I had lived here two months when I was asked to be a member of the Garden Club. It was the first real invitation I had gotten here that was non-teacher-related, and of course any teacher-related invites were more for Marvin Gardensalad — I was just the trophy wife.
(Whoo! What a trophy. What'd you do, win Most Improved Paper Clip Unfurler? [That was the least exciting thing I could think of. I am exhausted; sue me. You'll see why in a minute.])
The Garden Club was established in my town in 1939. Every month, the members meet and create something foliage-y for the community. One time we planted flowers all around the city — in front of the library, the historical museum, the court house. One other time, we made Christmas arrangements for people in hospice.
It quickly became evident that I was nowhere near good enough of a human being to be in Garden Club. In the first place, these are true Southern women — genteel, polite, beautiful, well-groomed. I am from the Midwest and I use the "F" word 748 times a day. I have not one, but two tattoos. I can stick my entire fist in my mouth. I doubt any of these women have even tried to see if they could.
Plus, these are actual women. Women who cook, create, plant, and probably even clean. I do none of these things. You need someone who can stick their fist in their mouth? I'm your gal. You want something lovely and womanly? Try Janet Reno. She is WAY more girly than I am.
So, this month, we are having a luncheon with another Garden Club. I do not know if we will rumble for our turf. I am kind of doubting it.
At any rate, one of my fellow members asked if I'd make a dessert for said affair. The dessert was already picked out, it involved lady fingers, and it was "easy." That is what my fellow Garden Club member told me. "Easy." That was the word she used.
"Well, okay, " I said, wanting to be liked at Garden Club. "I don't really know how to, you know, cook, though."
"No, no, you'll have no problem," said the genteel Garden Club member, who as I recall made a stunning hospice arrangement in December. Who made to-die-for truffles at her last party. Whose house looks like a page from Better Southern Homes Than You'll Ever Have & Also Gardens That Are Perfect magazine.
You guys. Yesterday she brought me the lady fingers, and also the recipe. The recipe is this:
I am NOT exaggerating for dramatic effect. THIS IS THE DESSERT I AM SUPPOSED TO WHIP UP! The "EASY" DESSERT!
I have never even made instant pudding for dessert! And I am supposed to create this beribboned thing?!?!
I am beginning to think this is some sort of hazing ritual, and when I come in with sunken lady fingers, crying, they will all say, "Ahhh-hahhh! Fooled you! Welcome to Garden Club!"
Oh, I hope so.
I went to evil Wal-Mart just now to get the ingredients. Did you know there is a milk product called "whipping cream"? It is not Cool Whip. It is like some kind of cream. Also? There is something called unflavored gelatin. Why would you want Jello that has no flavor? Do I know?
Oh! Oh! And get this! I have to SIFT powdered sugar. I didn't even know they still MADE powdered sugar, and why do you have to sift it? What do I sift it with? An hourglass?
Also, I had to purchase a souffle bowl, because the recipe just assumes you have one lying around.
And the final hurrah, the thing that sent Marvin and me into hysterics, was that you serve it on a "serving platter." A SERVING PLATTER. I said, "What does THAT mean?" Marvin said, "A platter that you serve food on, maybe?" We really don't know. We bought some flat silver thing and we are hoping for the best.
This thing has to be made tomorrow night. And I can't even EAT any of it, because it has 75 billion Weight Watcher's points!
I am so, SO getting kicked out of Garden Club.