Brie flits about the Waitrium high on a triple dirty chai, overseeing the lobby's transformation. Thousands of fairy lights are strewn across the ceiling like a starlit sky devoid of light pollution. Oversized paper lanterns and giant butterfly kites hang and sway. The florist is busy carting in a jungle of orchids, and the packages from the Floridian butterfly breeder just arrived unscathed. Hundreds of monarchs and painted ladies will be released just before the guests arrive.
The VJ is right on time, and Brie sits down to talk to him about her ideas for the projections. She turns to the large white wall in question. "I've got a whole metamorphosis-before and after-rags to riches-subliminal growth explosion-significant transformation thing in mind," she tells the shy half-Japanese, half-Latino kid in yellow eyeglasses. "I want it to be organic and luscious. You know, dripping with a sexual undercurrent yet not totally shocking or overt. Subtly subversive... like the opposite of time-elapse photography showing fruit rotting. Does that make sense?"
He whips out his MacBook. "Completely. Give me an hour."
Next up, a check-in with the Juice Pagoda people who are busy pouring veggie/fruit juice blends into mustache-shaped ice pop molds to be passed around as a combination palate refresher and party gag. Selfie city @TheCenterofLA #Goalmates #ForeverYoung.
"Let's keep the colors light. No beets, no berries. I don't want people leaving early because they dripped juice down their dress. Let's stick with citrus celery and stuff like that."
Clarissa, one of Brie's favorite clients, comes in with the custom scents she has created to pair with the passed hors d'oeuvres. "Okay," she says, holding the atomizers. "So this is the black pepper jasmine. This goes with the uni mousse on the spoon, but tell the servers just one spritz because it has the potential to overwhelm."
Brie is starting to make notes on her phone when she spies Benji in the corner with sunglasses on, looking around like a spectator. "Actually, let me introduce you to Benji. I think I'll have him brief the servers."
The two women hustle over to where Benji stands diddling around with his phone.
"Hey," Brie says.
"Hey," he says, not looking up.
"Did you call the DJ to confirm?"
"Okay... remind him that I want the new Belle and Sebastian album in there somewhere. And make sure he throws in some Elton John or something for the older people. It'll make them feel more at ease."
He's still staring at his phone.
She leans in. "Did you hear what I just said? What are you doing?"
"Sorry, I've got an epic game of Crazy Taxi City Rush going on right now. It's like an addiction. I can't stop playing."
Brie sucks some air through her teeth. "Well you should stop, now, because I need your help. Clarissa here is going to tell you about the food perfumes the servers will be spraying on peoples' wrists with all the appetizers. It's super important they know which ones go with which, or it'll be disgusting. Can you handle this?"
He's still tapping madly on his phone.
Benji is laughing. "I can't. I swear to God, I cannot stop." His whole body goes into a convulsion as he twirls his finger on the screen. "Fuck that green Volkswagen! That dude has it out for me."
Brie looks at Clarissa. "Never mind, I'll brief the servers. It's too important." She looks at Benji. "Call the DJ now."
"K fine, don't stress."
YOU ARE READING
Brie Baggio thinks she's ready... for marriage, kids, the whole shebang. She's pushing forty, and even though she's the Senior Anti-Aging Ambassador at Los Angeles's hottest med spa, Botox can't paralyze that nagging feeling that it's now or never...