Dabsy’s friend looked at her in amazement.
“You’re doing what?” Margaret cried. The rest of the young ladies at the table giggled.
“I’m giving you the real McCoy,” Dabsy affirmed. “I’m going to do the society pages for the Blade.”
“Why on earth do you want to go to work as a sob sister and leave all this?” Shelia waved her hand at the extravagance of the country club. “Are you goofy or something?”
“I’m going to spice up the society pages a little. It’ll only be for a few hours a day. My staff will do the work. I’m going to put all of you in the newspaper.” Dabsy held up her glass for a refill from the waiter. “It’s dullsville around here.”
“I don’t have a smelly old office,” Dabsy said to regain control of the conversation. “I took over rooms down the hall from Harry’s office and had them redecorated. There are curtains at the windows and a nice French paper on the wall and a chandelier. There’s a small kitchen, powder room, and a room for developing photos. I’ve already hired a female photographer and a secretary.”
“Why women? I’d want a sheik to work with every day like that floorwalker at Saks.” Margaret wiggled her eyebrows.
“That’s exactly why I want women. I don’t want any distractions.”
“Men aren’t distractions, honey,” Margaret said with a wink. “In case you haven’t noticed they’re a dire necessity.”
Their laughter echoed through the club.
“Not in the workplace. My photographer, Gloria, is no bug-eyed Betty. With a little makeup and the right clothes, she’d fit in anywhere.”
Margaret changed the subject. “Will you need an artist, or do you have one?”
“The paper has Calvin, but he’s getting ready to retire. Why?”
“Daddy sent our chauffeur’s daughter to art school. Maybe she’d like to work for the paper,” Betty suggested.
“Send her around tomorrow at eleven-ish,” Dabsy stated. “The more, the merrier.”
“A chandelier?” Shelia interjected, a little slow from the champagne. “Isn’t that a bit much for an office?”
“It has all the features of a home,” Dabsy confirmed. “I have comfy chairs and a large sofa for relaxing.”
“Where did you put the bed? You may as well be comfortable while you sleep on the job,” Margaret said amid the laughter.
“There wasn’t any room,” Dabsy quipped. “I could barely get the Queen Anne table and chairs to fit. We had to take out a wall.”
“Yikes! You’ll bring down the building!” Margaret exclaimed. “I can see the headlines: There Dabsy lies
among the rubble. She wanted to spice up the pages, but only caused trouble.”
As the laughter died, Dabsy said, “You’re a poet and don’t know it. Do you want to do poetry on the entertainment page?”
“Heaven forbid,” Margaret replied. “I never open my peepers until after one.”
Shelia looked bleary-eyed. “Her brain never starts working until three.” She hiccupped. “She’d do better as a sob sister in the lonely heart’s column.”
“Go chase yourself. I can’t help that Chester turned out to be a flat tire,” Margaret said in defense.
“Horsefeathers!” Shelia hiccupped again. “We all know you still carry a torch for him.”
“Sheila, you’re spiflicated.” Dabsy was trying to prevent a catfight. “No more champagne for you.” She moved Shelia’s glass a little distance away in jest.
“Oh, poo!” Shelia pouted, reaching for her glass.
“Good luck getting up in the morning.” Betty seemed to miss the catty remarks.
“I’ll set the pages up tomorrow; after that, I don’t plan on being there until around one-ish.” Dabsy beckoned the waiter to refill their glasses. “The paper doesn’t come out until evening, so I’ll have plenty of time.”
Kenneth R. Leonard, Sr. is a retired elementary teacher and guidance counselor. An avid writer, Ken’s published work includes a three-volume series, The Bible in Poetry for Those Who Do Not Have Time to Read the Bible; and novels Seth Bromley: Circuit Rider, Fool’s Gold, Missy, and A Bullet for My Brother. Originally from the Appalachian Mountains in Pennsylvania, Ken currently resides in Columbus, Ohio.