Meet Seta Wharton
December 18, 2005
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.
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.