Every morning I have coffee with two men, three if you count my dog, Bubba. The other two are my husband Tom and Sam Champion, the most adorable weatherman in the world! Sam greets me every morning from the set of Good Morning America in a fabulous suit, with perfect hair and a movie star grin. Sam laughs when he chats with Robin and the other anchors. Sam is a cut up. He sometimes pokes fun at himself but if he needs to be serious about the weather, he can do that too. In my fantasy world with Sam, this is how our special day together goes.
Sam sends me a text as soon as he is off the air and it says, “Picking you up for lunch at noon Sweetie. Be ready for a surprise!” Sounds good to me. My husband will be out all day running errands for me anyway. You know-grocery, vet, dry cleaners, etc.-so I am foot loose and fancy free. I quickly straighten up my groovy Manhattan town house just in time for the doorman to announce Sam’s arrival. At noon sharp he is standing at my door with a big bouquet of fragrant white lilies in one hand, a huge bag from Bergdorf Goodman in the other, a bottle of bubbly under his arm and, of course, he is wearing that toothy dazzling smile. “Hello Gorgeous!” Sam declares. “I picked a little something up for you,” he practically sings. I grab the bag, the flowers and Sam for a big hug. Oh, you are so sweet!” I proclaim as if I was just awarded door number three. “Go put it on, put it on! I cannot wait to see it on you. I thought of you when I saw it!” Sam begs. I plop the lilies in a vase, rush the bag to my bedroom and pull out the contents. Inside is the most beautifully constructed slate grey Armani suit I have ever seen. It has a feminine cross front jacket and the fabric feels like a marriage of flower petals and cashmere. The stitching alone is artwork. Well… I put it on and it fits perfectly! Even the legs and sleeves are the right length, which never happens. And to top it off, hiding in the bottom of the bag are a pair of Jimmy Choo sling back peep toe pumps in the exact same shade of charcoal as the suit, but they have a teeny little silver/grey bow on the side of the strap. Very subtle and tasteful. Perfect. OMG. I practically sprint back to the living room where Sam has already poured us each a glass of the Veuve Clicquot. “Oh, my god! You look so gorgeous! It is perfect on you! I couldn’t remember if your inseam was 27 or 29 so I was a little nervous, but it is perfecto on you My Beauty!” He presents me with a glass of the champagne and ushers me to the door as he places in my free hand the most buttery black leather clutch in the world, then kisses me on the top of my head. “There is a tube of Bobbi Brown Old Hollywood inside. It is the perfect shade for you, Darling . And now, off to Lutece!” “But Sam,” I say, “I thought Lutece closed years ago.” “Well, actually, it did, but I had them reopen it just for today, and just for you. As we speak they are preparing that sautéed fois gras you love so much. The one with the dark chocolate sauce? Hmmm?” “Oh Sam, you are so thoughtful,” I practically sob. “Oooooh no!” he gently commands. “No crying. Watch the mascara. You look too perfect to mess it up now.” So Sam, my Old Hollywood lips and I climb into the back seat of the very discreet Lincoln Town Car which is the same color as my new suit, and we dance around the other traffic on Madison Avenue with the grace and rhythm of Bob Fosse himself. Shortly, we arrive at Lutece and Sam ushers me in like the Prince Charming that he is. “I hope you don’t mind, but I told them to feel free about letting just a few other select customers in today.” I look around and there are a few diners, but not many. Seated at one table are Meryl Streep and her daughter Mamie. They wave as Meryl raises an eyebrow and gives me a nod of approval on the suit. “Thanks Meryl,” I humbly reply as I breeze past her. We stroll past another table. This one is holding up Tennessee Williams and Marlon Brando. Tennessee is obviously drunk, but not so drunk that he cannot fire a quick zoom on my Jimmy Choos. Marlon is also drunk and brooding about life and death and everything in between. Oh, Marlon. I hope they don’t see me for I do not feel like dealing with them right now. Seated at a lonely table across the room by himself, looking sad and drinking Pernod and water is George Clooney. Every time I toss a glance at him he is staring at me intensely. Weird. Sam and I sit. We eat. We drink more champagne. We call our husbands and tease them because they are not part of this magical day and we eat and drink some more. Tom says he cannot wait to see my new outfit and that I should stay as long as I want and enjoy myself. Sam howls at everything I say as though it is all so brilliant, so clever, so witty and cool. We gossip. Sam unveils to me where Diane gets her hair and other stuff done and how much Robin pays her doggie sitter. George keeps sending notes to me via the waiter but Sam makes me send them all back because he is so loyal to my husband. And just as the meal is ending, around 4:30, Sam halts the conversation like a trainer heeling a dog just to tell me that even after all these years of friendship, even after two bottles of champagne, even after all the crisis we have been through together over the years, I still look 35. I love Sam. He loves me. He is my best friend in the world. Life is good.