Home > The Thing About Love

The Thing About Love
Author: Kim Karr

Back to the Drawing Board



. . . . . . You’re not nervous, just excited.

. . . . . . . . You’re not nervous, just excited.

I had been chanting these five words for the past couple of blocks. The dose of calm my self-help book had assured me this phrase would trigger had yet to take effect.

I made a mental note to return that book. If anything, I was even more wound up than I had been before. Now my heart was beating faster, my palms were sweatier, and my entire body was trembling.

I had to calm down—and soon.

Having already tried smiling, closing my eyes, and thinking positively, I was entirely out of stress relievers.

Time to suck it up—and deal.

The mere thought of meeting with prospective clients always made me slightly anxious, but today I was full-out nervous.

Oh God, did I have everything I needed?

As I stepped off the curb to cross the street, I ran through the list I kept in my head. Menu options—check. Invitation samples—check. Venue photos—check. Favor ideas—check. Jaxson’s business card—check.




Yes, all the checks were tucked safely in my bag.

All of a sudden it seemed to weigh a ton. Feeling like I was carrying the weight of the world on one shoulder, I attempted to switch the heavy leather tote to the other side. While doing so, the strap slipped from my sweaty grip, and my bag dropped to the ground. With a shriek, I watched in horror as all the contents tumbled out.

In the middle of the busy street, I found myself on my bare knees trying to gather my things before the light changed to green and all of my hard work turned into road kill, not to mention myself.

As I shoved the blue fabric swatch into the vast, leather rectangle, I thought about the young woman I had an appointment with in less than an hour. She was engaged to the Governor’s son, and she wanted her wedding to be the most significant affair the State of Georgia had ever seen.

Beep. Beep.

Beep. Beep.

Scrambling back on my feet, I rushed to the corner with my mind still on the client I was desperate to sign. Landing this event was exactly what Easton Design & Weddings needed to prove to the community that the new management was just as capable as the previous.

The problem was I wasn’t one hundred percent sure it was. But I’d keep that to myself.

There was no doubt in my mind the press received from nuptials of this magnitude would be of tremendous value.

The timing couldn’t be more perfect.

I had to land this job.

Even if only to prove to myself I was more than competent enough for this position.

With the afternoon sun beating down on me, the air felt unusually thick in my lungs. I took three deep breaths while making my way along Peachtree Road. Blowing them out slowly, I glanced down at my outfit.

In a navy shift dress embroidered with white birds that I happened to catch sight of in the thrift store window only ten minutes ago, I knew I should feel confident about my upcoming appointment.

This dress was undoubtedly a sign.

Although I had gotten more than a few strange looks from passersby on the sidewalk, I didn’t care because what I was wearing was more than appropriate.

Trust me.

When I heard someone shout, “Pierre, come back here,” I quickly lifted my gaze just in time to see a dog trotting in my direction. Before his owner could retrieve the leash, the toy poodle was at my feet. I bent down to pet the little ten-pound cutie, and when I did, he barked so fiercely it startled me, and I went flying backward into a trashcan.

“I’m so sorry,” the older man said. “Pierre tends to get excited around pretty girls.”

Straightening up, I smiled. “It’s fine.”

Hey, at least someone got excited when he saw me.

After wiping any debris from my rear, I reached for the sanitizer in my bag and squeezed some on my hands, and then I decided it was time to hasten my pace.

This walk seemed endless today.

I probably should have driven, but parking was always impossible on this side of town.

When I saw someone get out of the back of a car and then watched it drive off, I considered the fact that I probably should have taken an Uber, but then again, that was money I didn’t need to spend.

Blowing a piece of stray hair from my face, I sighed. I probably should have skipped lunch with my uncle, but I couldn’t do that.

Sighing again, I thought about all the ‘probably should haves’ and ‘buts’ in my life and sped up. No time to contemplate the decisions I’d already made. They were mine, and I owned them. The thing was . . . I wanted everything to be perfect . . . I just didn’t know how to make it that way.

With long strides, I glanced into the window of designer store after designer store until, at long last, I turned onto the small street that would bring me to the older and ever-so-charming area of Buckhead known as Wedding Lane.

As soon as I felt the cobblestone beneath my feet, my heartbeat finally began to slow.

I loved this part of town.




Amidst the old sidewalks and the flowering magnolias, one could find floral shops, bridal boutiques, travel agencies, fine china stores, stationary lofts, and of course the offices of almost every principal event planner in Atlanta, including my own.

It was three solid blocks of heaven.

One more turn, another lane, and then I spotted it—the battered red brick of the building I was headed toward. With all those industrial-sized windows, it made it hard to believe the place was one of the best bakeries in the southeast.

The Bride Box was a gem tucked away for those of us in the wedding business seeking out the very best of the best.

A bead of sweat dripped down my back as I once again hastened my pace, and then I was finally here. Like a kid in a candy shop, I peeked through the clear glass and there it was. A burst of delight shot through me. Even from the sidewalk, the sight made my knees go weak.

Its size.

The colors.

Its design.

The birds.

This cake was going to make a magnificent first impression, and it was going to knock my pitch right out of the park.

Even in the oppressive heat of this typical Atlanta summer day, I couldn’t help but stare at it for a few long moments.

Don’t be mistaken. I wasn’t bragging. This place wasn’t my business. I wasn’t the baker. I was a wedding planner, and this was the place I had selected to meet Rory Kissinger for the very first time.

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