I remember how this my very favorite painting came into our lives. I had just started a job with a Fortune 500 company in Northern Virginia. I started the job at the end of March 1984, had gotten married in November 1983, were planning to close on a townhouse in Reston, Virginia in June 1984. Why all this data? Because now you will understand the relevance. When Ron and I got married, I had two suitcases with my clothes, that’s it. Ron had some patio furniture that we were using as our furniture inside our small apartment in Alexandria. We were literally starting from scratch.
At my job, one day in April, 1984 I had to go inside the office of the president and CEO of this company, to deliver to him some papers from my boss, and this painting was on one of the walls of his office. I have always liked the French Impressionists, and this painting because of the subject matter, (a mami and a daughter), colors and style of the brush caught my eyes. I commented what a beautiful painting that was. He said “really, do you like it?” I said yes, very much. Then he said “it really belongs to my daughter, she sells paintings.” I gulped. Then he said “let me give her a call and let her know you are interested.” What?? We went from liking the painting to being interested. I said “ok”.” and left his office. Now, mind you, here’s the president and CEO of this big company, I am a new employee trying to gather goodwill, have literally no money and he is calling his daughter to try to sell me a painting.
A few minutes later, he comes to my desk with the painting in his hands and tells me that the painting was $250, but not to worry, that I can pay for it later, and I can take it home today. Wow! I had made a purchase without consulting with my new husband, needing all the money we could save for the closing of the house, and here I was bringing home a painting, that I didn’t even know if he would like it. Help!
With trembling hands I called Ron at his office, and after asking him how his day was going, I told him that “we” were the proud owners of a very beautiful painting. There was a silence on the line, and I said “honey, did you hear me?” He said, “repeat this thing again.” I almost felt like crying because I didn’t know what to do. I was hired as an administrative assistant to the chairman of the board, and had just “purchased” a painting from the daughter of the president and ceo. How do you say that all was a misunderstanding. What a position I was in just because I paid a compliment to a painting. Poor Ron. I totally understood his position. One of the other secretaries told me that in May (the following month) we got paid three times instead of two, so I could use that extra money to pay for the painting. I transferred the information to Ron, even though that didn’t make it any better.
So we had this painting in our brand new living room, no furniture, but a beautiful painting. I love this painting, because of the attributes already mentioned and because its history about how it came into our lives. Probably it was painted by some starving artist, but who cares. It has a lot of meaning.
Some things come kind of forced into our lives, and at the moment we don’t realized the significance of it all. I wish sometimes we could see in advanced, like right now. Why aren’t things happening the way I do want them to happen? Only when I look in the rearview mirror in a few months, years from now, I will understand.
On another subject matter totally different, Mr. Fix-it dishwasher has left the building. Hopefully I won’t have to see him in the near future. The dishwasher that I don’t use is flushing, washing and happy to be with its new motor. The guy apologized for the big charge and the short amount of time it took to do the job, but we have a saying in spanish that goes like this in Anglo “once they hit you with the stick, don’t look back.” Yeah, yeah, just go and be happy with your rightly earned money, mister. Leave me alone with my new motor, new tires, new windshield wipers, new transmission fluids, new filters, etc., etc.
Life doesn’t get much better. All new stuff around me and the same old me.
Your Happy Contessa
P.S. “I am like a chameleon, I become what the situation I am living at the moment requires me to be.” Yvonne, from “India.” Hey Yvonne, need an extra?