Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Cookie Cutter Wednesdays


      There was a clatter of cookie cutter shapes in varied forms and sizes as they hit her kitchen island countertop.  The granite surface shone brilliantly in the morning sunlight and Sally’s weekly mission to do her therapeutic baking was now at hand.  Today, regardless of what happens, at this moment in time, I am happy!
     The sugar cookie mix was her favorite and they only sold it around Christmastime.  In the box, was contained six bags of cookie dough mix and she bought as many of these boxes every year.  She added the melted butter and the egg to her mixture and since she was going to roll it out flat, she added two tablespoons of flour to stiffen it a little.
     She recalled her conversation with Bradley a few months earlier…
     “Why are you pouting?” he had asked.
     I had then answered, “Because the dog ran away with my young neice’s  rag doll and halfway buried it next to the thorny rose bushes.  Guess who they’ve asked to help dig it out?  That’s right, yours truly…Also, because there was a hurricane in the midwest and now guess whose plane trip to pick up a shipment of antiques for the store, has been waylayed?  You guessed right, if you guessed me.  Plus because my bank account is nearing nil, my last day at the Antique Shop is tomorrow and I have no immediate job prospects.”
     Bradley then said, “I see that you’re having a pity-party, you’re just feeling sorry for yourself.  First off, you have a lot of responsibilities that need tending to, and you know that keeping yourself busy always does you good.  Now go get cleaned up and wipe the tears off so we can take a walk around the park.  How’s that?”
     During our walk around the park, he had then asked, “Why did you buy that pink scarf, when you said that you had to buy a gift for you mom?  Let me guess, you lost sight of your shopping goals and now you’re panicking because your mother’s birthday is tomorrow.  If you hurry, you can buy her something from the store still, they don’t close for another hour…and don’t forget to get a birthday card for her too.  Now, what has happened to your finances?  Time doesn’t stand still for too long you know, eventually you’re going to have to pay off your credit card balances….That makeup you’ve got on, was just too bright for earlier.  You should apply those colors for when we go out to dinner tomorrow night.
     Rolling out the cookie dough with her favorite rolling pin, she even recalled the conversation they had a year prior on her twenty-ninth birthday….
     “Why are you pouting?” asked had Bradley.
     I had then answered, “They needed to make some cut-backs in the budget at the office, and I’ve been asked to leave….  I somehow have lost the drive to work full-time and I’m afraid that you’ll no longer see me as the go-getter that I used to be.  Plus, I don’t have a resume ready to submit to potential employers at the job faire.
     Bradley had then advised…
     “You should re-group and take an over-all look at where your life is heading.  I think that it’s going pretty well, in a pretty decent direction.  However it’s up to you, to create an environment for yourself that will be self-supportive.  Only when you can truly take care of your self financially, can you really truly feel independent about yourself, and you have it in you to do just that.”
     I was jaded about the world around me….and Bradley was concerned and had asked….
     “What has become of world politics, that’s got you avoiding it like the plague?  It’s not meant to be a soap opera, it’s not supposed to be an exciting event all the time, but you should care about what’s going on, regardless.  When was the last time that you went to the gym for some exercise, because according to my calendar, it’s been about a year.  You and world politics obviously don’t mix.  People are talking about world events as they happen, and you…well, it takes you about two to three weeks to read about the same things, because that’s when you’ll do your research.  You seem to feel like current events should be left alone to stew while you get used to what’s just happened, a sort of siesta out of life….that goes on for weeks at a time.
     Since those days, Bradley and Sally, have become a happily married couple, yet just this morning he asked, “Why are you pouting?”
     “….because I ordered the wrong lipstick, and now it’s too late to order the right one because not only has it sold out, but it has also been discontinued.  Plus, I got orange marker on a new top, and I’m just hoping that because the marker was the washable kind, that it’ll just wash off.
     Sally was jarred back to reality.  She rolled out the cookie dough some more and went to work busying herself.  This was Wednesday after all!
     Her collection of cookie cutters could rival that of any baker’s in town.  She had cookie cutters that were shaped like hearts, bunnies, rainbows…you name the shape and if it was a cute one she probably had it.  Her heart sang as she continued to roll out the cookie dough to its proper thickness. 
Sally then used the cookie cutters to create the adorably-cutely-shaped cookies.
     Bradley then entered the kitchen for a cup of coffee….
     “What’s really got you worried, what do you want to address?”
     “Bottom line, I’m not exercising…”
     Sally was wearing her fluffy pink and purple sweater, with her red tee shirt underneath for extra warmth.  Bradley thought she was in good shape.  He gave her a kiss on the cheek…
     “Gotta go…”
     Sally knew exactly what it was that was bothering her.  Bradley’s boss’ wife had been asking her and Bradley to double-check all the preparations she was making for an upcoming party and it was simply eroding into her time!
     Upon arriving at work, Bradley had a pile of reports he had to sift through.  He called upstairs to the information desk and asked for the year-to-date number of reports that had been sent to his office since January.
     “52 sir,” was the answer and how many remained on his desk currently?  This he could answer himself – 13 reports.   Bradley was compiling facts and figures for a forecasting report that he would turn over to his boss Clyde.
       A little while later….
     “I’ll be at Silver’s Athena,” he said.
     “Okay, Bradley,” Athena replied.
     Silver’s Dry Cleaners was just down the block and Bradley knew his 15-minute break would be stretched a little bit in going there, but he had accidentally picked up the wrong suit the other day.  Bradley stopped off at the trunk of his car, took out the suit to be returned and then went on the eight minute walk to Silver’s.
     At the Dry Cleaner’s…
     “Hello Mr. Silvers,…..I’m returning this one for my own suit.”
     “Oh yes, Bradley, I meant to call your secretary and tell her about the mix-up…..I’m so glad you noticed it on your own!” Max Silvers said.
     “….it was an honest mistake Max…”
     “Here’s the correct one Bradley….thanks for your patience,” Max said gratefully.
     “See you next time….,” with that Bradley double-timed it back to his building garage, while carrying his suit over his shoulder.
     As soon as he had his suit in his car, he took the stairs two at a time back to his office, and was just rounding off his break in 20 minutes flat.
     His boss Clyde looked in his door and couldn’t help himself, “….five minutes too late…..Bradley?”
     “Ah…..h..h.…actually I’m working through lunch today Mr. Roberts,” Bradley concluded.
     “I was just kidding Bradley…..” Clyde could be such a busybody sometimes.
     At the catering facility, Cathy was busy tallying up a customer’s order when Bradley called in.  Clyde’s wife Elaine had asked Bradley to double-check her tracks – mainly to make sure she had correctly planned her and Clyde’s silver wedding anniversary celebration.
     This had been their conversation earlier that morning…..
     “Bradley, I called the caterer’s and asked them to have the ice sculpture of the name ‘Roberts’ to be done in calligraphic letters, would you please double-check that I put in the request correctly?”
     “Of course, Mrs. Roberts…”
     “Please call me Elaine…..also the floral arrangements must have little ribbons tied to the stems of every other pink rose.  Could you double check that I made that request properly, as well?” Elaine had asked.
     “Of course…” Bradley said as he jotted down all the particulars.
     “…one last thing Bradley, the champagne….you know that I myself am a teetotaler….could you make sure it’s Dom all around?  Every table should have a bottle…with a spare,” Mrs. Roberts instructed.
     “Dom Perignon it is ma’m….”
     “…and the after-mints, make sure they’re the chocolate kind…” Elaine requested.
     “Yes ma’m….”
     “I’ll be in touch with soon to make sure everything else gets double-checked….bye for now Bradley,” with that Mrs. Roberts hung up.
     Bradley hadn’t known Clyde and Elaine Roberts that long, but he knew that they were his two favorite people.  Clyde had hired him recently and was always ribbing with him.  Plus Elaine trusted him and Sally to keep things running smoothly with her social gatherings and humanitarian projects.  He immediately called Sally to hand off Elaine’s list of requests to her.
     Sally was on her way out the door, headed for the market, when Bradley’s call came in to ask her for help with Elaine’s preparations…
     “You know that I love both Clyde and Elaine dearly, as if they were my own parents, but I can’t always drop everything for their sake,” Sally pleaded with Bradley.
    “It’ll just be till their party dear…that’s all!”
     A week went by and it suddenly became the norm once again to bake cut-out sugar cookies for herself.  In previous years it had been a het and miss, but that day was the fifth Wednesday in a row she had done this for herself, and she began calling them, Cookie Cutter Wednesdays.
     Elaine’s list had to be double and sometimes triple-checked, yet it somehow all got accomplished!
     It was the night of the big gala gathering to celebrate Clyde and Elaine’s 25th Silver Wedding Anniversary and everything was beautiful!
     Elaine had fashioned a hand-made scrapbook for the happy couple to store their anniversary memories.  In the card, inserted in photographic corners were four different business cards of professional even planners. 
     The note read, “In Case You Can’t Get A Hold Of Bradley Or Myself, Don’t Hesitate To Call Any One Of These People….”
     Sally valued time to herself, yet she dearly loved Clyde and Elaine.  Her mother didn’t raise her to be rude, so her note to Elaine was her way of standing up for herself….yet doing so in a proper manner.  Cookie Cutter Wednesdays had that way of giving her clarity….

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