Great teachers. Teenage boys. The Gettysburg Address.  A box of Kleenex. Watch The Address, a new film by Ken Burns.

Meet Seta Wharton

setawharton.jpg
Dear Kay,
As you may recall, I along with my friend Judy host a bi-monthly group we call Sit ‘n’ Knit. It’s technically supposed to be for people who attend our church, The Church On Broadway Closest To The Titans Stadium Except For The Baptists. Sit ‘n’ Knit is wide open in terms of who attends. We have regulars. We have cameo appearances, sort of like when Alex Trebek showed up on Cheers. We have people who flee in terror after one visit. We don’t really blame them, and we would pray for them except they’re probably praying harder for us and we frankly don’t want to get in the way of that energy.
On Friday, I’m heading into my knitting parlor to find some yarn to show somebody, and I see a little lady making her way up my driveway. Hurray! Somebody else to suck into our wormhole.
It takes her a while to make it to the door. She’s wearing white orthopedic shoes and stockings so industrial you could make a trampoline out of them. She’s wearing this cardigan of sorts that has been profoundly Bedazzled, and her foundation garments have at some point failed. Her hairdo is the sort that clearly goes to the Beauty Shop once a week.
She looks to be 75. She tiptoes her way into the house, and I see she has a name tag: “Seta Wharton. Call 383-1998 if lost.” I greet her in my best hostessy way. She has that whispery old lady voice that you hear when you are at H. G. Hill’s grocery store and the widow in front of you is asking the stockboy if the Cream of Tomato soup is still on sale. She lets us know that she’s been on the road since seven AM to get to my house.
I offer her some (you’ll like this) babka, and she says, “Oh. No thank you.” When I offer it a bit later, she says, “BABKA? I thought you said VODKA . . . and I really didn’t think that . . .” It goes on like this for a while.
So odd, this lady. We all chat gamely, agreeing heartily when she points out how wonderful it is that we all have birthdays.
I look closer, and I realize that she’s not really an old lady. It’s Corabel, who is a regular Sit ‘n’ Knitter. Corabel has teenage kids. Corabel is not 75, even remotely. She’s an actress, and she has dressed up as Seta Wharton to come to Sit ‘n’ Knit.
As I’m looking at the fascinating list of all the folks who are interested in attending our Windy City Winding Party in Chicago after Christmas, I’m thinking: If any of you wants to come as some alternate personality you’ve always wanted to be, now would be an excellent time to reinvent yourself. We’re really not going to know the difference. Bring. It. On.
Love,
Ann
PS Thursday, December 29 is the date for the knitting party at The Sister-in-Law Mary Neal’s, in downtown Chicago. Five o’clock. Please email me for directions and details! We can’t wait to meet you, whoever you choose to be at that moment when you show up.

Tags:

20 Comments

20 Comments

  1. That’s hilarious! I actually thought, when I first saw the picture, that she had really young eyes…but who wants to question an old woman to see if she’s really old?

  2. That’s…that’s…well, that’s just really, really odd.
    The tip off might have been the “if lost call” bit on the nametag. I kept waiting for you to tell me that she was really lost.
    Man you people are wacko down there. Say what you will about us Northerners, but man, that’s wacked. ;-)

  3. Does “person”ality limit us to making an appearance as alternate human selves? Because, you know, ever since you turned us on to star nosed moles, I, uh…nevermind.

  4. Now THAT is funny! Thanks for sharing.
    xoxoxo

  5. I have reached the age where I couldn’t do that, make-upwise, without hurting my own feelings. Cinema verite, ya know? It’s fine when you’re 20. Mid-40s, one clings to one’s illusions with a super-glue grip. My chin is so NOT doing that.
    Go Seta–you mad, mad lady, you!
    Ann, did you seriously take the bait? That’s awesome acting!
    And am I the only non-Nashvillian wondering whether you guys don’t have perhaps a little too much time on your hands???
    Just sayin. xoxo Kay

  6. OMG…..I love her – Sela that is. And to think that this morning I didn’t even know that there would be such a thing as a “Windy City Winding Party” in Chicago – my Chicago. Now, I find out that I can come as someone else………woo hoo!!!!

  7. I thought that Beauty Shop hair looked like a wig! What a hoot! Sounds like you have a fun knitting group!

  8. Wow. Wow. Wow. That is awesome.
    I’m coming for Thanksgiving next year as Batman…

  9. I am sitting here moaning that I will not be in Chicago that day.

  10. Tell Seta that she is welcome to come with you as soon as you make arrangements for a meet-up in Northern California. You and Kay are hereby officially invited to drop in at my house anytime you are out this way…and even to invite your friends here to knit. ;)

  11. Ohhhh, someone did that to me once, and I totally fell for it. He didn’t come to knit, but dressed up (down!) as a creepy rubby and came to a party at my house. Lucky for me he had neglected to disguise his pearly white teeth…

  12. It’s an alternate universe,isn’t it ?
    I’ll just get back to the sick child [AGAIN !] and the pile of stuff that needs doing…

  13. So, since you have scheduled the Windy City party when I am out of town (snif! I will forgive you for that…eventually) does this post mean I get to send a stand-in? Because only Susan and Mary Neal would know it wasn’t me, and I bet I could bribe them with yarn.

  14. That’s a little too Mama’s Family for me. Does Vicki Lawrence know about this?

  15. LOL! Every time I think about this, I chuckle again. Did she have old lady perfume on, too?

  16. Ack! Old lady perfume! Well, this is a good story. I like the description of her hose.

  17. ahh i love a surprise ending. cute story, thanks for the laugh. :)

  18. I nearly choked on my cough drop when I read the “BABKA? VODKA!” part. Suddenly, I want a friend like Corabel.

  19. This is just priceless…I don’t know any of you but I love you people!

  20. VWVvXAPijUkYtbPpbM 9262