Prologue - Dinner in the Grand Room
Updated: Oct 15, 2020
Crystal glassware, silver cutlery, flowers, Florentine dinnerware and embroidered linen napkins filled each table. Name placards were assigned to each seat with most couples having been seated at the same table but next to different dinner companions. It would make for a night of convivial conversation and a change to meet new friends.
Tootie spied her name card at a table with Roberta and some other people she already knew. That’s not going to cut it, she thought. Subtly grabbing her and her husband Dick’s card from the table, she sidled over the the table at which Linda Keller and Gregory Smith were seated. She switched out her cards with some couple she didn’t know, but deemed probably not worth knowing, while everyone was otherwise occupied chatting, getting refills, and locating their tables. As she placed the other cards at the table she’d been at prior to the switch, she noticed that Alba’s 10-year old daughter, Anna, was watching her intently. They made eye contact and Anna smirked as if to say…..I saw you and I won’t forget that I saw you.
Tootie smiled and waved, acting as if she had done nothing wrong.
Roberta was clearly enjoying the evening as her table was filled with some of her favorite people, including her sons and younger brother. Alba and her family were seated with Rich, Roberta’s sister, and some Italian clients, while the staff from the atelier were sprinkled throughout the room, ensuring there was a native Italian at each table to answer questions about the city, the atelier and Alba’s designs. Even at a birthday dinner thrown for someone else, there was always an opportunity to sell and Alba didn’t waste any opportunities, either given or taken.