The following story also took place shortly after MMM made her glorious entrance into this world.
Yours truly was walking back to the office after a satisfying meal when she got a phone call from Beloved Sibling. The Very Important Matter of Shopping for Mini Mini Me was discussed. All of the sudden, in the middle of the conversation, I saw a familiar face attached to a familiar hairdo that was approaching me from the opposite direction. The hand attached to the body with the familiar face waved at me and the mouth on the familiar face cracked a smile.
I got really excited. “Nechama – I thought – so happy to see her since she moved to New Jersey a donkey’s age ago!” :”Uh, uh, uh, guess whom I just met on the street!” – was my happy squeal into the receiver. Of course, my poor sister was at sea, so I just wished her well and hang up. Nechama stopped, but did not hang up on her phone call. I just stood there, smiling like an idiot – I really was that happy to see her. She continued chatting and after a first polite smile did not really pay attention to me.
OK, she did not see me or hear from me in a long while, but she was my sister’s friend, for goodness sake! What happened to her? Finally, she reluctantly finished her call and decided to waste some rudimentary conversation on yours truly. And, boy oh boy, it was way beyond rudimentary; it was stifled and cold. We wished each other Shana Tova, of course, and then I, in very exuberant tones, told her about the MMM’ arrival; very un-exited reception. Then I asked her if she was working in the area; she just looked at me with a slight disdain before confirming the fact. I offered to exchange phone numbers (so we could stay in touch somewhat); again some kind of very cold and put-down compliance.
Finally, after about two minutes of this nonsense (and her offer of meeting for lunch one day, which I knew would never materialize), we wished each other the best for the remainder of Sukkot and the coming year, and I returned to the office. Her behavior continued to baffle me, though; again, granted, I did not see her for a very long time; but such drastic change? What the heck happened to a warm, exuberant, down to earth, wonderful Nechama? Needless to say, I did not say anything to my sister; she, of course, did not ask, being busy with the new baby and all.
I, on the other hand, while relegating this dumb incident to the back of my mind, could not give it a complete and proper rest. Another disappointment, in a long line of disappointments; well, people do change, and usually not for the better. And only after about two or three weeks of those musings the condemned by enviro-wacos invention of Thomas Edison flickered to bright light in my head. OMG (as the modern generation likes to summarize it), it was not Nechama at all! It was Odette, or Violette, or whatever Frenchified nonsense name her parents gave her! The girl who was introduced to me by my friend Ellie; and which friendship left me nonplussed, since Ellie is a very warm and sweet person, and Odette is so clearly not! If my fried brain would have recognized her as Odette, it would have steered my body to the opposite side of the street, and only then commended to one of my hands to wave in a non-committal greeting! At that point I did share the story with my sister – and man, did we laugh!
And that is why, Boys and Girls, Ladies and Things, your humble servant would never make a reliable eye-witness in court!