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Timothée sat patiently at his desk waiting for her to arrive. Looking down at his watch, he told himself he’d give her five more minutes before he canceled their appointment. Although she was just ten minutes late, the one thing he couldn’t stand for — be it at an actual wedding or simply an appointment just like this — was tardiness.
Just before his frustrations finally boiled over, he heard a knock at the door.
“Ugh, finally,” he remarked. Sliding his loafers back on and rising from his desk, he walked through the office and down the steps to let her in.
Barely giving him time to speak, she burst through the door. “I am so sorry,” she blurted out with her sunglasses still on. “I’m never late,” she continued while tromping up the stairs with her purse and Nordstrom bag draped over her arm. “The girl at Nordstrom took for-ev-er to ring me up, and by the time I actually got to leave, I looked in my bag and she forgot…”
She droned on as Timothée followed her up the stairs wondering how his world went from being so quiet to being so overwhelmingly stressful. Finally approaching his desk, she plopped down onto the stairs and let out an exasperated breath. “Phew,” she let out, “Now that that’s over, we can finally get started.”
Timothée looked her up and down as she finally took off her sunglasses only to ask, “Will Todd not be joining us today?”
She shook her head negatively while reaching into her purse to grab chapstick. “Not today, he had some big meeting at work that he couldn’t miss so I told him I’d handle it. TBH, it’s probably better this way anyway.”
Timothée was not a fan of one party going missing during the planning phase. He noticed that this often lead to further complications down the line, many of which would end up taking longer to fix than to plan in the first place had both parties been present.
“So,” she began, “have you been tracking my Pinterest boards?”
“I have,” he assured her while flipping through his notes. “You sure have a very defined aesthetic you want to achieve.” This was meant to come off as somewhat passive-aggressive, but she took it as a compliment.
“Why thank you, Timothée,” she commented. “I do my best.”
“But, we need to talk,” he followed up.
While she assumed it was about something directly involving the wedding — table arrangements, flowers, whether or not the groomsmen would be wearing boutonnieres — it was actually something much more direct and serious.
“I can’t have you being late or missing appointments anymore,” he broke to her. “We’ve only had one in-person meeting and the rest have either been rescheduled, canceled, or done via email.”
“I mean,” she tried to interrupt.
“No, no more,” he snapped back. While she seemed caught off-guard, she also kind of enjoyed the cattiness he was displaying. It wasn’t that she wanted him to run the show, but she did want someone who felt as invested as she had to be.
“I’m not sure if your mother has relayed this to you, but I am very good at what I do and my price reflects this,” he continued. “If you can confirm that you’re all in with me, we can continue today’s meeting like this never happened.”
She nodded aggressively and somehow took his mini-lecture better than he (or anyone else) expected. “I’m in, Timothée,” she promised him. “All the way in. No more missed appointments, no more being late no matter how shitty the sales girl at Nordstrom is.” Her joke didn’t land.
Reaching across the table with a binder in hand, Timothée handed it to her. It was as if she had just been given a book of secrets from a private Ivy League society.
Without confronting her apology, he explained, “In this binder, you will find absolutely everything you need. This is officially your bible until you and Todd whisk away to Capri or Greece or wherever you decide to honeymoon.”
As she started to open it, Timothée halted her, “No, not yet.”
She hadn’t had this kind of structure brought on her since her stint at lululemon.
“Before our next meeting, I want you to memorize this front to back,” he went on. “Sticky notes on what you like, red Xs on what you don’t like, bookmarks on things we need to revisit, everything.”
She nodded along.
“I’ve divided it into sections for you,” Timothée said while using his hands to instruct her to finally open it. “First and foremost, the venue. Every single venue in your price range is printed and on its own separate page. The fact that we haven’t decided on one at this point in the process is embarrassing, frankly.”
“Well, Todd and I have just—”
“No,” he stopped her. “By our next meeting, you are to come with your top three options and we will go from there. Without this being selected, I simply cannot go any further than I’ve already gone — which, admittedly, is too far.”
She nodded again with the same submission she had before.
“After you’ve made your choices, take the rest of this binder and review it with Todd at length.”
“At length,” she confirmed. “Got it.”
“And when I speak with him at our next meeting, Todd will have the same amount of knowledge in this binder as you and I both have — which is a complete mastery of it.”
Her nodding continued, albeit with slight hesitation for how Todd would handle having to become such an important part of this process. She had a feeling that Todd didn’t really have a meeting today, but simply figured he could miss their get-together and get debriefed afterward. While she likely wasn’t wrong, her main fear now would be explaining to Todd that he would have to make the decisions that he didn’t want to make.
“And finally,” Timothée began to conclude despite 30 minutes still being left in their session, “You and Todd need to plan a trip to Aspen for after our next session so you can actually live, see, and breath the decisions you’re making. Because this is to be a summer wedding, you absolutely must go before fall — I don’t care the price of tickets.”
“Ohhhhhh,” she gushed. “Absolutely!”
“This is not a vacation, madame,” he drove home to her. “This is strictly business. I don’t want to see photos of Todd golfing or you ‘hiking’ — no, this is a trip that hinges on productivity.”
“Okay, okay,” she accepted. “All work, no play, perfect.”
With that, Timothée smiled. He had not only gotten his points across, but the points of her mother as well. “On the same page?” he asked in closing.
“Same page,” she told him. “And that page is the table of contents of this very binder,” she attempted to cleverly tell him.
“Perfection,” Timothée said. “Now let me see what you got from Nordstrom, it better be good.” .