I’m sitting in Starbucks.
I’ve got my Soy Caramel Macchiato and a new novel. I’ve lucked out and am seated in the corner, in a comfy chair between two windows.
There are two women sitting at a table near me: One is a bride-to-be, and the other is a wedding planner. They both have hybrid NJ-ValleyGirl accents, broadcasting loudly with requisite lengthened aaa sounds. Bride has vocal fry; Planner’s voice is naturally edgier and harsh.
I’m trying to read, but their volume is so high it’s impossible to concentrate.
They’re discussing whether it would be beneficial to have a signature drink at the wedding.
Will they have craft beer?
“Gaaaahd, yes! We’ll have at least 8 craft beers. It’s, like, his thing! He’s, like, really into that. He, like, loves craft beers and he knows, like, all this stuff about them.”
Planner thinks they should highlight both their interests. She gets details about their hobbies. She’ll arrange promos, cups, room signs, posters; all their printing will be handled.
Bride says they’ll “have an ice cream baaaaaar, and, like, a photo booth. And even, like, a candy baaaaaar”.
“Aaaahwmygaawd, that sounds so kuh-ute!”
Yes, the Bride agrees she is “totally gonna love thaaaht!”
The wedding is going to be at the Seaview (a high-end local hotel and golf resort). This is easily a $40,000 affair, just for the venue. And they’ll be arranging rooms for guests.
The longer they talk, the more Planner sounds like Bride. This is brilliant mirroring, a very good sales technique.
There’s so much to discuss.
So many details to work out!
My book mocks me.
They’ve moved on to colors. “Here’s the purple I’ll be using. The maids will all wear this!”
“Thaaaht is exactly the shade I’d use, if I ever get married!”
I’ve given up trying to read in earnest. I’ve closed my eyes and am just grooving on the banter.
It’s hard to believe, but they’ve gotten even louder.
They are indistinguishable now; Planner has even developed Bride’s intimate vocal fry.
It’s clear this couple has plenty of money, and the planner is practiced in the art of spending.
I’m listening to the rhythm of it all, and my head is now pounding.
Back and forth and back and forth.
And then, all at once, they’ve left.
The shop goes silent, the way it would just after an explosion.
I’m left with only a faint ringing in my ears.
*cell phone cake topper photo from http://www.magicalday.com