If I were offered a chance to meet anyone in all of history, I would choose Oscar Wilde. If I were offered a chance to have a lifelong friendship with anyone in history, I might instead choose Oscar Wilde’s friend Ada Leverson. Ada Leverson had a beautiful name, gave good parties, liked her privacy, made bitchy-but-not-too-bitchy remarks, and was very good to Oscar Wilde even after he was Disgraced. He called her Sphinx because she was mysterious. She paid half his bail and went to meet him when he got out of prison. I love her. I also identify with her in that I feel if I had been alive in the 1890s, I would have been a really good friend for Oscar Wilde to have and I’d have stuck by him when he was disgraced.
Y’all, this is rather lame, but you know what the reason probably is for me to choose Ada Leverson as my friend, rather than Oscar Wilde? It’s that a lot of people would want to be Oscar Wilde’s friend, and I feel like he wouldn’t necessarily want to be friends with me out of all the people in the world who want to be friends with him. Because I’m not smart and funny enough, and because Oscar Wilde, who was charming, would be perfectly used to people adoring him. Whereas not that many people know who Ada Leverson is, or think she is awesome, and I think she is so awesome that I am confident she would be won over by my relentless affection for her. I would relentlessly adore her until she caved and became my friend.
I don’t think it would take long to make her cave. In observing Social Sister and my adjunct sister Catin Soeur, it has become clear to me that nobody in the world can resist sincere, sustained adoration. Not that I have thought about it. Not that I have planned the campaign I will launch, when I reach heaven, to make Ada Leverson love me.
Okay, I have. I have planned my campaign of relentless adoration. First, I will run up to her and shriek, “Ada Leverson! I have wanted to meet you for one hundred years. I think you are brilliant brilliant brilliant, and I read all your books [not true now, but it will be true by the time I die], and I’m so excited to meet you!” Then I will chill out and say, “Ahem. Excuse me. Please imagine that I said something cooler than that. Want to get coffee sometime? I’m not hitting on you. LET’S BE FRIENDS.” And then we will become friendly over coffee, and we’ll exchange heaven phone numbers, because that’ll be a thing, and I’ll let a week or so go by before inviting her to go see a movie in the park with me and have a picnic. I’ll be all, “I love your hat!” (something tells me Ada Leverson knew her way around a hat), and we’ll have a really nice picnic. Then I’ll wait a while, and let her call me to make plans, and we’ll do whatever that is (dinner or drinks or whatever). After that I’ll wait another little while and then invite her to a small dinner party with other awesome people, including Social Sister, where we’ll have drinks and enjoy bitchy gossip and talk about TV shows we like. A few months down the line, we’ll be texting each other about our love lives and watching Say Yes to the Dress on Friday nights over pomegranate martinis.
And, uh, she also wrote a book. This one here. It is really three books (Love’s Shadow, Tenterhooks, and Love at Second Sight) but I bought all three of them in one volume for $3.00 at Housing Works. Ada Leverson and I are going to be BFF when I die. You can come hang out with us too if you want.