Southampton. What a strange time we are living in. The drama and damage of a pandemic, laced with the joy of reconnection with friends, family and ourselves. More horror in George Floyd’s death, followed by much positive response but alas, destruction, too. Division, discussion … it is like one gigantic reckoning, and frivolity seems permanently shelved.
It is our nature to connect, though sans frivolity, and Zoom has lost its charm, if it ever had any. People in the Hamptons are physically reconnecting, through tiny lunches and dinners, walks and tennis and golf are back — with restrictions. The lush, leafy streets that I am so fortunate to live on have joggers, bikers, strollers; and we don’t cross the street to distance ourselves anymore.
Restaurants are opening carefully, with smaller capacity dining dining today. I’ll be trying one with an intrepid pal.
Most of us are still wearing masks, and I am a grisly, self-appointed policewoman to those not following the directional arrows in our Stop and Shop.
People peacefully protested across Long Island, with only a few unfortunate incidents up-island, between protestors and those that thought they shouldn’t.
It is undoubtedly a challenging time, but into every storm, there shines a little light, and mine has whiskers. After a failed attempt to adopt an ancient old cat that I felt confident I’d outlive, and could therefore responsibly adopt, I received a call from The Southampton Animal Shelter. Crystal Monaco, a dedicated volunteer asked, “Would you be interested in fostering two kittens?” Would I!?
My son Will and I made a beeline. And if taking in foster kittens wasn’t enough, Jill, their rescuer, told me that their mother was a feral cat and their baby siblings were killed by the dog on the property, where they were birthed under a wheelbarrow. They think the homicide was unintentional. And the feral mom has gone back to live there! Feline Stockholm Syndrome, I suppose.
Minky, the slinky black gal with wild olive eyes, and Bella, the smaller sister with delicate, tiger markings — and each with four white, mittened paws — have utterly enchanted us. I grew up with cats, but they were usually adopted later in life. And while lovely, were not the spitfires these two are.
I am astounded by their agility, athleticism, cleanliness, intelligence and selective affection. I think men (except the most secure) have always been disinclined towards cats because they are so independent, cool, self-sufficient and Zen. Oh — and elegant and beautiful, like the girl that every man has been rejected by at least once. I think I get it now. We are now instructed to fill out the application for adoption. I can tell you if we are rejected I am fleeing to Finland, which isn’t a bad idea anyway.
In between fawning over the girls, I had my first ladies’ lunch at Anne Hearst McInerney’s (temporary, as you may remember — the main house burned 6 months ago). We four, sat at a table meant for eight, sipped guest Nicole Miller’s Rosé, and donned her masks.
During lunch, the geese gobbled by and the macho roosters strut by and, I swear, flirted. Jay popped in for a visit (in his own home), and we ended with Paula’s (Anne’s son Randy’s lovely girlfriend) scrumptious cupcakes as artful as they are delicious. I think if we’ve put on a few pounds it’s purely because in light of all that’s going on, we figure, why the hell not?
We also had some lovely visits from family and friends — all tested, all clean and all a welcome addition. And the happiest news, other than the kittens, is that it looks like I can also keep the kids a little longer — a rare and maybe never to be repeated moment.