Monday, May 7, 2012

Let Them Eat Cake!

by Kathleen Bradean

I'm sort of meh about my birthday. I don't mind getting older. I don’t care if people know how old I am (48). But even for my wedding, that whole queen for a day thing never interested me much. Perhaps that's why I was so happy being crew for high school plays and miserable when I was in the cast. Behind the scenes was my little world - invisible, comfortable, and the calm eye of the storm of chaos swirling around it. Onstage is... you'd have to have seen Apocalypse Now to get this reference, but "The horror, the horror!"

I like gifts such as editing on my manuscript or website design. No one likes giving something like that as a gift though. I've been told that I'm hard to shop for. That's all right since my counterpart is just as difficult. And we're okay with shopping for ourselves. (Although this year he found some very cool steampunky things for me - a ray gun and a clock. I'm a huge clockworks fan. So I was enchanted.)

But there is one thing I've never had for a birthday that I wouldn't mind having. I'd like one very lovely custom multi-tiered birthday cake, just for once. Part of this goes back to my wedding, where the cake would have qualified for the website Cake Wrecks if there had been such a thing way back when. Instead of clusters of wisteria cascading elegantly down the side of an ivory cake, we had purple icing dots arranged in triangles sort of like an overhead view of bowling pins. They didn't even embellish the purple dots with green leaves, which would have made the design vaguely resemble something botanical- maybe a cluster of grapes if you squinted right - but the baker couldn't be bothered to make that much of an effort even though I gave him the beginners cake decorating book with step-by-step instructions on how to make it. Yeah. Married 28 years and I'm still not over that. So I want another cake, and this time, I want it to look - and taste - spectacular.

However, I've often found that wanting things is much more fun than having them. For now, I get to imagine thousands of different cakes that I could get. A Maleficent cake? Steampunk? Art Deco? Jules Vernes? An octopus? Jules Vernes AND an Octopus? There are so many ways to go, and in my imagination, I can go everywhere and have it all. Once it's ordered, I only get the one. Plus, there's that slightly odd problem of wanting this huge cake but cringing at the thought of enduring the birthday party where it would be served. I'm all for having my cake and eating it too, but not three tiers, and not all by myself.


  1. Are these really cakes? Incredible!

    We didn't have a wedding cake, but we made a cake for our coed stag party the night before. We got a nude couple modeled in chocolate from an adult bakery. Then I made a sheet cake that looked like a bed, put the nude couple on the top, and wrote: "We'll Get By With a Little Help From Our Friends".

    That was a some party...!

  2. Lisabet - Yes! These are all cakes. Cake technology has come a long way.
    And your wedding sounds like it was a lot of fun.

  3. Who says you can have only one?

    For my sister's wedding, they had a cake bar. 8 cakes. It was magnificent fun. ;-)

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  5. I don't think I could bring myself to eat one of those cakes, they are so lovely. Oh, who am I kidding as long as no coconut was involved I'd snarf it all down.

    I had to delete my last comment because I typed to fast and long was mispelled, how embarrassing!

  6. Miss Quoted - I haven't even begun to obsess on the flavors!

  7. Cake! I've had chocolate/chocolate birthday cake and vanilla cupcakes with neon frosting so far this week. I still have vanilla cupcakes with chocolate CoolWhip and strawberries that I haven't eaten. :-) I love cake!!

    My wedding cake was made by a friend. It was a small wedding-- only 22 people and I had no desire for a traditional cake-- I wanted German chocolate cake. On the day of the wedding, my friend handed me a box of cake mix and German chocolate frosting and said she just couldn't make that kind of cake for a wedding. Instead, she'd made a white cake with white icing and these navy blue flowers that looked almost black. It wasn't pretty, it wasn't tasty and I didn't like it. So I empathize with your wedding cake woes.

    I do like the idea of a cake bar. That sounds good for any kind of party!! ;-)

  8. German chocolate cake sounds so much better than while cake! And I'm thinking that, yes, a cake bar may be the way to go. I'm going to have to invite people to help me eat them though.

  9. I love cake. Can one of them be red velvet? And can we have pomegranate martinis???


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