Chapter 32 The winter wonderland

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Flora dove headfirst into party planning, and I suddenly found myself engaged in secret meetings with her all the time. One of these nights we were talking on the phone, and as I glanced at the time I saw it had passed midnight. I had a feeling of déjà vu. That was how it had been when we were together, talking and losing track of time, although back then the phone conversations were a lot dirtier.

"At first I wanted to do a Great Gatsby themed party, but then I decided against it because I don't want to see a lot of fake pearls and ugly jewelry," Flora said. I lay in bed with my eyes closed, letting her voice swirl around me. "So how about this? We will have a winter theme. It's easy because I'll just ask people to wear colors like light blue, white and silver. I'm seeing lots of chiffon, silk, satin, and sequins....are you listening to me?"

"Yes. You were saying you want a winter theme." I was really only half-concentrating. She could be reading the obituary from the paper for all I cared. I just wanted to hear her voice.

"Right. I mean, it's only October, but like fashion I like to be one step ahead. I don't want people to dress up as characters. After all, I don't trust these freshmen's taste and I don't want a tacky costume party. But if they really want a costume they can be fairies in winter wonderland. What do you think?"

"I think it's great." I think I don't care.

"I have a million ideas already. I want ice-sculptures in the driveway, white, silver and light blue balloons and silver streamers, a disco ball, some lanterns, a projector that projects snowflakes and stars, and I'm going to move all the furniture in your living room," Flora was talking a mile a minute. "I'll divide the room into game zone, dance floor, lounge area, snack bar, and hot food stand, but there won't be too many seats because I want people on their feet so there's a good flow. And speaking of food, I'm thinking a white chocolate fountain, cookies with frosting, some light blue drinks like Calpis, sprinkling soda water, designer cupcakes with silver sprinkles, and maybe a candy floss machine and a slushie machine."

I did a quick calculation of how all of the above mentioned was going to cost and hated almost everything she suggested. It was also very hard for me to get excited about white chocolate fountain and cupcakes. I really just wanted pizza, although Flora was likely to complain that it didn't go with the party theme colors.

Why did I ask her to plan a party for me? I must have a self-destructive personality disorder. Or maybe I just wanted an excuse to call her all the time.

"Flora, you sound like you're planning Branjolina's wedding reception."

"I know, isn't it grand? I'm debating if we should order customized water bottles with Linda's face on it, or print life-sized cardboard photos of Linda at all stages of life," she said.

"Probably not. The idea of Linda staring at me from a hundred water bottles is a bit eerie. I hate to be a joy-killer, but how are we going to pay for all that?"

She was only silent for a second. "Maybe we should add a cover charge. People tend to think something's more precious when they need to pay for it."

"Flora! I'm not going to charge people for coming to a home party! It's tacky, if not illegal." What world did she grow up in?

She laughed, a stream of pearls in white, blue and silver. "Kidding, Sean. I found a way to work around the DJ and caterer. I used to know this guy Jason who was a pretty good DJ and he agreed to do it for free. Also I met someone on a family vacation in Fiji. His mom is a caterer, so I'm going to get a huge discount. I'm pulling all connections to fit everything under your budget, so don't worry."

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