We are having some paperwork troubles at our house. The truth is that we often have paperwork troubles. Whatever gene or enzyme gives skill at keeping track of papers, I missed out on it. So when an important paper is needed, it is invariably missing.

Important is the key word here. I can quickly lay my hands on the directions for using the coffeepot, but finding a tax paper or a birth certificate is another story. Why this should be I do not know. It is not as though I pull insurance papers out of their file to look through and reminisce. I do not use immunization records for papier mache. I just let the stupid things repose in their files until they are needed — at which time they are nowhere to be found.

The news from San Fransisco is that shawls have been replaced by boleros and capelets. Shawls had just made their way onto our society pages, so we are obviously experiencing that style time lag between the west coast and the middle of the country. The shawl patterns knitters have strewn all over the web will no doubt soon be replaced by bolero patterns so we can all be up to date again.

On the other hand, here is the rest of the scoop from that article: “Fleming’s voice and choice of arias so inspired two such fans… that they began spouting poetry to each other over dinner. Romana Bracco, with her husband, John Bracco, postponed their trip to Italy to stay for the gala.” The choice of the word “spouting” may merely suggest a bit of scorn on the part of the writer. If we take it seriously, though, it is quite an image. Whales. Plumes of poetry filling the air. For such an occasion — especially given that the opera itself was worth postponing a trip to Italy for — a shawl would be far too quotidian. You’d just have to bring out the capelet, wouldn’t you?