We studied the cake, then simultaneously exchanged glances. She cast a sideways glance at the cake, wilting on the counter. The cake wobbled sympathetically in my direction, attempting to lend moral support. It nearly fell off. Finally, she broke the silence.
“So…What is it?”
“A cake! What did you think it was? For goodness sake! It’s in a cake pan.”
“True. (pause) (throat clearing). So…If it’s a cake…”
“Yes. A Chocolate cake.”
“Chocolate. Right. So why is it so…so…flat. And why is it so…so…wobbly?”
“Well, I was trying something new and…”
(pause. sighs all around. More wobbling from the cake)
“I know you love to try things out.”
“And I know, as your mom, I’m supposed to foster creativity…”
“Look, I know it’s hard to reign in all that talent. When you get older, you’ll be able to [diplomatic pause] experiment as much as you like. In your own kitchen.”
As predictions go, that was a pretty good one. Of course, it would have helped had I paid attention to the big, red DIRE that was flashing in front of it. Don’t think I blame my mom. Personally, I would have put a combination lock on the kitchen after experiment number seven, and there she was, patiently discussing #17. At the very least, it was a subtle attempt to divert my attention away from the fact that when she said, “Let’s put it on the side to cool,” she really meant, “Turn around so I can throw it out without feeling guilty.” My mom was great with that kind of psychology.
But I vowed to prove her wrong.
I vowed that when I got married, no matter how great the temptation or lack of ingredients, I would follow the recipe. Okay, it was more of a promise, barring earthquakes, tsunamis and boredom. And only if I really kept off those 7 pounds.
This lasted up until I met the poetic cook who, upon failing to launch his poetic career, turned to pasta instead. Alas, I learned too late that when he wrote “Salt the water so it tastes like the sea,” he wasn’t referring to the Dead Sea.
In any case, as I scraped that disaster into the bin, I vowed to turn over a new leaf. Again. Which would probably mean that I would have to turn it over twice to see any real changes. This vow lasted an admirable three days until I ran out oil. That’s when the fun began…