Monday, March 15, 2010

Stephanie, P.I.

I like to think that I am a private investigator.

It all started in about 1979. My sister Jennilyn and I played Charlie's Angels. All.The.Time. Especially while roller-skating in the neighborhood. With our steel skates. Ksk ksk ksk ksk.

She was always Kelly (Jaclyn Smith) and I was Chris (Cheryl Ladd). We were on super secret missions. We carried cap guns in our purses. We freaked out every time we went to the airport (probably twice) to pick up my dad from TDY (temporary duty in the Air Force, aka business trips). It was back in the olden days when you could meet your party at the gate, rather than at the not-so-invisible line known as the TSA. Oh, don't be fooled. You still had to go through the metal detector and put your belongings on the scanner. But you could keep your shoes on. In fact, the security officials would have become mighty suspicious if you took your shoes off and put them through the X-ray machine. We freaked out, since we were sure that we had forgotten to remove our guns from our purses. Never mind that most of the time we picked my dad up curbside and didn't get out of the car, much less within eyesight of the dreaded x-ray machine.

Later, I became detective by virtue of watching every episode of Remington Steele. I partially had a crush on Remington and partially wished I was as smart as Laura Holt. And I wanted her white convertible VW rabbit.

I grew up. And got a job in the "real world." No fun investigating for me.

Then along came google. You could google all sorts of things and look really smart. You could easily find out:

  • Where your long-lost roommate was working (in China as a head-liaison for Chinese-American adoptions).
  • Where your brother placed in a bicycle race (ok...I used to be able to find this, but can't anymore).
  • And even that you are listed on the "Missing Graduates" list for your high school (Never mind that your parents live in the same house they did when you graduated).

Next was facebook. I joined in its "infancy." I had about eight friends, mostly members of my family and friends of theirs I had met, for about a year. No one I knew wanted to be on facebook. It was talked about in the same hushed breaths as myspace. Little by little, friends I knew in town joined. Then friends I hadn't seen in years. Then friends I hadn't seen in decades. I "spied" on people--you know you do it too! I would check their photos, boxes, notes, info, and profiles to see what had become of them. I loved it when I found someone that I didn't really want to re-connect with, but who had a very public profile. So I could be incognito in my spying. Or when one of my friends was friends with them and commented on a photo, so I could then see the photos. Yeah. I guess I am a little bit stalker-ish.

One of the clinchers in my quest to be a private detective was when I got my current job. I am a consultant with a company that contracts with insurance companies to complete forensic audits of (mostly) mortgage loan applications. I basically go through the documents in the loan files to ensure that they are authentic, unaltered, and accurate. I use the skills I have honed for the last thirty-one years.

So, when one of my favorite bloggers was in need and called out to the blogging community for help, I knew I was the right one for the job. Long-ish story short-ish. She had gone to London for work, pleasure, a little of both, and had visited (shopped at) Harrod's. She went to the loo (you know, the Ladies' room) and found that the fancy water closets throughout Europe have collections of perfume that would rival the longest perfume counters in the US available for your pleasure. She found a perfume that smelled divine and misted herself with it. She loved the scent, but could not remember for the life of her the name of it. Shortly after leaving the store, she was in a nearby garden and her friend told her the perfume with which she was mesmerized smelled just like the flower they walked past. But they did not know the name of the flower. She took a picture of the flower to investigate further.

This is where I come in.

I read her blog with the above story and immediately went to work. I, being extremely bad with identifying flora (and fauna--which is which?), guessed that it looked like a peony since I do know they are similar-ish to a full and open rose found in old lady gardens. I googled peonies and the flower does, in fact, look a little like the flower on her blog.

Next I googled "perfumes that smell like peonies" and the top hit was Flora by Gucci. Clearly, this was too easy to be correct. But I decided that sometimes the most obvious answer is the correct one (Like, am I beautiful? Yes. Well, that happens to be true!).

I went to Harrod's website (it's almost like taking a trip to London for free) and clicked on their "Beauty" tab. Lo and behold, Flora by Gucci was the perfume featured on the "Beauty" tab. Coincidence? I think not!

I left a comment on Aunt Spicy's posting and kept my fingers crossed.

Well, about four months later, she was flipping through a magazine and flipped right past the perfume ads. What was that? The part of her brain that is responsible for putting shapes of bottles together with light scents was sparked. She flipped back and thought it may just be what she was looking for. And what was it?

Flora by Gucci.

Mystery solved. She emailed me and told me she would make me something for my "trouble." Sort of a finder's fee. Well, I am on cloud nine! I love everything she makes (or at least everything that she has featured on her blog). I have friends who will be jealous since I know they read her blog too. And I think this makes me a professional private detective.

Thanks, Aunt Spicy!

PS-My cell phone ring tone is the theme from Charlie's Angels. I think of it as the theme song of my life.


Just Pam said...

I love you, you as sooooo hysterical. You need to write a book! You need to write a book!

Evon said...

We need to get to gether and exchange notes I love playing detective. I think I will be one when I grow up but untill then I recently found out some VERY valuable info that I found stalking people on FB!!

Anonymous said...

You are not stalking if you are investigating. That is a known fact. So you are simply a private eye my dear! I on the other hand have no intention of helping others, so I am a stalker. ;) See the difference?

Aunt Spicy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Aunt Spicy said...

ps. Drew Barrymore is working on a new Charlies Angel show!

Aunt Spicy said...

Hilarious! You are the best PD around, I have a few other questions that might be even trickier that I should pass your way! I wear Flora every day and still adore it! I am just now getting caught back up on blog reading! Hope the Scottie is making you smile!