Chapter 8: "You are something else."
My first thought after I hung up the phone with Kitty was "I am amazing." My second one was "What will I wear?"
So I cancelled plans to take out Susan Raihala for her birthday lunch. Susan was a bit obsessed with her "clean up stamping" method, or whatever she called it. Despite this rather scary obsession, I liked her, and we were becoming friends. I could almost see the fireflies dancing, but I wasn't going there right away. I had to focus on my business; who knows, maybe she would work for me some day.
So I went shopping. I wanted something professional, but not intimidating, and with just a touch of artistic flair. Plus, you can never ever go wrong with Dolce & Gabbana, right?
When I got back with this number, I decided to call Gina. I couldn't help it. I was bursting.
"Hey, Gina, guess what?!!!!"
"Who's calling please?"
"Oh, sorry, I'm just so excited that I'm beyond beyond. It's M."
"What's up, M?"
"Gina, guess who called me?"
Gina didn't seem in the mood to guess.
"M, I'm kind of in the middle. What's up?"
"I'm sorry, Gina. But Kitty Richman called me!!!!"
"Whose Kitty Richman?"
"You know, Catherine Richman from GDWS? She told me to call her Kitty."
"What? Wait a minute. Let me turn off the stove. I'll be right back."
When she got back on the phone, she said,
"Ok, talk. I've got to hear this. How does she even know who you are?"
"Didn't I tell you? I wrote to her and Jackson and asked for 5 thousand in cash when I become a top 3 demo. I don't want a cat. I have fur phobia."
Gina responded, "Fur phobia? What? I cannot believe you did that. What did Catherine say?"
"Gina, she was so nice. SO nice. She said she totally understood about the cat issue. Kitty loves cats, but understands that I can't have one under the circumstances. She said that GDWS would be delighted to give me 5 thousand instead of a cat when I become a top 3 demo, but not to tell anyone at this time. So Gina, mouth shut ok?"
Gina stuttered. "Sure, I guess. But..."
"Sure, I guess but" wasn't good enough. My entire future was at stake. I was beginning to regret confiding in Gina.
"Listen Gina, on very rare occasions, I talk too much. I shouldn't have said anything to you about this, but if it wasn't for you I wouldn't be in stamping and about to launch my career. Plus, you are almost a lawyer. I thought I could trust you."
"Hold on, M," Gina began. "Of course you can trust me. I won't tell anyone else. Plus, you should know right off the bat that it's a tradition in stamping not to gossip."
"Ok, Gina. Thanks, I appreciate that. But the 5K isn't even the best part!"
"Really? What else did Catherine say?"
"I'm going to GDWS next week!!!!! Kitty said that GDWS was blown away by my $11,000 workshop. They see something in me. The marketing department wants to meet with me to brainstorm workshop and marketing ideas. And I'm having lunch with Jackson and Kitty! Nothing like this has ever happened to me."
Gina said, "Wow, I just can't get over all of this. I don't know where to begin."
"I know. Thank goodness I took photos of the ice sculpture."
"Yes. The ice sculpture. I have never heard of anything like this in all my years of being a demo. I have to give it to you, M. You are something else."
I already knew that, so I ignored that, and instead said, "I haven't been away by myself since Buffy was born. I don't know what's more exciting, going to GDWS, or just going alone. John is going to be blown away."
"M, you know, you are going to make a name for yourself. I can feel it. And I want to be first to say it, and wish you the best. You deserve it."
Well, maybe Gina did have some business smarts after all. I couldn't help but wonder why she had to ruin it all by going to law school. I wondered if she'd consider working for me instead. But I wasn't ready for that.
"Thanks, Gina. You're a peach. When I'm up there, I promise I'll mention to Kitty and Jackson how much of an influence you've been on me. Well, I have to go. I want to make John a special meal tonight."
And I did. I made one of his favorites, Lasagne Bolognese al Forno.
I waited until we were halfway through dinner and John and the kids had finished yammering.
"Listen up guys. I have a MAJOR announcement. MAJOR. You are not going to believe this."
That got their attention.
Buffy said, "Bought more embossing powder?"
Got to love teenage girls.
"No, nothing like that. Here is what happened. I wrote to Get Down about an issue and I got a call today from one of the owners. They invited me to go to their headquarters in Vermont next week to meet with them to discuss my marketing ideas. And I'm going in their private jet and staying in a Bed and Breakfast for one night, and it isn't going to cost us a penny."
John broke out into a huge smile, got up, and gave me a huge hug and kiss.
"M, that's amazing! I am so proud of you. When are you going?"
"Next Wednesday. I have a 2 pm flight. I'm only staying one night. I'll be back Thursday afternoon around 4."
Buffy interrupted, "Mom, Wednesday afternoon is the kick off for the "Funds for More Testing" fundraiser at school. You promised you'd be there!"
ARGH. There was nothing our family felt more passionate about than increasing the number of standardized tests the kids were taking.
"Now wait a minute." John said. "Buffy, Mom IS going to Vermont. I'll take the afternoon off on Wednesday and go to the fundraiser in her place."
I burst out crying. This really was one of the best days of my life. I looked at John, and through my tears, told him, "You will not regret this. You are the best husband in the world."
Garrett looked relieved. He wasn't used to seeing me cry. But then he said, "Hey, Mom, is that why you bought that new dress today?"
John looked up, with just the slightest hint of concern on his oh-so-cute brow. I had to nip that in the bud.
So I told him, "Yes, but it was on sale and worth every dime. Sometimes you have to spend money to make money, and, as I've said a thousand times, we aren't buying greeting cards anymore. Now, let's clean up this mess. Kitty from Get Down asked me to do something, and I have to get to work."
Next: Chapter 9 (in January 2016!)