When You Hit That High

So okay: frigging Cupcake Wars. A bakery in Princeton some time ago had up a sign declaring the bakers had won Cupcake Wars. Apparently, this made a big difference to the business because they have opened new stores. The woman sitting next to me at work, whom I refer to as my cellmate, is obsessed with cupcakes – obsessed, but really neurotic and a rule-follower. Funny, pleasant company, smart. So she reads on the front page of what passes for the local paper that House of Cupcakes has opened in East Brunswick. Let the obsessing begin.

Yesterday, by the time my supervisor followed the sound of my guffawing, I couldn’t breathe and Mira was in full obsessive mode. She was reading out flavors and showing pictures and creating What If scenarios. What if it’s crowded? What if we should wait until the second week? What if they’re really good? What if they’re not? I waited for her to decide we could just go there and find out, but that did not happen yesterday.

This morning, she went back to the website and found the House of Cupcakes opens every day at 10 a.m. I said we should drive out there at 9:30 and leave noseprints on the outside of the store. She said, “What if the only thing they have at ten o’clock is yesterday’s leftovers?” I was howling, but she was kind of serious. Anyway, the idea that we could actually walk out of the building, drive over there and walk in finally took hold, but then we had to ask our co-workers if they wanted cupcakes. Mira took orders and money. I was placed in charge of a particular co-worker’s detailed written request. We donned our sunglasses and walked out of the building into a brilliant day. It’s an adventure.

We drove over there and parked the car. We walked into the poorly organized store and I thought, ‘There’s nothing special about this. They’re small cupcakes,’ but Mira was chirping. She placed her extensive order. Another man placed an order. I placed the order for my detailed co-worker and picked something unassuming for myself. We collected our packages and left. It was still wonderful outside. We drove back to work, where I gave our co-worker her cupcakes, took mine and sat in my cubicle.

After about fifteen minutes, I became aware that something odd was happening in the distance, so I sat back and waited for it to come to me because it always does. Turned out the bakery had shorted Mira’s order by two cupcakes and now everyone felt awkward. I felt awkward because I’d eaten a cupcake that was actually crunchy with sugar and now I was making small yelping noises. Mira said she’d given away all the cupcakes, which left the obsessed party without the object of her obsession. I said, “Call and tell them they owe you a few.”

About an hour later and after I’d stopped running in circles, making airplane sounds, we again left the building, got in the car, drove down there, where the bakers gave her the two she was owed and five more for a very friendly seven. We got back in the car. It was still beautiful outside. Mira handed them to me and began obsessing about whether or not she should take them into the building or down to the Shore with her tomorrow or –

I laughed so hard my eyes ached. All the way back to the library, she tried to figure out how to proceed, back and forth, back and forth. That was so funny, but I almost choked when her last words were, “I was kind of hoping they’re not that good.”

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