Rosebuds and Cupcakes
The next morning I was in a right state of mind. That’s to say: I was out of my mind. I couldn’t think two straight thoughts in a row.
At the weekend we don’t get together for workouts and meditation, so I only had myself to rely on to iron out my thoughts.
First, I tried meditating. That didn’t work as I kept imagining scenarios with Jason instead.
Then I tried having a shower to literally cleanse my mind. I even used Wilda’s mint and citrus body scrub, which usually has a very refreshing effect on the mind. That didn’t work either. I managed to get it in my eyes, that’s all. That temporarily shifted my attention to stinging eyes, but it only lasted for about a minute.
I then contemplated snatching some calming herbs from Wilda’s apothecary. I knew Agatha would kill me if I used herbs over mind tricks though, so I tried mind exercises. You know like focus on three objects in the room, that kind of thing. Didn’t work.
So I went downstairs and made pancakes for myself and Jason, all the while thinking about important things like what it would be like to kiss him. Clearly helped to totally calm me down. Not.
I stole some homemade apricot jam and vanilla infused maple syrup from a cupboard and whipped some cream. I always find whipping cream helps get rid of frustration. It’s something Hetty taught me years ago — whenever she’s upset you find her whipping cream with a vigor that could rival an athlete. Actually, this time whipping cream worked a lot better than meditation for me.
Even if I used stevia and honey to sweeten the pancakes and cream (i.e. no regular sugar) I figured we’d probably get sugar highs from hell if we didn’t get enough protein, so I chopped up some almonds to use as topping too and then thought of the ingenious idea of packing nuts as snacks, which I did.
After I was done with that, it was still a whole twenty minutes till Jason would arrive and I busied myself getting lost in our ginormous tea cupboard. We have teas like “Cupid’s Kisses” and “Hot Nights” (Wilda and Hetty usually get together to craft new inventions either to cure ailments, or to complement Hetty’s cakes) so I was careful to choose some that had nothing to do with Cupid. Like “Spicy Winter Mornings.” That tea would definitively keep us warm and energized.
The problem with going hiking is that you don’t exactly look sexy in hiking clothes. I mean in summer, maybe, but in fall and winter you have to wear layers and topple it all off with hats and mittens. I went with a white skiing jacket and fluffy white hat and mitten duo Jenna once got me in L.A. Definitively not sexy, but…cute.
As I still had some time to kill after making tea, I decided to put on some make-up. I’d already curled my hair before I shoved it under my hat. I would totally look like I’d tried too hard, had I not been hiding behind all those layers. But with the layers in mind, one had to do something to look…better than a super sized Michelin man.
As I was applying mascara, Jenna came into my room with a dramatic air.
“You’re meeting a man. I can smell the vanilla perfume and sense the butterflies. Who is he?”
Jenna sat down in my armchair, crossing her legs. She was clad in an exotic robe and high-heeled slippers with faux diamonds on them.
“Uhm, I’m going hiking Jenna.” The last thing I wanted was a lecture on sex.
“With a man, no less. Who is he?”
There was no way I was winning this one.
“You met him earlier in the week.”
“Oh, him! The boy who wasn’t afraid of me. Charming, utterly charming. What are you two doing?”
“Right. Did I just ask you that before?”
“Right. I’m tired today.”
“No need to be sorry. Just perk me up. Ask me for advice, or something.”
“Uh…” How can you deny your old aunt something? No matter how little you want to speak about it… “I am worried I’ve done myself up too much. Not clothing wise. Not possible when going for a hike. But you know, I’m wearing make-up for a hike. And I did my hair.”
“Ah, you see, this is important. I mean it’s important to understand this. It’s not putting in too much effort that’s the problem, it’s putting in too much effort because you’re worried you’re not enough. If you’re confident, he won’t think of it as too much effort. I mean you aren’t wearing a cocktail dress. That would have been highly unsuitable. Especially in this weather. No, you just look rosy and cute in that white outfit. It’s perfect. Just be confident about it. Radiate happiness being who you are. That’s what makes the outfit perfect. If you doubt yourself, he will doubt everything you do. No, you’re super cute. But don’t fall into a mud pool, it would totally ruin the look. And next time go somewhere where you have an excuse to dress up.”
Don’t fall into a mud pool. Great. As if I wasn’t worried enough.
“OK, Jenna. If I only knew how to radiate happiness for simply being me.”
“That’s easy, pumpkin. You love acting. You love cooking for people; pampering them. Well, maybe not as much as your aunts, or not in the same way, but you do love doing things for people. And you really love stories. Be happy about those things. Think of your passions and how lucky you are to be able to live them. Think about your friends and us, your family — all the people who make you happy. Radiate happiness, because you have it all around you and in you. If he doesn’t want who you are, he isn’t a fit. Wait, who is he? I already asked, didn’t I?”
“It’s Jason. The guy who came here the other night, when I fell off my bike.”
“Oh yes, the cute one with brown eyes and rosy cheeks. At least your cheeks will match today. You look like an English rosebud.”
Right. Just what I wanted to hear. English rosebud. I shook my head in dismay.
“Jenna, we live in the 21st century, in America. Can you try something like “attractive.” Or is that too boring for you?”
“Why, definitively too boring. You’re more like a knock-out sensation in a skiing outfit. Or one of Hetty’s lemon meringue cupcakes — sweet with just enough tartness to bring about a taste explosion.”
I couldn’t help but laughing. Jenna, in her crazy way, had made me feel a lot better. She could have just said I looked delicious, but there was something about being a rosebud cupcake. Take that Samantha. OK, so I was a jealous rosebud cupcake, but still.