I am moving to Baltimore soon. I have lived in a nice apartment complex for the past three years while recovering from two knee replacement operations and, during which I slipped into taking writing seriously while I rehabbed.
My place had many nice amenities, starting with elevators because I lived on the second floor overlooking the pool from my patio. The complex had many other niceties: covered parking in the building; wrap-around balcony with a gazebo and professional grill; Zen garden; free wi-fi and computers in the business center; concierge, conference room with big screen wall-mounted computer display; large well-appointed lounge with a coffee and tea bar 24×7, and a big screen TV with premium FIOS package; prompt and friendly maintenance services, and convenient shops and restaurants just a short walk away. Beyond all of these luxuries, what I will miss the most is the plate of warm fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies that were put out every week day at about 10 am and 2 pm.
Sometimes the simple touches are what we remember the most.
Earlier while planning my move to Baltimore I noticed one day that the cookies had suddenly disappeared and replaced by fruit. I promptly asked my responsive apartment manager, Judy, what had happened. Apparently I was not the only one missing their cookie fix. A groundswell of anger was growing in the apartment community at having their cookies suddenly taken away.
Judy told me that it was all a big misunderstanding because the cookie dough delivery service had opted to discontinue delivery because the small amount did not justify the cost to them. I suggested that she send out a memo to all residents quickly with a solution to quell the unrest. “We want our cookies back,” I said defiantly. During our discussion, Judy, like a good manager, skillfully turned my heated discussion back on me to solve the problem by saying, “as our ‘resident writer,’ why don’t you write that memo with a solution for me to consider? I took the bait and wrote the following memo:
It is my sad duty to inform you that our dearly beloved Cookie Monster (aka “Cookie”) passed away late last Friday from a fatal heart attack and will no longer be providing us with her quotidian of warm home-baked chocolate chippers. I know many of us just took Cookie for granted, but dealing with her every day I know that she was a wonderful and reflective person who cared deeply for all of us.
This became apparent as I heard her will read at the law firm of Flotsam, Jetsam & Fleesam on Monday. She knew that times were changing and that as good as her cookies tasted, she knew that they could also be bad for some; they were highly addictive and excess sugar contributed to poor health. There was even a nascent political movement afoot to regulate her cookies as a banned illegal substance.
So, in her will she arranged to pay for a Wake in her honor after she passed that would be catered with sweets galore for everyone to celebrate her life with one last no-guilt binge of pastries and treats of every kind. But she did more. Cookie also arranged to have fresh fruits replace her cookies every day as her parting gift of love to us, each and every one, for a healthier and happier life.
Cheers for the Monroe Cookie Monster! Plans for the Wake will be announced shortly.
Judy, Apartment Manager (Cookie’s closest friend)
Judy deleted the funny lawyer line in deference to the large number of lawyers who lived at the complex; she sent out the edited memo with a date for the wake. Some residents personally expressed their heartfelt condolences to Judy for the untimely death of “Cookie,” a sensitive touch appropriate for one of the simple touches in life.