I am staring blissfully out the window of the ballroom. Letting the cool night breeze caress my face, taking a sip of my champagne as I simply take in the vista, the stars, the…
Lady B: Miss Noble!
… the somewhat constantly irate hostess…
Miss Noble: Lady B, yes, good evening.
Lady B: Miss Noble, what are you doing? There are guests! Miss Ashe is quizzing everyone, heroines who might actually be mistresses, and you remove yourself from the festivities. Why, you even abandoned your beloved card table who knows how long ago! And all for what – staring out the window?
Miss Noble: I have earned a good stare out the window, I promise you, Lady B.
Lady B: And why would that be?
Miss Noble: Because I just turned in my latest novel.
Lady B: A hearty congratulations! When shall we expect new guests? Please tell me that they will not in anyway bring a ship into my ballroom.
Miss Noble: It will not be out until next year. I would not fear a ship, however, and I’ll give you a little hint about the new book – if you bring a piano into the ballroom, it should not cause any structural damage. But when I finish a book, my head is so fuzzy, I feel I have earned a good long stare out the window, and of course a bottle of bubbly.
I raise my glass to her. But Lady B just cocks her head to one side, a perfect, inquisitive mirror of Albert, perched on her shoulder.
Miss Noble: Oh, don’t look at me like that – I deserve an evening with champagne and the mindlessness enjoyment of staring at nothing. Tomorrow I will continue the ritual with a thorough house-cleaning.
Lady B: Ritual? Miss Noble, I am afraid I do not know what you speak.
Miss Noble: No? Do you not have some kind of celebration, some little ritual you do when you complete a large task?
Lady B: I should not admit to it if I did.
Miss Noble: For heaven’s sake, we all have them! Why, Miss Ashe tells me she indulges herself in a long, hearty run once she completes a book.
Lady B: I am not one for such exercise. I prefer to save my exertions for Lord B’s company.
Miss Noble: (blushing furiously) Well, what about Miss MacLean? I happen to know that every time she finishes a work, her shoe collection expands.
Lady B: (eyeing Miss MacLean’s Pradas): She is remarkably well-shod.
Miss Noble: And Miss Dare and Miss Foley both enjoy the pampering of day spa after the tortures of writing for months on end.
Lady B: That does explain why Miss Dare had cucumbers over her eyes a few months ago. That or she indulged in too much ratafia the night before.
Miss Noble: In either case I warrant a day at the spa is deserved. Meanwhile, Miss Darby shares my desire for a thorough house cleaning, and Miss Willig – well, she claims to never quite be done enough to celebrate, but the point is, there is nothing shameful in congratulating yourself for a job well done. So come now, Lady B. Tell me, what do you do to celebrate a momentous event.
Lady B: Well, Miss Noble, I shouldn’t be telling you this…
She leans in close to whisper in my ear. Oh, what fun! I, the recipient of one of Lady B’s secrets!
Lady B: I get dressed up in my absolute best gown and feathered headpiece…
Miss Noble: Yes…
Lady B: And then I host a ball and force young authoresses to interact with my guests! Now come along!
Miss Noble: Ow! Lady B, please let go of my ear!
While I am being forced into human interaction, tell me – how do you relax and celebrate finishing something big? Be it a novel, or a project at work, or completing your taxes, I know we all like to pamper ourselves in some small way!