Saturday, March 24, 2018

Re-post: Elusive

My birthday is tomorrow. It will be the first birthday I've ever spent without my husband since I turned 21, and the sixth without Anne. This story always makes me smile because sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you just can't seem to get yourself a birthday cake. My 39th birthday proved to be one of those.

I'm not sure what it is about birthday cake. Whether it's the candles, the delicious treat, or the fact that it acknowledges a birthday, I don't know, but I love everything about them.

Whatever it is, cake is definitely the best part of my birthday and a celebration just isn't complete without one.

For years, I used to bake my own birthday cake but the last few years I got bored with that. Besides, there's a fantastic bakery in town that makes chocolate ganache cakes, with are my very favorite. Dark chocolate sponge, layered with rich ganache, they are the most decadent and delicious cakes I have ever eaten in my life.

My birthday came, and I went to work with a teeny bit of anticipation that somewhere in my day, there would be cake. Hopefully chocolate. Let's be honest; I expected cake. It's a birthday for God's sake, isn't that just what happens?

So when I spotted a chocolate cake sitting there I jumped a bit inside with excitement because wow, maybe there will be TWO birthday cakes! Talk about indulgence! Isn't that the best way to end your 30s? Isn't it great when people celebrate with you and acknowledge your birthday? Doesn't it make you feel special and loved, appreciated and all warm and fuzzy?

The cake wasn't for me.

Deflated, I sucked it up. I'm a big girl, and I realize that not everyone cares if it's your birthday. I accepted a piece of the impostor cake, choked it down, and reminded myself to grow up. It's not that important. Deal with it. Besides, I'll have MY birthday cake later that evening with the most important people in my family, right?

Later that evening, Hubs took me and Jake out for dinner to our favorite restaurant where we dined on delicious cheesy pizza, tall glasses of Coke, and laughed about our day. This is what birthdays are all about. I'm getting to spend it with the two best people in my life over a great meal!

"See you at home!" I called to John when we left. My cake is hiding in his car, I thought. I'll bet he stopped at the bakery on the way here and got it. I wonder which kind he bought? I hope it's chocolate ganache. Oooo, I'll have some with a cup of decaf, we'll all chill out on the couch in front of the TV and it will be the BEST way to end a birthday.

My mouth was practically watering with anticipation.

We arrived home and I began fixing coffee, when I heard Hub's car pull into the driveway.

Okay, get ready to squeal and give him a kiss, because going to walk in with the box any second.

The door opened and I could hear him coming into the kitchen.

Get the coffee ready. I can't wait to...

When he rounded the corner, he froze when our eyes met. I just stood there, looking at his hands and then back at his face, my mouth gaping in shock.

He wasn't holding a box.

"Didn't you...I mean...isn't there... cake?" I squeaked. My expression must have shown how upset I was. He looked confused.

"But you said not to buy you a cake. You said that they might give you one at work and you didn't need two. You said that it was okay!" Hubs was horrified. He would NEVER forget to get me a birthday cake but somehow, we miscommunicated and he thought that I didn't want one. What? How did that happen? Was I really that stupid? I don't remember saying that, but he obviously got that impression somehow, so what the hell happened?

All I know is that we sat there that evening watching TV, and all I could think about was chocolate ganache cake.

The next day we had a meeting at Kevin's school and as we sat there talking about IEPS, computers, and math class but all the while, in my brain, chocolate ganache cake was calling.

"So we're covering fractions and Kevin.."

One chocolate ganache cake divided for three people doesn't mean we each get 1/3 because it's so rich but usually we each get 1/4 and then fight over the last 1/4. But the big cake is too big and we never can eat it all so....
It was hopeless. I wanted cake, dammit. Finally after what felt like forever, we were pulling away from the school but instead of turning right to go home, I turned left.

"Where are we going?"

"We're getting ourselves some birthday cake," I parked at the bakery and turned to face Jake, who was eying me like I had suddenly lost my mind.

"Don't other people usually do that? Who buys their own cake?"

"I do. I'm 39 and if nobody else is getting me a birthday cake, I'm damn well buying my own."

Kevin grinned in delight.

"Really? Will you share? Will I get some?" I could see his teenage brain already cutting up the cake and deciding how much everyone would have.

"Of course! Just stay here, and I'll be right back," jogging to the bakery front doors, part of me hoped that they would even have chocolate ganache cake left. I might have to settle for something else. No matter. Tonight my friends, we will dine on cake.

At the bakery doors, I stopped dead. Wait a minute, the lights are off. It can't please don't tell me...


You've GOT to be kidding me. Is this a conspiracy? The bakery is closed? Is the universe telling me that THIS year, I'm not destined to have cake even if I plan to buy my own? be continued

(Will Karen ever get her birthday cake? Or will she forever be in the birthday Twilight Zone, searching for it? )
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