I worked with a young designer once who, although she was incredibly gifted in matters of both design and detail, was rather innocent, naïve, and occasionally dim. I say that lovingly, matter-of-factly, and without the slightest iota of measurable judgment, I assure you.
Normally I would disguise her name as to protect her anonymity and honor, as well as shield myself from her scorn and revenge, but her very name is so apt in this situation that I shall no longer take the risk. I shall simply and most-fictionally refer to her as Beauxette. You, dear reader, may wonder most privately as to what proper given name could be so appropriate and quick to incite a blush.
One day at the office, Beauxette was preparing a holiday flier announcing her availability for home decoration and fluffing, as well her fee schedule to which she would gleefully add her hourly rate:
$75 to create a custom wreath (excluding materials); $250 to decorate a Christmas tree, or similar plantlife (again, excluding materials); $50 to create holiday flourishes intertwined in a chandelier; and $100 to create a seasonal mantle vignette (yep, excluding materials).
I think you get the picture, my friends. My friend offered a full-service holiday treatment for the home!
Needless to say, Beauxette knew her way around French ribbon and could tie an effulgent, gorgeous bow like no one I had ever or since met! Further, she adored Christmas and would certainly treat each assignment as if it were special and her only one … offering the job both uniqueness and full attention.
After completing her flier, she summoned me to proofread her rough draft, as I was the official grammarian at our firm. While she took a break, I corrected the few spelling errors, reformatted it a bit (perfectionisto that I am!), and started toying with various ideas for a better heading.
I had the naughtiest of epiphanies, if indeed there is such a mixed moment or sentiment. I typed in my fake title, with every intention of eventually returning to the project and creating a more suitable and tasteful banner!
I printed several copies and placed them on my coworkers’ desks, squelched any laughter, and awaited Beauxette’s return. She indeed joined me a few minutes later, read the “final” product, and was delighted: ”Beauxette’s Bow Jobs”
She looked at me blankly as I finally let loose in an uproar that only could emanate from one as naughty as I! Oh my God: I was going to have to explain it to her! Reluctantly, I did. She was embarrassed, not because of any vulgarity but instead because it went right over her blonde, well-coiffed head!
She had no realization that she had fallen victim to (let’s say) the “aural” version of a trompe l’oeil moment.
Beauxette corrected the phrasing and we printed one hundred pristine tasteful copies of “Seasonal Stylings by Beauxette”.
She then hurriedly mailed them out, anticipating a flurry of responses, yet her efforts only yielded one such Christmas project. At least, it was for a full house of decorations, involving myriad rolls of festive ribbon and what must’ve been a mile of juniper garland. Beauxette did, however, share with me her reluctant irony in this matter. When she was finished, and her client was writing her a substantial check, she noticed her flier on the counter. As she approached it, she soon realized it was one of the original “gag” ones I had prepared. Neither she nor the client ever mentioned anything to each other about this most glaring of “errors”. She simply got in her car and came back to the office.
I, of course, was mortified: filled with mental images of humiliation, embarrassment, and tawdry discourse! Fortunately all was averted.
It seems as though Beauxette’s client was also innocent, naïve, and dim. In this case, I remark thus not-so-lovingly and perhaps indeed with a modicum of seasonal judgment!
“Beauxette’s Bow Jobs”. We all still smile about it, except for Beauxette of course. Then again, she was never fond of innuendo!
I think of my coworker often. That is especially true whenever I finish preparing a gift, with a particularly spectacular bow, with all its perfect and dramatic flourishes.
Don’t even go there, my friends! Don’t even look for the key to that filing cabinet!
(Image: “Red Ribbon” by David Stoupakis, 2006.)