By Belinda (with a lot of help from Susan :))
I was saying goodnight to her at the front door this week when she told me. There was apparently more to the scarf around her neck than I knew.
The scarf had been a gift from me for Susan's birthday on Tuesday December 18th. It had been her 60th; and that day I had treated her to lunch to celebrate.
We met at a tiny restaurant, Port Soiree, in Schomberg,near her office. It was a restaurant neither of us had been to before and it turned out to be a gem, with artsy ambiance, amazing food, wonderful service and modest pricing. In other words, it was perfect!
The gift I had bought for her was a scarf made from Royal Stewart tartan--her married name being Stewart. It is hard to find the perfect gift for someone of our age. Most of us are de-cluttering so do not need more nick-knacks, and we have more books on our bedside tables waiting to be read than we have years left to read them all in--you get the picture.
When I saw the scarf in Burnett's and Struth, a store that sells Scottish regalia, in Barrie, I loved it. It was not a plain, ordinary tartan scarf, but funky enough to be the perfect fashion accessory for Susan, who looks lovely in anything red.
She seemed to love it too, and immediately took it out of its tissue wrapping and put it on. Since then I have rarely seen her without it and always notice how well it sets off whatever she is wearing.
Susan, who tends towards losing car keys and almost anything else, patted it on Thursday night at cell group that week and said, "See, I haven't lost it yet!"
I laughed and said, "Oh, no, don't lose that!"
Little did I know. And Susan has only just been able to bring herself to tell me the story.
On Wednesday, the day after our lunch, Susan had a work related doctor's appointment in downtown Toronto. It was an important appointment that she was stressed about. The journey took longer than anticipated and she arrived downtown late and began desperately searching for a parking spot, ending up in a parking garage--all a prescription, as she described it, for a "disaster of distraction."
It was on the way home that she realized that she no longer had the scarf. She felt SICK a) because she LOVED the scarf and DIDN'T want to lose it (she said that she doesn't have many things that she LOVES) and b) because she didn't want to have to tell me that she had LOST such a beautiful gift or want me to feel that she had dishonoured the gift.
Susan, who thinks best under pressure (which life gives her lots of practice at, :))began casting about for "a plan."
"What to do? What to do?" Where would she get another scarf????
She called the doctor's office the next morning (hoping against hope.) No scarf.
She remembered that she had the tag and tore through the garbage in the car to find said tag, which read, Lochcarron of Scotland.
She Googled the website and found the scarf--in Scotland--but knew it would never get here in time for her to be wearing it to Thursday night cell group so that I would know how much she loved it. But she ordered it anyway, just in case.
Next, she Googled "Canadian distributers Lochcarron of Scotland" and found one in Barrie! "Oh, GLORY!!!! (WHAT JOY)" thought Susan. She drove up there on Thursday morning to get it! (Mission accomplished. And she walked into my house on Thursday evening and said, "Aren't you proud of me? I still haven't lost the scarf!"
She went back to the same doctor's office over a month later and asked in the coffee shop downstairs if they had found a scarf. The woman working in the coffee shop did not understand English well. Susan demonstrated, "Scarf," while waving the end of the one around her neck. A flash of recognition lit up the woman's face, and she reached beneath the counter. A wave of PURE JOY flooded over Susan as in the woman's hands she held out the scarf's twin--the original.
I'm so sorry for all the stress she went through. I would have felt sorry that she had lost it for her own sake, but so glad she got it back and the story is too funny.
Scarf number three should arrive by mail soon. Susan will not need to worry about scarves for a very long while! :)