Sometimes I write to you about some very tough subjects, and in some ways, this hasn’t been an easy year. I wrote to you about losing my stepmother Kuniko (and so many of you wrote me such wonderful letters, thank you soooo much!!), and the loss of my son’s best friend. Tough subjects, hard losses. But the wonderful thing about life is that it is so varied. Hard things happen, and then life eases up and you have some great times. After a tough spring, I had an absolutely wonderful time on vacation with my kids this summer, maybe the best summer we’ve ever had. And after the hard times, you really cherish the happy ones. I had such a good time with my kids this summer that I was afraid I would be really sad when they left to go back to their cities. I always am, and wish we lived in the same city!!
So after everyone got settled back in school, and their own cities, I went to New York to celebrate my daughter Victoria’s birthday with her. I had a ball! My children were wonderful to me and included me in what they were doing. I spent an evening with them and their friends, and had some very interesting conversations (I forget sometimes how grown up they all are now, and what good company they are!!). We had a great time at Victoria’s apartment on her birthday too, and went to a nightclub afterwards and I tagged along. Three of my daughters were there, and I had a terrific weekend in New York.
After that I flew to Paris, and braced myself to be really lonely. And to try and avoid getting down in the dumps without my kids, I planned some fun events with friends in Paris. I thought it would be a quiet few weeks—and instead I had a ball. I invited friends to brunch, gave a lunch at a restaurant for my favorite women friends, and invited some friends to dinner at a restaurant. And other friends invited me out to dinner. And the next thing I knew, I was busy every day, seeing friends, having fun, enjoying the last of the warm days in Paris, puttering around my apartment and moving things around. I was amazed at how much fun I had—-and the best fun of all was a party I gave that was an experiment that worked out better than expected!
In July, I met a friend for a drink (in my case, water) at a hotel lobby and there was a pianist playing songs from the 60’s and 70’s, with a violinist accompanying him. Listening to him made me want to dance, and as I left, I asked the pianist if he ever played in private homes, he said he did, and I booked him to come and play at my apartment in September. As the day approached, I got nervous about it, figuring that it might seem silly to my friends, no one would want to dance, and it was starting to feel like a really dumb idea. What had I gotten myself into? But what the hell, when I got home to Paris, I shoved the dining table against one wall, everything else against another, took all the chairs out of the room, which left a nice space for dancing. I had invited 25 friends for a casual buffet dinner, told them to wear jeans, I wanted it to be an easy going evening, nothing stuffy or formal. Everyone arrived, looking curious about what the evening would be like. And the pianist I had hired arrived with 5 musicians and a singer. And the next thing I knew we were all dancing and singing—it wasn’t glamorous or even very sexy, it was just terrific fun, and EVERYONE danced. People I didn’t even know liked to dance wound up dancing all night. We danced to Stevie Wonder, Abba, all the songs we grew up with and really felt like kids again. We danced until 1:30 in the morning, and I haven’t had so much fun in years! It was fantastic, and I can’t wait to do it again! What a wonderful balance to all the serious grown up things we deal with. I love to dance, it was a really terrific fun evening and when they played ‘Dancing Queen’—-that was me!!! I LOVED IT!!! I had a wonderful evening and a ball in Paris this September…and now, back to real life in San Francisco. It’s time to start writing again….but I want to have my friends over to dance again soon!!