What Matters Most
by Victoria Hottle
My cousin, Cheryl Benton, author of a new novel “Can You See Us Now “, calls on a Sunday afternoon. “Victoria, I think we should have a book party in Richmond, VA.” We chat about family… “talk soon.”
In a panic, I turn to my friend, Google. What should the invitations say; what do you wear; what do you do? Google was helpful, as always, but didn’t give me the ”ummph” I was looking for. Ahh, I’ll get on Cheryl’s website, The Three Tomatoes, to see what they’ve done at other book parties in NYC, LA, SF.
Oh my, I can’t compete with this! Actresses reading from her book, professional musicians performing… baby grand pianos. Frustrated, I call my daughter who reminds me of the singer/keyboardist we saw months ago at The Wine Loft. Once again, I turn to my friend, Google. Numerous emails with no replies, re-routes to websites to hire people hundreds of miles away… I call my daughter who jokingly says, “Let’s stalk her. The guys are out of town this weekend. We’ll take Uber to The Wine Loft, enjoy some good food and wine, and on her break, we’ll corner her.”
S-U-C-C-E-S-S! She would love to sing at the book party. We exchange “personal” emails, and she tells me she’ll send me a contract to “seal the deal.” Weeks later, nothing, so I contact her only to learn her fiancé had planned a surprise weekend for their engagement anniversary and she cannot perform at the book party. Cheryl was fine with it. “We don’t have to have music, Victoria; it will still be a good party.”
Disappointed, I turn to my friend, Stacy Rice. I knew she would listen and tell me things would be okay. I don’t recall if I asked her or if she volunteered. It doesn’t matter; what matters is she rearranged her entire schedule (and she’s a busy little bee.) She toted her equipment to Richmond and sang the most amazing rendition of Lady Gaga’s “A Million Reasons”, and she led a group of women into “That’s What Friends Are For.”
“Keep smiling, keep shining”… you know the words.
Mind you, Google is still my friend, but what matters most… I can always and forever count on Stacy, for sure!
Victoria Hottle resides in Richmond, Virginia with her husband and dog Henley. Although she doesn’t write often, it’s always from the heart.