Too Many Syllables, Too Many Nice Things to Say

There are these women I know, and we had a get-together to celebrate and mourn the departure of Veedub. Yes, Veedub. Like the car. Only she is a Lady. Using the capital L seems serious, but Veedub is not. Her name is Virginia Welford Taylor — now Virginia Welford Taylor Miracle, married to a charming man with the very Old Testament name of Jedediah Miracle. He has not seen a burning bush that we know of, but I have not given up. Anyway, Veedub is not "Virginia," she is "Virginia Welford." I would no sooner call her "Virginia" than I would call my Aunt Mary Jane "Mary." I am not sure of the origins of "Veedub," but it has a locker room quality that is sweet and incongruous.

Despite the genteel inconvenience of having a five-syllable first name, she is an amazingly practical girl. She tells it mostly like it is: she's smart, decisive, compassionate and full of humor (when appropriate, which is almost always). The only clear betrayal of her Southern upbringing is...manners. She writes thank-you notes on embossed stationery. When you invite her to your quasi-adolescent holiday party year after year, she always brings a PRESENT. A good one. Not some dumb bottle of wine (which is always welcome here, by the way).

Veedub is a good woman, with good manners and an even better mind. I have decided that I might not pay for Lu's MBA, but I will pay for her to go wherever Veedub is and learn to be a marketing bad-ass. And more importantly, learn to be a good woman.

Tonight, some potential object lessons for womanhood emerged. Can Lu learn from MacKenzie how to overcome a shitty fashion moment and still be the toast of the fourth grade? Learn from Mary Ellen how to survive sex-starved prison thugs? Learn from Lauren how to persevere, even though an Ivy League education might be disappointing to certain parents? Learn from Abby how headphones — and an EYEPATCH — can manage unwanted social contact at the office? Learn from Wendy how to make a perfect (and EVIL, EVIL) brownie? Learn from Kelly how to live in 900 stylish, organized square feet?

These are good skills, and I hope Lu will learn them all. In the meantime, the very least she can do is write thank-you notes. They make everyone happy.