“What should the invitations say?”
“We should use his government name.”
“Most people only know him by ‘Big Boy, they won’t know who Chauncey is.”
“They’ll figure it out.”
The two sisters, Ida and Ella, sorted through an upholstered album filled with stationery samples debating paper weight, and whether embossed or calligraphy lettering was better. In the end, they selected a heavy cream-colored card stock with a masculine serif font printed in a dark mahogany ink.
“I do think the disco ball is a bit much though.” Ella sat with her hands daintily holder in her lap.
“It was a compromise,” Ida said. flipping folio pages “I refused to agree to the party hats and clowns he wanted. That would have been gauche for a man his age.”
“Thurston will most likely wear that denim Stetson of his, the one with the spray of hawk tail feathers,” said Ella helpfully. “There’s B.B.’s party hat.”
Ida paused on a page scrutinizing an array of cocktail napkin samples
“Then, if Lurlene shows up, he’ll have his clown,” Ella continued. “I’ve never met anyone who loved Periwinkle Blue eyeshadow and Sunset Coral blush as much as that woman.”
“I don’t know, a few of his other lady friends are also in that exclusive cosmetics club,” Ida turned the page.
“If you’re right, he’ll have a whole circus of clowns,” Ella said, pointing to her choice of a small, paper square embossed with silver, crossed wine glasses.
“This fête may not be the letter of the law, but it’s the spirit of it,” Ida said, turning to the “thank you” card section of the album
“The ‘spirit’.” Ella giggled. “You know this all may come back to haunt us.”
“Even if we included everything he asked for, we will offend someone.” Ida said, ignoring Ella’s portent. “We’re ‘damned’ if we do, ‘damned’ if we don’t. We can’t make everyone happy.”
“‘Damned’….” Ella giggled again. “We’re both going to hell.”
“I think we’re done here,” Ida said, closing the album. “Did you call Piggy’s?”
“I did,” Ella, her pink patent leather purse hanging from her elbow, handed Ida’s purse to her. “They will deliver enough ribs, brisket, and chicken legs for 5o, along with all the fixings to the Moose Lodge at 10. I even ordered extra cheese biscuits.”
“B.B. would have approved,” Ida said
“When your time comes, Ida,” Ella laid a hand on her sister’s shoulder, “what do you want?”
Ida paused on the sidewalk outside the stationery store, squinting in the sunlight.
“Ella,” Ida began slowly. “B.B. always liked being the center of attention in life, I expected nothing less in death. Cremate me and be done with it. If you so much as put a sappy notice in the paper for me, I will make you wish you went first.”