Birthday Cake Woes


I never pictured myself the type of woman to freak out about a birthday cake, and I’m embarrassed to admit to you that I have become that person.  Yes, friends, I got angry over a birthday cake.  Not quite where I could feel my blood boil, but it was definitely simmering.

I’d carefully made my way through the grocery store, making sure to keep the cake in the middle of the box.  It was a perfect Sesame Street cake, with Big Bird and Elmo driving down a highway of icing.  We made it all the way to the check-out and through the scanner.  And then it happened.  The cashier bumped the cake, causing a roll-over of Big Bird proportions, right into the middle of the blue sky.

I insisted a manager come to the lane and get it fixed.  And then it happened.  The hateful woman move.  The actions of a woman who has company coming in an hour, hasn’t seen how clean her husband has gotten the house, and has visions of a ruined birthday cake that will destroy the entire party.

I’ve thought for months about how I wish I could be a gracious person in any situation.  Like Justin’s aunt, who welcomed us into her house at 10:00 at night without any notice.  Like Allie, who immediately agreed to pick up Robbie at 5:30 in the evening because I was delayed skydiving.  And here was my opportunity.

While the cake was being fixed, Cecil looked at me an apologized for messing up the cake.  I could have said, “No problem!  It could have happened to anyone, and it’s being fixed now.”  I could have.  But I didn’t.  I snapped, “Well, you have to be careful with cakes.”  And sounded like that disdainful mother whose child you feel sorry for.

As soon as the words were out of my mouth, I regretted it.  Of course, the store was busy, so there was no immediate opportunity for me to apologize.  I did, though, right before we left with our now-perfect cake.  I still feel terrible for the way I handled the situation, but at least I attempted to make it better.

I’m sure you’re waiting for the twist.  There’s always one in my life, right?  Well, for Robbie’s birthday, we had the neighbors and their kids over along with Micah and Allie.  We made it through hamburgers and hot dogs, the adults mostly getting time to talk to each other (about poop, of course; after all, this was a child’s birthday party).  All of a sudden, there was a struggle in the middle of the yard.

Nick, our neighbor, had his daughter in one hand and was wrestling a cake box away from Robbie with the other.  Yes.  My perfect Sesame Street cake had been pulled from the table to a cake-deprived two-year-old.  The poor child had been begging for cake since he woke up at 9:00 this morning (you read that right – we slept until 9:00 this morning!).  And there it was, within his grasp.  And destroyed.

Big Bird took a header off the corner of the cake.  Icing was all over the box.  And, of course, I hadn’t gotten a picture of the cake in it’s state of perfection.  But I think I’ll take a destroyed birthday cake over a pristine one any day of the week.  Especially if it means that my little boy is so excited about his birthday that’s all he can think about.


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