One day in the women’s washroom at work, this older woman marched in, blue/green eyeshadow, pink lipstick and a fabulous green and blue silk pant and shirt number. She owned the room and rocked that look. I was brushing my teeth before a meeting, she was sort of mesmerizing in a Mrs. Roper kind of way.
I attempted to smile, but I had a mouth full of toothpaste, and she didn’t seem to acknowledge my existence. I had no idea who she was, but I went on my way.
Over the weeks, I bumped into her more, she began to warm up to me, it was a slow process, but I won her over when I fixed the copier in the middle of her having to put briefing material together for our minister.
Lucy came to work everyday in full, vivid colour. Not only in the silk shirt and pant combo, but full makeup. She had an amazing collection of costume jewellery, and silk and velvet shoes. She had a laugh that could light up a room, she was quick-witted, and to the point. She was always polite and didn’t talk much about her personal life.
During the quiet days in between Christmas and New Years, when I say quiet, I mean there was no one around, every senior person was at home, and there were no international catastrophes. It was a win, and a time to catch up on paper work, and let’s be honest, hide from extended family!
Around 10am, Lucy shows up at the door of my office, holding a tin of cookies and 2 teas. I guess I won her over big time. She came in, closed the door, and took off her shoes. She was about the stay for a while.
Lucy didn’t start with small talk, she just went for the kill.
“Are you having fun at work?”
Me “Um, not sure fun is how I would describe writing speeches and memo’s, but o.k.”
Lucy “No, I mean are you getting to know the men?”
Lucy “You gotta have fun, you are young, work it.”
My mouth dropped, I was so stunned, but she didn’t seem to notice. Instead, Lucy launched into some awesome stories of her escapades in the 60’s. While some of her friends became flight attendants to travel the world, and find their MRS with a pilot, Lucy decided to become a rotational secretary, she never wanted to marry, instead, she had the most incredible affairs with political leaders, and heads of states from other countries! For 3 days, she came to my office with tea and cookies, closed the door, and told me the most insane stories of her affairs.
I never thought I would become friends with a 65-year-old when I was 25, but I did. She was the most amazing human being. Her only regret from her life, she didn’t have one. She said she made choices that suited her, made her happy, and never cared what anyone thought of her.
Lucy gave me some great advice over the years. Her stories will be making appearances, and she now has her own category!