Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Our First Lesbians (That We Knew Of) - Part 3
Starr Ann and I were so hyped about going to Karen and Emily's for dinner, we didn't even take the trouble, when Karen said let's stop off at the restroom on our way out of Churchill, to steer them toward the crummy bathroom down at the far end of the grandstand. Nope. It didn't even dawn on us that we were about to enter the fancy ladies' room until the door was already wide open.
At the beginning of Churchill Downs Summer, we'd liked the fancy restroom a lot. Before you even got to the bathroom part of it, before you could even see one toilet, you walked through this lounge area with immaculate, real thick carpet and high backed chairs arranged in front of a long counter with lighted mirrors, ceramic tissue boxes, and free hand cream. The bathroom area was almost as impressive, with curvy gold faucets and marble sinks sitting all shiny and perfect across from toilets where the walls went all the way to the floor. Starr Ann and I had never seen anything even close to being as elegant as that bathroom. Maybe still haven't.
But the thing about the fancy restroom that gave it legendary proportions for Starr Ann and me was Miss Ada. I guess Miss Ada's strict title would have been the "attendant," but to Starr Ann and me, she seemed more like the Queen of Churchill Downs.
There she was, day in and day out, ensconced in that lush, quiet, sweet smelling room, where you'd never be able to guess you were surrounded outside by the smoky, boisterous racetrack throngs.
Miss Ada was magnificent sitting there in this huge wingback chair, wearing an outfit that just about stung your eyes, its white was so white and its black was so black. She had the highest cheekbones and the darkest, tightest skin Starr Ann or I had ever seen. In our minds, whether it could be proven or not, there was no way she didn't have royalty in her family somewhere.
Anyway, Miss Ada would sit there in deepest repose, until a lady emerged from one of the stalls and walked across to the sinks. Then Miss Ada would pick up two hand towels from the stack on the table by her chair and walk over to the lady, waiting for just the right second to hold out the towel to her. There were no other towels in the bathroom, so Miss Ada was in complete control of hands getting dried. Usually, as the lady used the towel, Miss Ada said something pleasant to her and then the lady dropped some money into the vase over on Miss Ada's table, right next to her pile of towels.
Well, Starr Ann and I were in awe of Miss Ada. But for some reason, even though we were super careful to never, and I mean never, drip even a single drop of water on the sink counter, she didn't like us one bit. At the beginning of Churchill Downs Summer, we used to go in there just to feel that special feeling of being in a real expensive place. Only thing was, when Starr Ann and I washed our hands we had to end up drying them on the thighs of our jeans, because never once did Miss Ada offer us a towel. Naturally, we learned to go down to the crummy bathroom. Just for really using the bathroom. If you get my drift.
So all of a sudden there we were, following Karen and Emily into posh territory where we knew we weren't wanted.
Well, all four of us ended up at the sinks together, and I could see Starr Ann in the mirror watching Miss Ada in the mirror. Right on time, Miss Ada counted herself out enough towels and came our way. Just as businessfied and nice as could be, she handed us each our towels, and then she remarked to Karen and Emily about what lovely daughters they had. Us!
Without even having to say it, we knew we'd never go in the fancy restroom again. Starr Ann and I were finally not invisible, and we'd leave it at that.
It's a wonder Starr Ann and I didn't just float off into the sky, we felt so light as we zigzagged through the parking lot with Karen and Emily to their car. And the best part, supper at their house, was still to come.