Betsie took over my last job in the Braille and Talking Book Library. It included coordinating the volunteer narration program and over the course of her first years, we became good friends. I still volunteer for her.
In January, she moved into a new house. I’m no good at painting, plumbing and wiring are a mystery best left to others, and due to my back, I can’t haul boxes. But I have found a way to contribute to moving expeditions – I feed the hungry workers.
I offered to take a meal over to her place a couple of weeks ago but she said she’d rather have it at my house, away from the chaos. No problem. She chose homemade chicken pot pie, salad, and a cake. Cool.
So, earlier this week, I called one of the Lansing area’s best bakeries – Dustys Cellar – to order her favorite cake. One should always keep up with the favorite desserts of ones friends. (For the record, my favorite cake is pineapple upside down cake and my favorite pie is blueberry. Hey, I’m just sayin’).
The first part was easy: “An 8″ Boston Cream please,” I said.
“What inscription would you like?”
Hmm. Her new address? I didn’t know it. Congratulations? Ho-hum. I was calling from a Subway where I was having dinner with Dragon and asked her to be spontaneously brilliant about a cake inscription. She passed on the opportunity. The conversation was getting a little silly when I was suddenly struck by inspiration.
“Go ostentatiously batsh*t crazy with the flowers.”
She didn’t blink.
“Absolutely, ma’am. We can cover the entire top for you. What color flowers would you like?” I froze. The pressure! She started helping, “We could do pink and purple, or yellow, or blue and green.”
I seriously consider saying: Rainbow, but pull back at the very last second
“Blue and green,” I say, knowing that Betsie just painted her new bedrooms blue. Then, because I really couldn’t help myself (constitutional weakness) I added, “And purple.”
“I have put on the instructions for the baker to ‘go ostentatiously batsh*t crazy’ with the flowers.”
“What are the flowers made out of?”
We have struck gold.