Little Wife in New York City

As I was soaking in last weekend’s fun adventure and letting the memories steep like a perfect cup of chai tea, I was happily reminded of the days when my friend, Little Wife, would travel across the country as part of her career in advertising.  Maybe I’ve neglected to share those stories with you?

Little Wife didn’t have a very important role to play at the advertising agency.  She was a junior assistant account coordinator which only means that she knew how to use the copy machine, answer the phone and find the creative department of the agency.  So it was a very big surprise to Little Wife when her boss told her that she would be meeting with their very big and very important client in New York!  Imagine the smile on her face as the secretary handed her the packet of airplane tickets and wished her Bon Voyage.

After packing up her traveling suitbag — no wheeled suitcases in those days, it was all about suitbags — Little Wife stepped outside her apartment and hailed a cab.  Well, she tried to hail a cab.  Being on the smaller side of life, she was not easily seen by passing cabs, and many of them drove right by as she earnestly waved her hands.  At last our dear Little Wife climbed right up on top of a parked car and waved like crazy at the next passing taxi.  He pulled over, and she happily climbed into the back seat, dragging her heavy suitbag behind her.

“Please take me to the airport,” she politely asked the driver.  He pulled away from the curb and drove like a madman down the busy streets and highways with Little Wife being thrown from side to side all over the back of the cab.  No seatbelts in the taxi’s back then, so she was truly at the mercy of the cab driver from a faraway mideast nation.  Arriving at the airport terminal at last, Little Wife thanked him profusely, paid the $7.00 fare with a twenty dollar bill and told him to keep the change.  She knew that tipping a cabdriver was very important, and wanted to make a good impression on him.

Things went smoothly inside the terminal — she waited her turn at the ticket counter and checked her bag.

“Your plane leaves the gate in ten minutes,” said the airline clerk.

“Not too much time,” Little Wife said softly to herself.  “Which gate should I go to?” she asked the clerk, but the clerk was already very busy with the next traveler.

“Well, I can figure this out.  It can’t be far off,” Little Wife whispered, always positive, always hopeful.  A quick glance at the computer screen above the ticket counter and off she went, just as fast as her little legs could carry her.  Fellow travelers saw her dashing down the corridor and kindly got out of her way.  She ran and ran and ran past many gates until she finally reached B99 at the very end of the hallway.  Huffing and puffing, she inquired of the flight attendant, “Is this the flight to New York?”

“Yes, it is.  And you’re just in time!  Welcome aboard!  And what was your name again?  Oh yes, here it is on your boarding pass, Little Wife.  Thanks for flying with us today.”

And Little Wife went onto the airplane in the nick of time, and found her seat way in the back row of the airplane.  It was a nice flight — the flight attendants were serving drinks and snacks to everyone on the plane.  Little Wife watched them with their smiles and pretty hair — all of them so tall and graceful with their trays and carts.  Then the pilot turned on the “Fasten Seatbelt” sign and the airplane began to descend into the New York area.  Little Wife sighed and looked at her empty tray table, realizing that the graceful and pretty flight attendants hadn’t seen her.

Disembarking from her airplane, Little Wife followed the crowds to the baggage claim area.  At least that’s where she thought they were all going. There were so many people, so many tall travelers that Little Wife couldn’t see the signs.  Finally a break, and she could get a view of her surroundings. Sadly she realized that she was out of the airport and riding an elevated train into the city.  Too late to get off, and her baggage left unclaimed somewhere in the airport, Little Wife just rolled her eyes and rolled up her sleeves and said, “Well, it’s sure a good thing that my advertising agency gave me a nice traveling expense account so that I can buy myself some new clothes.  And maybe there’s an O Magnus department store!”

So our friend Little Wife found her hotel in Manhattan and did a little shopping.  She had a very nice meeting with her client who was a busy banker named Howard.  It was a quite a productive meeting and Little Wife really hit it off with him.  Knowing that part of her job as a representative from the advertising agency was to entertain the client, Little Wife suggested to Howard that they should have dinner and then go dancing!  Yes she did!  Wasn’t that just bold of her?

But Howard already had dinner plans for the evening, and wasn’t much of a dancer anyway.  “OK,” Little Wife said to him.  “Maybe some other time.”  They shook hands and said their goodbyes, and Little Wife headed back to her hotel.  But don’t think for a minute that she was turning in for the night!  Little Wife knew that this was a once in a lifetime opportunity to have fun in New York, and even if she was alone, she could sure have some good times.

She changed out of her tiny little conservative three piece tan-colored  business suit as soon as she got to her room, and dug through her shopping bags for just the right evening outfit.  She climbed up on the chair to get a quick peek at her face in the mirror.  “Oh dear, ” she said to herself.  “I certainly do need to touch up my makeup, don’t I?  I want to look really special tonight when I go out dancing.”  It didn’t take her long to fix her face — just a little of this and a little of that, and she looked good as new.

Little Wife remembered the pretty new hair clips she had picked up with her traveling expense account at O Magnus, and after she curled her hair with her brand new curling iron, she fastened the clips in just the right places so that her long blonde hair would look very stylish.  A bit of hairspray to hold it altogether and voila!  Little Wife was ready for the New York club scene!

Another taxi cab ride for Little Wife — this time because of her new evening outfit, she had no trouble getting noticed by the cab drivers.  In fact, four taxis stopped to pick her up!  The drivers all got out of their cabs and began to argue about who would be driving Little Wife to her destination.  Finally they worked it all out amongst themselves, and Little Wife was gently handed into the backseat of the taxi belonging to Frisco Mimosa.

“Where would you like me to take you, Miss?”  Frisco politely inquired of Little Wife.  “Frisco would be happy to escort you anywhere in the great city of New York.”

Little Wife smiled shyly and said, “Mr. Frisco, could you please take me to The Limelight club.  I’m going dancing!”  And, of course, Frisco knew exactly how to get to Club Limelight.  It was “the” place to be.  It was “the” place to be seen.  Of course, this young lady would be going to the Limelight — no other club in all of New York City could contain the beauty of Little Wife tonight!

The cab driver pulled up in front of the converted old church which was now the hottest night spot in Manhattan.  Little Wife looked at the vast crowd of people. Crowds were strung in a long line out the door and down the block and around the corner.  So many people — all laughing and smiling and talking loudly, all of them dressed in their glamour and high heel shoes, all of them tall and proud and looking for fun.

“Here you are, Miss,” said Frisco with a friendly smile.  “I hope you have a lovely evening of dancing.  Have a perfect night, sweetheart!”

Little Wife reached into her evening bag for a bill to pay her fare.  “Oh no, Miss,”  said the nice cab driver.  “No charge for this ride.  The pleasure was all mine!”  He jumped out of the cab and opened the door for Little Wife, and she took his hand, smiling gratefully at his gentlemanly attentions.

“Thank you so much, Frisco,” she said and then stepped onto the sidewalk in front of the club.  The Limelight was very very exclusive.  Bouncers and other important characters handpicked the selection of guests who could enter into the club.

She beamed as they immediately pointed at her, gave her a “thumbs up” sign and summoned her to the front of the line. Immediately, all eyes turned to see who was getting out of the taxi, and their gaze fell upon Little Wife.   “Oh I just love New York,” she whispered to herself and stole a furtive glance at herself in the window reflection.

There she was, just a small quiet young woman with her white corduroy jeans and short little black and white leather jacket. She held her head high, her long blonde hair floated on the evening breeze,  and her tiny studded boots clicked on the pavement as she walked towards the entrance to Club Limelight.  All heads turned to watch her go in, and many admirers wished they could hold her little hand and dance with her all night long.


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