Sunday, January 17, 2010

my apparent cake curse

Flamingos and snowflakes?

Man, those northern-most Ohio people at that blog

are a little cuckoo!

I know that's what you must be thinking.

A. has always fancied flamingos since she was a toddler. It's one of those mysteries of parenthood, trying to decide where these attractions come from that your kids latch on to. We obviously have no live flamingos in Ohio, not even at our zoo! A. even collects flamingo Christmas ornaments.

I am endlessly amazed by how many different flamingo Christmas ornaments there are out in the world. Her attraction to these pink birds with backwards knees is even funnier because she likes to often pair them with her birthday which is in January. Did I mention we live in OHIO??!

Two days before her birthday this last week, A. made this cake. She likes to bake. I do not. Sorry, I just don't. I teased that she was baking herself a birthday cake. I half teased.
The night before her birthday as we were running around in the Mom taxi from this stop to that activity and all around town, I said we would stop at the local small grocery that has a nice bakery and A. could pick out any cake she wanted. She chose one with nice flowers and lots of pink. Surprise, surprise. Gee, I think that would go nicely with a flamingo or 2.

Silly Mom suggested that we make it more personal (and what else says "personal" than a store bought cake chosen from the slim selection on hand at 7:00 pm, bought in haste between scurrying around town, the night before a birthday?) by asking at the bakery counter if they could write her name in icing under the plastic pink "Happy Birthday" trinket.

Here is where my birthday cake curse started to take shape. I had this old feeling before, with N's last store bought "personal" cake, last August (from a different store).

We asked two very fine friendly looking young gentlemen behind the bakery/deli counter if they could simply add the name to this cake to make it complete. "It is her 14th birthday tomorrow!", I added cheerfully. The immediate invisible tension in the air made me wonder if A. wanted to shrink behind the nearby endcap display of toilet tissue to escape her hopelessly embarrassing Mom! Can you imagine? Honestly!

One young man responded truthfully, "I can't do that. I don't do that."

The other young man chimed in quickly, "I can do it. I have done it lots of times. See, the bakery girls leave at 3:30 for the day and then it's just us. We are meat cutters."

Oh dear, this is where I should have cut bait and ran to the checkout line with the cake as is, good 'nuf! But no! I let it all play out like some Saturday Night Live skit, in the presence of my extremely embarrassed almost 14 year old daughter.

The "meat cutter" says, "How about pink like the flowers?"

I respond, "Yes, perfect!" I am enthusiastically nodding my head and so is A. This could turn out just fine after all. Have a little faith, would ya!

After too much time has elapsed he proudly emerges from behind the scenes of the bakery/deli department and presents A. with the cake, again all enclosed in it's clear plastic clam shell domed lid. As he transfers it from his hands to hers he says,

~~[get ready, brace yourself]~~

"There. I did pink AND BLUE. BLUE like your coat!!!!"

We gazed at the top of the cake and our faces fell into a strange expression as we studied the name written first in pink and then over-written in blue.


There is no BLUE ANYWHERE, ANYWHERE else on that cake. Does he want her to wear her BLUE coat while she is blowing out her candles???????????????????

In his defense he did give me a HUGE hint of events to come when I handed over the very "personal" cake to him to alter. Remember? He did say, "We are meat cutters."

I only have myself to blame.

I should just bake. Simple. Done. I should JUST BAKE!

Here is why I have a store bought cake curse cast upon me from some karma devil. This has happened before. Before, I tell ya!

Last August, the night before N's 9th birthday I found time to run to a different store in our town to chose a "personal" cake for my one and only son. I had plenty of time. The store wasn't closing for another 20 minutes, after all. This will work.

I scanned the case of cakes waiting to be taken home to various parties by Mom's who dearly love their offspring, but apparently not enough to bake for them on their one day each year which bonds a Mother and child.

No no! Not one masculine looking cake of any size shape or flavor. Nothing without flowers. Nothing!

I explained in detail my dilemma--I inquired of the very nice looking friendly young man (with the hair net over his beard) if he could possibly write "Happy Birthday N." in icing on the top of any of these cakes and I could scrape off the flowers when I get home and smooth out the frosting. I was sure I could handle THAT! Come on, I'm not a total loser. I could even add a Hot Wheels monster truck or an macho guy action figure or something to "guy it up".

Mr. hair-netted-beard-man said yes, and so I eenie meanie minie moe'd one of the cakes and handed it off to him.

I had faith. He could do this. I could come through with a cake for N. that would be acceptable.

Well, after way too much time had elapsed (was he multi-tasking back there and sweeping up the floor? After all, it was getting closer to closing time) he emerged from behind the scenes clutching the cake in his proud little hands, handing it to me just as the voice that comes from the ceiling speakers announced, "Please take all your final selections to the check out lines as the store will close in 5 minutes."

I looked at the cake and my expression melted quicker than ice cream in August. Yes, he had skillfully written "Happy Birthday N."
....right next to the NEW BLUE FLOWERS he had painstakingly created in the same spot where he had scraped off the purple flowers.
Cake curse. Bad cake karma.
At least I was still N's hero because he was surprised by a new (nearly new hand me down) shiny red bike for his birthday.

Happy birthday A., my love. Your own flamingo cake was a masterpiece.
And besides, you have decided to have your party with friends in February. Maybe I have learned my lesson on store bought altered creations, and will bake for you.
Stay tuned for that one!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

1 comment:

Jennifer Conway said...

ha-ha-ha....toooooo funny!