â€œI donâ€™t want to give cookies that look like they were made by a five-year-old,â€ Renate complains early in our cookie-frosting expedition. I’m paying scant attention to the final appearance of my cookies, and it’s exasperating.
She spends five minutes on a snowman.
â€œSee?â€ She presents the smooth, unblemished result.
â€œPeople don’t care what they look like,â€ I tell her. “People only care what they taste like.”
I give a soldier a red jumpsuit and Don King hair.
“That looks terrible,” Renate says. “Be serious.”
My mother’s to blame for this marital strife. Last week she asked us to bring additional holiday cookies to supplement the mounting Christmas stock. Dinkel’s charges $2 per decorated cookie, which set Renate on a mission.
“I’ll show them two dollars a cookie,” she says as we begin frosting this afternoon. Earlier in the day, she mused aloud that we could give the snowmen scarves and the Christmas trees garlands.
But after completing a star and a tree, morale begins to wane. “This takes forever,” she sighs. I sense opportunity.
“If you do it my way, we’re done in ten minutes,” I say, carelessly smearing a star one-half red, one-half green. I get a look.
“Just let me do it,” she says, the perfectionist instinct kicking back in.
Thirty minutes later she’s done, resulting in a tray of colorfully decorated cookies. My Don King soldier stands alone on the cooling stand, his head gone, bitten off, a warning.