The Day She Didn’t Do the Dishes

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Dreary New Hampshire days never stopped her from her snarky words and office deadlines. It must have been that damn flamingo that made her big heart open up to the young New Yorker. Well, I wouldn’t say NY, because I live in NY- NYC. She lived “upstate”. But from a New Hampshire perspective, NY is, well NY.

They worked together while Becky lived in New Hampshire. Now NH doesn’t seem any different from Rochester, NY so, I figured when Becky graduated from Syracuse University, of course she’d move to NH. Cold, dreary, and snow: perfect.

So became their friendship: perfect.

Even though Dorothy was older, their sense of selves grew as one, as many very lucky friendships grow. From: Hi, to: you annoy me kid, to: so, you really are smart as you think you are, and, I like ya kid…

Not sure if Dot felt that way, but that’s how my friendship grew with Becky in those days at Delhi. Barely 17, she had big eyes of wonder and I had all the wonder in my pockets and personality. But that is another story.

After years of new loves, new jobs, new apartments and life slipping away by its coattails, Becky and Dot would venture to Maine in the summers, another cold place. The north east was obviously in their blood. I am not sure how many times they went, but one year, Becky invited me as Dot had to cancel. Me? A newly transplanted high heeled Queens girl? What do I need, boots? What about room service? Are there good-looking guys? She said yes to one of my questions, so I brought my boots.

And so, the tradition began for us. And for a few years and more new jobs, apartments, diamond rings and magazines, this tradition became a family one.

Now Dot was a part of this too, mind you, along with her partner Chip. They would come up to Maine and mix with the tyrannical boys screaming for Dot’s chocolate chip cookies and sand.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

So, over the next few summers, they would meet up with all of us the night before my family of four would leave. Dot & Chip loved my sons, but they were children, and Dot was on vacation for G*ds’ sake!

Speaking of vacation, and staying in a cottage with the Maine breezes and ocean sprays, there were chores to be done. Cleaning was not and still to this day is not Becky’s forte, so Dot did the dishes. She would clean up after meals, lobster claws and all, while Becky & Chip would languish in front of lobster boats and sparkling waves. And, after many nights of wine and discussions around the stars, G*d and philosophy, Becky & I would eventually wake up to a clean kitchen, shouting, “The Dot Fairy was here!” Even my sons knew of the infamous Dot Fairy…

dot fairy

With the tradition of life, love and family comes tragedy. As heartwarming as vacations go, the next summer Dot came to the house with her diagnosis. Now Diagnosis, or breast cancer was never going to beat Dot in any way that she would let it, so she would go along with the day, albeit tired, yet she still did those damn dishes.

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The following year was a quiet one, with more discussions about Life, Love and chocolate chip cookies. In honor of Dot’s voracious appetite for the ocean and those chocolate chip cookies, Becky and young Terryl ceremoniously spread her ashes and what was left of the batch of cookies we got before those boys ate them all.

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…and the choclate chip cookies

It was a sad summer, but a summer never to forget about how important life and friendship is, and especially the oral history of sharing stories about Maine. Over the next 12 years and counting, the Dot Fairy and her legend would remain and still remains in our hearts. Who the hell else would do the cleaning?

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But there’s a twist to this story.

It’s 2019 and the summer plans are in the moment of time and hopefully not fading as fast as Seaswept’s sunsets. As I was saying my goodbyes, leaving this mystical Maine place, deepseated in all of our hearts, Becky and her family waved me away, turning to the ocean and starting up a new conversation probably about politics and gardening.

The next day, Becky said that she was going to the rocks. You see, the rocks are in and of themselves a place of healing and we would usually go down to the rocks with our coffee or wine, depending on the time and the tide. This time, she went down alone. Or she thought she did. Becky is very strong, and she would go down first so I can slip down behind her, a bit skiddish with those high heels of mine…knowing she would catch me if I were to slip.

I never went down alone.

Becky tumbled.

Becky hurt herself real bad and went to the ER for stitches on her leg. Later on she showed me her huge bruises and she spoke of her pains, and was heading to the doctor to check on things.

Fast forward to now, I was packing an overnight bag, all excited to have a fun girlfriend sleepover. Martinis in hand, Judy and I were rambling on and on about whatever the conversation was. Becky waited.

It was her turn, we exclaimed! Tell us how bad work was this week!

What I remember was that I jumped up and said, NO-OMG BECKY… NO.

Becky has her own Diagnosis.

Judy was too stunned to say anything and I grabbed her shoulders practically shaking her after what seemed like a Lifetime movie scene- as if a commercial ran when Becky went to the bathroom. Judy, she has fucking cancer. Fucking 9/11. Shhh she’s back.

We put ourselves back in our bodies, and talked more. Giggling came out, other stories etc. then Becky said, if it wasn’t for me falling down to the rocks, I would never have gotten checked.

I then flipped out and said, in joyfyl tears, THE DOT FAIRY DID IT!

dot fairy

She pushed you so you would get checked!!

I imagine Dorothy waiting for everyone to get to sleep, so she can do those dishes that Becky wouldn’t do till “later”. But she had a much more important task to do, however troubling it would seem; she needed Becky to get hurt.

Screw the dishes, my best friend needs me, really needs me.

So that was the day her spirit chose not to do the dishes.

Becky was checked in time.

Not curable but treatable, thankfully caught at the very beginning.

Flamingos and choclate chip cookies. Screw the dirty dishes.

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