13.9.10

How to Ship a Chair

As I believe in professional discretion, no names will be mentioned in this post.  Naturally the Dilettante would never be indiscreet.  Never.  Not Ever.  Not moi. Nope. Any resemblance in this tale to persons living or dead is almost coincidental.

One crisp autumn Sunday several years ago, I was doing some catch-up work at my store--putting plants away for winter, touchng up paint, gathering trash to take to the dump.  Although suitably dressed for the tasks, I was not so much dressed for polite company---plaid shorts and a striped shirt with no colors in common, workboots, polar fleece vest.   The style could best be described as Village People raid Jerry Lewis' closet   Although at that time of year, on that day, I could reasonably expect no one would see me, the unthinkable happened.   Up to the town dock pulled a Hinckley picnic boat captained by a famous life style maven who has a house on a nearby island (a boat savvy friend, who happened to see the arrival, icily mentioned that she had 'backed up to the dock').


Soon, I was uttering 'oh shit' to myself as her well dressed assistant appeared to ask if I could be open.  "Sure" I thought, "just let me go home, shave, and get out of the clown costume first?".   Soon the maven appeared, hale and hearty as always, followed by a tall and glamorous guy with vigorously cared for skin and a perfect haircut (the fates are always unkind---the contrast between my appearance and his at that moment was somewhat greater than the intellectual gap between Sarah Palin and Noam Chomsky.  Behind them were two very tiny women, both dressed against the cold---a trip across open ocean to our village on even a sunny October day would be chilly for even the heartiest among us. Their tininess was emphasized by the contrast with both the gentleman, and the lifestyle guru herself, a full sized gurl, nearly as large as I am.


Although no introductions were made (the lifestyle guru's manners can be famously missing on occasion), it soon became apparent that the tall guy was a famous action star, who had gotten his start in show business years before on a TV show about a homespun doctor and his young assistant--sort of 'Doctor Knows Best'.   Suddenly, like a crack of lightening, it occurred to the Dilettante that one of the tiny women must be his wife, one of the most famous singer/actresses of our age, who had only two or three days before completed her 47th or 103rd farewell concert in Las Vegas--I've lost track---and that the other tiny woman was her close friend, a famous fashion designer.

After a time, the famous couple, both very nice, she very shy, decided to buy a late 18th century Winsor sack-back side chair.   Inevitably the question of shipping came up.   I was proposing two simple options when the lifestyle guru, who has built an empire on better ways to do things (hers), shot down my suggestion of Fedex-ing the chair in a large box (I refuse to use UPS.  Ever.), and said, 'oh don't be silly---we'll take it back on the boat, and the next time one of my Suburbans  is going to New York (despite her frequent mentions of her hybrid Prius on air, the guru is actually a one-woman energy crisis, with a fleet of huge ozone burning vehicles), I'll have it dropped off and you can take it back on your plane".   The star hastened to say that she actually lacked her own plane, but instead merely used one of the Gulf Western jets.  The lifestyle maven then started a conversation about the convenience of having one's own jet, which I was sadly unable to join  (Like it wasn't already enough that they'd caught me dressed like Bozo on a bad hair day?)...

And thus, the chair got to California, by boat, car, lackey and plane.  Silly me.  I was just going to put it in a box and FedEx it....

So the moral of this story, faithful readers, is that for people who need people to deliver a chair,  having a private jet is very useful, and they are the luckiest people in the world.  So I'm not being funny, girl....and that's a good thing.

20 comments:

ArchitectDesign™ said...

Now THATS a story! HAHA
Isn't it always that way, the one day you don't primp and your ex (or in this case celebrity) sees you!

The Ancient said...

I'm surprised to learn that on seeing your outfit they didn't ask for a trade discount ...

P.S. Planes make you crazy. Bunny Mellon, for instance, has been known to take her jet to DC and back. (Which means the pilot drives into the city, fires up the jet, takes it out to Upperville, flies to DC, waits, flies back to Upperville, flies back to DC, and then -- finally -- drives back to Upperville.)

BWS said...

Well, actually, those people who need people often don't acknowledge that they do. And that's why they sometimes hang out with those who proclaim that they can teach them about living.

Reggie Darling said...

That had me laughing out loud. Very well written and clever DED! I liked it so much that I read it out loud to Boy, who was in stitches, particularly by the last paragraph, which had us both howling. I just might have to read it again. And again...

home before dark said...

Well, that's the way we were, or they were, or something like that, right?

Raina Cox said...

I'm so glad you shared this one - you have such an AMAZING stockpile of fabulous stories.

(IN)DECOROUS TASTE said...

Ahahahaaaaaaaa. This is hilarious. I've already read it twice (once aloud to my friend) and sent the link to at least five people and I can't stop laughing.

I suppose the unnamed singer/actress has traded in her super-slick deco decor? Wonder where the chair will find its home. Look forward to seeing it in Architectural Digest...they've done as many spreads on her houses as she's done farewell tours in Vegas! Lauren

Martha said...

Love the post ----

Daniel-Halifax said...

BEST. POST. EVER.

I had to take a bathroom break lest I mess the divan! Why is it that when we see famous broad or past loves we always look like the wreck of the hesperus?! Been there.

Jeanne-Aelia Desparmet-Hart said...

The hints alone are SO funny. GREAT story. Merci.

Blue said...

Perfect story for five in the morning when there's a long journey ahead and a chuckle is needed. I must admit though, as a furriner, I can't quite work out who they all might be

Brill!

La Petite Gallery said...

AHHH ! To be wealthy, quess that's
the answer. Good story.
yvonne

24 Corners said...

I have to admit it took me until the end of your tale, with the extra clues, to figure out who the couple were (maven I got right away)...but it all started clicking from there, fashion designer and all, what a grouping of "people"!
Outstandingly written and just think, if you had been looking your very best, we wouldn't have had half as much fun reading this...happens to the best!

Oh, and excuse me...don't want to be rude, this is my first visit to your blog, what a fabulous start to a new discovery (via architect design) , looking forward to reading more!
Jessica~

victoria thorne said...

this post absolutely absolutely absolutely saved yesterday (which needed to be saved, 'round here); couldn't stop thinking about it, utterly brilliant & spectacular and i now wish you had a quick shot of that outfit you were in (i think it was the swankiest thing possible, as you were being who you were, hair down and all, and not polished by any maven whatsoever). a thousand thanks for bringing the sun to ca to start the week.

shari @ little blue deer said...

Oh, my everyone must be smarter than me, because I'm still guessing! I'm sure it will come to me, I first thought it would be Miss M. since her bad manners are legendary, but maybe not! Love your blog, I am SO delighted to find you, I adore New England, and you have some unique posts here! Very happy to be your newest follower!

magnus said...

Here's another tidbit about a famous lifestyle guru who sounds astonishingly like yours- and her private plane.

A man who worked for her in a freelance way, drove up to her house in suburban New York one late fall Saturday. It was sunny and warm, and he is an informal sort of guy, so he was wearing shorts, sandals and a tee shirt. He completed the task for which he had been summoned, and as he was preparing to leave, the lifestyle guru proposed firing up her aircraft and taking him and a few houseguests to the eastern end of Long Island where they would have lunch and she would visit an antique shop she had long wanted to see. He readily accepted. Some 45 minutes later, they were seated at a restaurant 150 miles away. At the end of lunch, the lifestyle guru stated that everyone was free to do as they wished, but they would all mee back at an appointed destination in 2 hours for the flight back to her suburban home. The man in our story dutifully appeared at the appointed spot 15 minutes early and waited...and waited...and waited. The upshot is that the antique store was closed and the lifestyle guru, famously self absorbed, had not the slightest intention of waiting the agreed upon two hours, and had driven direclty to the airport and flown home- leaving the man on a late October Saturday stranded at the eastern end of Long Island in his shorts, tee shirt and flip flops, with about $20 in his pocket. The story of how he got home, collected his car from the suburbs, etc. is a tale for another day.

Lucindaville said...

Don't lie! I heard you would happily load-up anything from your shop onto your picnic boat and gulf stream it anywhere!

Anonymous said...

This Atlantans day undoubtely sucked until I read your post. So, thank you very much, I needed that....

This Atlantan was recently in Stockholm, Sweden. I visited the gallery call MODERNITY which specializes in midcentury Scandinavian decorative arts. As I was looking over the gallerys fabulous wares I heard a familar American voice behind me, which actually was the first one I had heard all week, American voice that is. I turned to look and to my utter amazement, it was.....the lifestyle maven!! Before I knew it, probably through utter shock, I started to laugh. Said lifestyle maven was not amused, so I whipped back around to gain my composure. I don't think the gallery owner had a clue as to who the LSM was. So it sounds as if the lifestyle maven does get around....and could potentially be a shopaholic or even worse, hoarder? Could you imagine? At least she could be a chic hoarder if there is such a thing!!

And, again, the story and the replys made my day, many thanks to all.

Jim looking for Shop desk chairs said...

As I am just new here and are actually pointless but doesn’t want to sound rude, I think that people deserves to be punished for being self-absorb in buying an old Shop desk chairs and living a person stranded in the middle of long island. The guy should have learned his lesson and never again agreed to join any spur of the moment activity as it will only be to his disadvantage. He could have just invented an excuse next time he is invited or it depends on him whether he judge the invitation to be true or not. The important thing is to stay vigilant.

columnist said...

I'm late to this - but it has brought a smile to an already happy Sunday morning. I have no idea who these people are either!