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“Where’d you say you were going again?” John asked from the couch while reading a magazine he’d stolen from the lobby at work.
Caroline was in the kitchen cleaning out her stained coffee mug and trying to time her entrance perfectly. She had spent the better part of the morning attempting to figure out what to wear only to settle on some cuffed pants and an oversized chambray shirt that screamed, “Madewell.”
“It’s called Farm Supply Co. — over on west fifteenth,” she responded while finally drying her mug.
John, without looking up, asked in response, “Is this, like, an official party thing or is this just you girls getting together?”
“I’m like 99 percent sure this is just so she can compare her ring size to everyone else’s,” Caroline explained while putting her coat on. “I guess it’s not enough that she got more likes than Katie and I on Instagram, now she wants to rub it in that she got a big diamond from Todd’s parents.”
John held back a slight laughter. He could tell Caroline wasn’t trying to come off as passive-aggressive, but her tone indicated otherwise. “Someone a little, uh, testy this morning?”
“Shut up, John,” she snapped back. “I’m just a little hungover from dinner last night and I don’t feel like ooh and ahh’ing over her ring over brunch.”
John saw this is as his signal to leave the conversation. Just before she headed toward the door, he told her, “Just let me know what you plan on doing. I’m meeting Todd at The Tavern in an hour or so, so we could meet up after.”
Caroline rolled her eyes and shut the door before calling an Uber.
“Are. you. freaking. kidding. me.”
Her hand was extended across the table as Caroline and Katie looked at it in awe.
“So, like, were you surprised?” Katie asked.
She had spent the majority of their flight back to the states planning her answers for every question a friend or family member could possibly ask. “I mean,” she began, “You think you’re prepared for it to happen, but you’re just not — you know?”
“Totally,” Katie affirmed while nodding along, “totally.”
In between the waiter refilling their champagne flutes with all-you-can-drink mimosas (made with fresh-squeezed orange juice), they kept quizzing her trying to extract any and all information out of her regarding the proposal. They weren’t so much invested in her and Todd’s story as much as they were trying to compare their own proposals to hers.
“I mean, how pissed was Todd that he had to take that Boomerang of you?” Caroline asked.
“Not as pissed as I was when I had like seven freaking likes after it was up forever,” she sarcastically responded. “Todd tried to assure me that it was the time difference but he was hamskied and couldn’t figure it out.”
They half-heartedly laughed before Caroline assured her, “Well, I’m certainly glad you called me beforehand so I didn’t have to find out through Instagram.” This wasn’t so much a sincere apology as much as it was a slight at Katie who did actually find out through Instagram. Katie simply took a sip of her drink and pretended not to hear what Caroline had said.
“So,” Katie interrupted, “have you guys picked a date yet?”
“Ugh, no,” she began. “Not yet. We’re just so busy, you know?”
Katie kept nodding — “I totally get that.”
“It’s just like, we don’t even know where we want to do it at this point,” she continued. “Sure, we can do it here but I just feel like we want to have a smaller ceremony and maybe even do a destination. My dad will probably try to do it at the country club because he’ll not want to do anything, but we were honestly thinking about Cabo or Aspen.”
Already thinking about how much money they were going to spend throughout this entire engagement, Caroline and Katie pretended to gush over the idea of a destination wedding. “Of fucking course she wants to have a destination wedding,” both of them thought but couldn’t actually say.
Tired of hearing about the wedding already and too hangry to pretend to care, Caroline finally asked, “Are they ever going to take our order? We’ve been here for, like, 35 minutes.”
Seemingly unphased by the complete and utter lack of service, she chimed in, “Ugh, I don’t even know if I’m hungry. The breakfasts we had in Paris were just so incredible that I was dreading coming back and eating American cuisine again.”
This not only infuriated Caroline but made her even more angry at the fact that it was closing in on noon and she hadn’t eaten anything yet. She wanted a lox bagel more than she wanted to have forced conversation about how good the food was in Paris.
“…we had these scones every morning and it’s honestly a miracle I didn’t gain a million pounds…”
Caroline searched for their waiter before finally spotting him at the table behind her.
“…I don’t know what it was but the macaroons there just taste so much better than the macaroons here…”
Caroline leaned back and attempted to get the waiter’s attention only for him to hold up a finger signaling, “One moment.”
“…and we went to this café that Gwyneth Paltrow recommended on Goop, and honestly, it wasn’t even the best café we went to while we were there — she’s gotten so mainstream…”
Finally, the waiter stood at the end of their table and apologized for not paying enough attention to them. “What can I get you to eat?” he asked while looking directly at Caroline who got his attention in the first place.
“I’ll do the lox bagel,” she told him while staring at the menu. “Is there any way you can do light cream cheese and a little side arugula side salad?”
He wrote her order down and said, “No problem,” only to look over at Katie next.
“Ummmm,” she hesitated, “Can I do this breakfast frittata? Is it, like, dry?”
He again began writing down her order and promised her that it was one of the most popular things on the menu. “Not dry at all,” he said. “And for you?”
Handing her menu over to him, she smiled and told him, “Can I just do the winter salad with dressing on the side? I’m not very hungry.”
“Sure thing,” he said before heading back into the kitchen.
“Looks like the wedding diet starts now, huh?” Caroline joked.
“Ugh,” she groaned. “Please. I’m a whale after Paris.” She had yet to relinquish pronouncing it “pair-ee.”
Holding back an eye roll, Caroline decided to misplace her annoyance and stir the pot.
“Have you thought much about a wedding party yet?” .