Ciao, Bella

posted Monday March 21st, 2011

Thinking about what I would say in this post, I realized that I write more about the people Sophie bonds with than the ones Annabelle does — maybe because Sophie is so direct in her declarations, maybe because Annabelle doesn’t give her heart quite as easily. But tonight I find myself thinking about Annabelle and Michele.

I wish I could show you a picture of Michele. She’s take-your-breath-away beautiful. I worked with her for 10 years, but I’d still bump into her in the hallway and be stunned all over again by how lovely she is. Inside and out. You’ll have to take my word for it, because Michele doesn’t show her face. Not since she took the job as New Times‘ food critic about five years ago.

Before that she held several other jobs at the paper, including music editor, where she wrote one of my all-time favorite pieces ever, about how Robert Smith from The Cure changed her life.

Two weeks ago tomorrow, Michele gave her two week notice. So tomorrow, her office will be empty.

I will miss Michele for so many reasons, not all having to do with work. She is one of the best listeners I know, and she gives the best gifts. If you think me shallow for the latter, you have never received one of Michele’s incredibly thoughtful presents, always with a card in her beautiful script.

The first gift I remember getting from Michele was a tiny Winnie the Pooh onesie for Annabelle, who was born a few months after Michele arrived at the paper. Over the years, the two didn’t see one another terribly often, but when they did, it became clear that Michele has a Mini Me. Truly, if I hadn’t been in that delivery room myself, I’d say that this was her own kid.

More than once, Annabelle’s startled Michele by showing an interest in (and talent for) something she loves: fashion design, drawing, stickers, handwriting, all things Japanese. The culinary arts. I haven’t played The Cure for her yet, but I should.

Annabelle overheard me on the phone with her a few days ago. “Michele who is leaving?” she asked.

“Michele Laudig.”

Annabelle got a funny look on her face. A little while later, she presented me with the item pictured above: a “plate” of sushi crafted out of felt. “That’s the napkin,” she said, pointing to the white piece of felt next to the green roll. “It’s for Michele.”

The perfect gift.

There’s no way to adequately thank Michele for the countless lunches, the dozens of hand-me-down magazines, the empathy, the hard work, the cheerful knock on my door even when I knew she was grumpy herself. I hope a felt sushi roll from her favorite 9-year-old comes close.

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Tags: Filed under: arts and crafts, fashion, journalism by Amysilverman

4 Responses to “Ciao, Bella”


  2. so sweet!

  3. Adorable! It’s so hard to lose a great friend/workmate!

  4. Annabelle will stun the world someday. She truly has a creative gift.

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