26 March 2006

Artful Dodgers

On a recent Saturday, daughter one and I whiled away the morn at the St. Louis Museum of Art. Although we've made many trips to the museum, this particular visit was one for the books.

At first, I thought she was living out some conspiracy theory as drama kids so often do. "Mom, we're being followed." I dismissed her as I so often do. But my senses were heightened and soon I realized she was right. We were being stalked through the galleries. The boys in blue, museum security, were keeping tight tabs on us complete with whisperings into the walkie-talkies and menacing glares. From Henri Matisse to Chuck Close, they tracked us.

At first I was indignant. How dare these..these..guards intrude on my outing! And the nerve of them to suspect us of any wrongdoing or ill-intent! Our museum behavior is impeccable; soft voices, hands in the pockets, a respectful distance back from the pieces and yet we were indeed still being trailed.

Because I'm my father's daughter I decided to make it a little more interesting for them. Why should security corner the market on causing discomfort? At key moments I began to glance over my shoulder in a manner best described as furtive. I also made several bogus calls on my phone. The kid, wearing a shifty looking fedora as usual, got into the act and on two occasions strode rapidly from one gallery to the next without any purpose. The coup de grace occurred as she stood over the Egyptian sarcophagus and knowingly stage whispered to me, "This is the one." I was so proud.

Our fun played out, we made our getaway after a giggling fit in the armor room and a mighty crappy mushroom sandwich in the cafe. (Also under surveillance, I might add.) We're dangerous women, full of international mystery and intrigue. Remember that.