I met Kitty about ten years ago. I was working on a consulting gig at a medical association in Chicago. She was also working there as a consultant, but she was my project manager.
When I first met her, I was impressed. Kitty is one of those “larger than life” types. She has been all over, seen and done quite a few things, grew up in a well-to-do home, and was still incredibly down-to-earth. She’s a bit older than I am, but we still bonded and became good friends. Her sense of humor was wicked, and we found that working together never really seemed like “work” at all.
She turned out to be one of the best bosses that I ever had. If I told her that something was beyond the powers of anyone lacking god-like abilities, she would take care of it, deflecting the negative energy from the management and allowing me breathing room to get the job done. She also stood behind me when I told the owner of the consulting company for which I worked that he was an imbecile for trying to sell customers products that they didn’t need and couldn’t use.
She has also turned out to be one of the best friends I’ve ever had. When our respective consulting assignments ended, we went off in different directions professionally, but we stayed close. When I found out that I was moving to Texas, I was pretty sure that the relationship would fizzle out, but it hasn’t. She comes to visit as often as she can afford, using Texas as a welcome escape from her hectic life in Chicago. She has more or less adopted the little grump as one of her own, and the little grump looks forward to her visits as much as she does Christmas.
Several months ago, when Kitty visited, she fell in love with my Crafty Alien Clam. There was something about it that made her laugh whenever she looked at it. She begged me then to make one for her. (She knits too, but her forte is beautiful cabled sweaters, not fiddly felted toys.)
A few weeks ago, she sent an email asking if I could have a visitor this weekend. From what she had said, she sounded tired and disgusted with her job, so I started making plans to give her a weekend full of laughs.
Step #1: Purchase wine. LOTS of wine! I’ve stopped into two of the WineStyles in the area. In one of them, I found a bottle of wine that I knew that she would appreciate. After all, one of the reasons her job sucks so much right now is that her manager can’t handle a woman who actually knows what she’s doing.
Step 2: Make her a clam of her very own. I finished this one right after she got here.
The new one is the one on the left. The other is the first one that I made. (They both look a bit sloshed! Could it be because I was drinking wine when I finished it?)
Step 3: Yarn therapy! Kitty loves to go to the Shabby Sheep when she comes to town, so of course, I had to take her there. Thanks to the GPS on my Blackjack II, we were able to find the shop the first time, with no detours! It was the first time ever!
If you’ve never been to the Shabby Sheep, it’s well worth the trip! We poked around the shop for a bit, found more things that we wanted to buy than we can afford, and ended up leaving with large amounts of yarn. (OK… INTENSE fiber therapy.) She bought the pattern and yarn for my Christmas present, a beautiful cabled sweater from the Sublime “Exquisitely Soft Organic Merino Wool” book. She let me pick the yarn and the color… a gorgeous wine color. The yarn is, as advertised, exquisitely soft. I can’t wait until Christmas!
Step #4: Mama Mia! Because Kitty has been so busy, she hasn’t had a chance to see a movie in months. I knew that she would love Mama Mia. I was worried at first that it wouldn’t still be in theaters, but it turns out that the “Sing Along” version was just released. Much to my surprise, the theater was packed! I’m happy to report that the movie had its intended effect. Kitty admitted that she hadn’t laughed so hard in years. (The movie is humorous, but the singing and occasionally dancing audience made it even more fun!)
After that, we went to dinner at P. F. Changs. Yum! We had dinner and then brought home a Great Wall of Chocolate desert to share with the little grump. Needless to say, there were no grumpy women in the house after that!
Step #5: Hubby becomes house boy! My hubby can be an enabler at times. This weekend, he dutifully dug out the corkscrew and has kept the wine glasses full in the evening.
Kitty’s visit isn’t done. Today, we’re doing steps 5 (brunch at La Madeleine’s), 6 (knitting with the Sisters of the Wool), and 7 (house boy becomes grill boy). Hopefully when I send her off to her plane tomorrow, she will be relaxed and ready to deal with the idiots in her life again!