Iris Apfel

I'm invited to the final performance of Grey Gardens.

I loved this musical the first time I saw it. Why would I want to see it again?

Settling into my seat, I look to my left. There is Iris Apfel. I recently spent an afternoon in her closet. Iris Apfel is one of two living people to have a one-woman show of her clothes at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I'm sitting next to the most creatively dressed woman in the world. Turns out Iris Apfel discount shops, too. We're going to the Woodbury Common outlet mall together, and I am putting myself completely in Iris Apfel's gorgeous, multi-ringed hands.

The year of yes isn't over yet. Looming is a kayak trip on the Hudson, cooking for a PEN fund-raiser, a hat-making class at FIT, an ashram with my sister, two speeches, and participation in New York City International Pickle Day. When Yes Year is up, will I go back to no and Grape-Nuts? Less. There isn't one thing I said yes to I'm sorry I said yes to. And look what I would have missed. "No" means safety and the numbing stasis that implies. I'm changed. The change has to do with the joy of being available to chance. There is a thrilling difference between being comfortable and being too comfortable. That difference makes you feel—there's no better word for it—radiant.

Patricia Volk is a frequent contributor to O and the author, most recently, of To My Dearest Friends (Vintage).

Advice for a Better You


Next Story