Wednesday, January 24, 2007

This is her personal assistant/ best friend/ lover speaking. We just happen to have the same name.

Today I called Joyce Bakeshop to order my birthday cake and just to show that I am susceptible to peer pressure, I went with the Lemonberry. The guy who took my order asked me what the inscription on the cake should read. "Happy Birthday Nancy," I said. I was calling from work and didn't have time or privacy to be pithy or cheeky. Then he took my information to process the order.

"And what is your name?" he said.

"Nancy," I said. "I'm Nancy."

"Oh," he said. "Are you ordering for yourself?"

"Uh, yup," I said. I thought about adding something self-deprecating but then decided I wasn't going to denigrate myself for cakeboy.

"Awww," he said. It was unclear whether it was an "aww, isn't that cute?" or an "aww, isn't that pathetic?" but I felt myself getting embarrassed and defensive. I wanted to ask, "What? Who is supposed to order my birthday cake for me? My mother? My boyfriend? My sister? My husband? I don't have any of those. My friends? My friends cannot afford this cake!"

This is good practice for the run up to Valentine's Day.

7 comments:

Aimee said...

i have ordered my own birthday cake before — and I am married. Ordering it yourself just means that it will look exactly how you you had envisioned it, which is very important. No one wants a sad birthday girl.

(At least, that is the theory. However, both times, no one understood that I wanted the cake completely unadorned on top. At Baked, they made me put sprinkles on top — to make them happy. And at Chinatown Ice Cream Factory, they put those horrid roses and gel frostinged my name on it, despite my clearly requesting a plain-topped cake. )

Good luck with your delicious lemonberry cake and best wishes for a happy birthday.

Anonymous said...

Where's your mom? Surely you had one at some point in time.

Jennifer said...

I have a boyfriend and in over 2 years has never ordered or baked me a birthday cake (he's not as bad as he sounds...he just doesn't understand and he has other things he needs to understand first)
I actually can't remember the last time I had a birthday cake.
I'd be like, "your damn right, that's my cake!"

Honor said...

I may have you beat. I have a husband, mother, adult siblings and heaps of in-laws and I baked my own birthday cupcakes and sent the extras home with other people.

Lexa said...

I feel like a bad person, but this year I had a friend make me a cake from scratch and I kind of wished she had gone the Duncan Hines route.

And anon, if you are going to ask insensitive questions, at least have the cajones to attach your name to it.

Cupcake said...

A few things. First of all, Aimee, you prefer plain topped birthday cakes? I thought the whole point of birthday cakes, and birthdays in general, was for the frosting adornments. Can you explain this position? Also, what is the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory and do I need to go?

Secondly, I really love Joyce Bakeshop and don't really think this employee should be taken out back and whipped for condescending to me on the phone, I just think this is symptomatic of the fact that in our society we think it is cute or brave when single people attempt to lead normal lives.

Also, I should have been more clear. I do have a mom, but she was kicked in the head by a horse at a circus thereby rendering her incapable of complicated tasks, such as ordering birthday cakes. Don't worry, I don't hold it against the circus. You should not feel shame for asking.

Aimee said...

i hope that the lemonberry cake was a nice sounding as the name! did you have a happy birthday celebration?

I am sort of a frosting minimalist... i like really plain things. I love frosting, but only unadorned frosting, like a boring chocolate ganache — no swirl, even. for some reason, I get embarrassed when the cake has my name on it/and or frosting flowers, gummi bears and balls of cantelope. (my in-laws always order me a cake with all of the above, every year.)

and yes, you must check out the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory. I was never a big fan of ice cream cakes, but their's are the best in the land. You can get any three flavors you want, however, I always get almond cookie, green tea and coconut (or red bean). But for a cone, I love their coconut fudge.

http://www.chinatownicecreamfactory.com/