I was on a southbound bus on Fifth Avenue recently when a well-dressed woman on the shady side of middle age boarded. She spotted a friendly face across the aisle and cried out — with dignity — “How are you?”
The second woman looked equally pleased and they sat together and spoke of their surprise at not bumping into each other for so long and how well they each looked, and then plotted lunch at Barney’s.
First Woman: “You know, you look so different. By the way, how’s Mel?”
Second Woman: (Pause) “Who’s Mel?”
First Woman: (Another pause) “Aren’t you Ruth?”
Second Woman: “My name is Sandy.”
First Woman: (Pulling herself together and reassessing the situation) “Well, my name is Carol and we can still have lunch.”
They both got off at 59th Street — the stop for Barney’s.Ken Gross