommy's side.

  3. I noticed on Facebook today that Ms. F's widowed husband is missing her, of late. In re-reading some of my old posts, I, too, am missing her. What a beautiful, fun, lover-of-life woman she was. Rest in Peace, Ms. F.


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