So, after obsessing for an hour, I decided to be truly brave and return the call.
“Hi, Amber. This is Jules from cooking-”
I was just return-”
“Chef asked me to call you. She’s concerned. She really wants, well I’m sure she’s already talked to you. But, she’s really, umm, concerned about the menu for the banquet.”
“Well, I’m sure she’s said it to you a hundred times, but she’s so impressed with your recipes from the hors d’ouevres class. Well, she really wants us to be the driving force on the menu for the banquet.”
“I was hoping that we could get together and discuss some ideas.”
“Ideas?” (I still was not getting it).
“Yeah. Do you want to come over for a glass of wine and talk. Do you drink wine?” (Stop laughing.)
“Sure. That sounds great. (Those were the words coming out of my mouth, while my brain was yelling at me…’No! No! No!’)
“How about Saturday?”
“Umm okay. When do you want to meet? ”
“How about 5?”
“OK. Do you want to come here? (Brain yelling again, ‘What are you an idiot? Are you going to drug the children? Not to mention your house looks like sh*t. Are you going to clean? Why is it that you don’t clean? You don’t have a job. Dude!’)
“You have little kids. I don’t want you to go crazy. Come here.”
“That would be fine. What can I bring?”
“Nothing. We’ll just hammer out some preliminary ideas.”
“Great. See you then.”
I took down her address. No need for directions. She’s only two blocks away.
I hung up the phone feeling so relieved. It was like taking ski boots off after a long day on the slopes.
I enjoyed the high for two seconds and then immediately began the imperative task of chronic self-doubt.
What did she mean? Chef was praising me? Chef has never praised me to my face like that? Menu? Banquet? Going to her house?
I began to sweat.
I don’t want to go. I don’t want to go to her house. I don’t want to plan a menu. I just want to work at this banquet quietly, behind the scenes, and get this whole thing behind me.