The Ladies Pickwick Club, the travel club division of the prestigious Union League of Philadelphia, was formed in early 2017 as a sort of defiant response to the new Trump-ian anti-knowledge, xenophobic fever that was striking the United States like a kind of unstoppable bubonic plague.
Well, that’s what they told people publicly….and maybe that was Clare’s intention. But the truth was that the three original members came together as most women in their post-college, pre-baby era do – random, similar circumstances. It didn’t hurt that the Union League acted as a social Hadron Collider – slamming like minds together at a frenzied pace.
Clare had just been laid off from her “big, important” consulting job in Manhattan and was looking to find herself. She had forgotten to do this after college, or in college, or whenever it is you’re supposed to stop and think “what the hell am I going to make of my life?”
Emma was a stay at home wife or as she told people, “a connoisseur of life”. Only Emma could pull off such a bullshit phrase. It made Clare cringe every time Emma proudly introduced herself. But Emma laid claim to the phrase implicitly – her gorgeous willowy frame, her perfectly unnecessary Alexander Wang silk blouse hanging off her angular shoulders.
Caroline called herself a writer. But really she wrote little blurbs for gossip columns whenever she wasn’t too hungover to recall who slighted who, who was late on their mortgage and other pieces of information that were entirely nobody else’s business. Caroline herself once had oodles of money when she was married but now, seemingly unbeknownst to her, she had nearly none. She told anyone that listened that she used to party with John John, was in Gstaad more than she was in Avalon and that she knew every “mogul” in Philadelphia (were there really “moguls” in Philadelphia?).
So all three women found themselves with some time on their hands and were in the mood to convalesce in a foreign country – somewhere where the language barriers were knee high, restrictive street signs appeared quaint in their foreignness and strange behaviors were waived off as culture-based.
The trip they had organized for their first outing would be to Chamonix, France. It was February and the perfect time to hit the slopes.