Cathy Fejes

Name: Cathy Fejes (pronounced FEE-jus.) The word fejes is Hungarian for "head of lettuce."

Age: 40

Profession: General manager of Borders Books in Uptown. Her degree in biology from the University of Wisconsin - LaCrosse primed her for dealing with the varied living organisms that filter through the bookstore. "I once had a gentleman call and ask if we carried tools!" she notes. While most bookbuyers are a polite lot, there are minor exceptions. "The majority of customer complaints I get are during June when we have our Pride window display. Or when we host a gay or lesbian event. It's rather dismaying to still get those kinds of calls." At her alma mater, Fejes met her alter ego, fellow Leo, and longtime partner Cindy Kaiser, the current vice president of finance for the Minnesota Medical Foundation. Living in the world of books, who does Fejes read? "The classics." She points to living-room shelves groaning with black Penguin paperback spines. "Dickens, Faulkner, Steinbeck." Any guilty pleasures? "Capote's In Cold Blood. It's a classic of a different kind."

Type of closet: Elegant second-story walk-in. With the clean lines of a Dickinson stanza, the closet boasts a single pole, a single shelf, and an 80-year-old window whose beveled panes gaze out on the front lawn's curving walk.

Closet dimensions: 6' x 3' x 10'

Occupancy: Two. Maggie, the women's auburn lab-retriever, snoozes in the closet at night.

Average usage: 2 minutes per day

Color: Cardstock ("I believe Martha Stewart this month is calling it Snowstorm.")

Organizational style: Amish. Earth-toned, patterned shirts (stripes, windowpanes, paisleys) hang at the back of the closet with the handsome regularity of a German vegetable garden. "And lots of white short-sleeves and long-sleeves," says Fejes. "They're my workclothes: bookstore casual." Her partner Kaiser adds, "They go with her 60 to 70 white T-shirts." A quiet murmur of vintage bowling shirts (beige, maroon, black-and-white) conceals a glowing green Hawaiian top, vivid as a Gabriel García Márquez bookcover. "It was a gift from the heart," Kaiser grins.

Most recent acquisition: A Gap black-leather belt with silver buckle. "I needed it to go with my black pants and jacket for the Human Rights Campaign dinner this fall."

Oldest acquisition: A small, rust-brown, love-worn monkey doll bearing a spooky resemblance to Curious George. "My grandmother bought me that doll in Florida when I was 5 years old." Monkey's name: "Cheetah."

Comment: "I don't really like it when people go, 'Wow!' or 'You're kidding!' when they hear that Cindy and I have been together for 17 years. But whenever I hear a gay couple has been together a long time, I do the same thing. 'Wow! Omigosh!'"

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