So over the weekend we had a cake order. It was exciting and terrifying all at once as these things usually are for me. Sheer terror in the fact that I hope we do a good job, and of course, that we don’t accidentally kill anyone and exciting in the fact that this was an order from someone removed from our regular circle of people and it would be a good opportunity to spread the word about our business. So after over committing to what we are actually capable of:
Customer: “I need a cake for my daughter’s seventh birthday party, and we are going swimming, so that that’s kind of a theme – so I guess a pool theme?”
Me: “Of course we can do that. I already have a few ideas that might work!”
Liar! I had no ideas that would work! Why? Why, did I say that? We are not professional cake decorators. Our cakes taste great, of that I am sure, but why didn’t I just say, “Actually we don’t really do huge cake decorations – we focus on celebration cakes and that’s it really”? I’m not totally useless – I did classes at the Michael’s Craft Store (snerk) through the Wilton Cake Decorating courses, plus I’ve taken other courses as well so I have some skills, but nothing at a professional level yet. We had already committed to a pool party cake, and that is what they were going to get.
I had prepared everything at the restaurant and brought it home to actually decorate with my sisters. What I didn’t notice at the restaurant, was that when I was mixing my buttercream, I had actually overmixed it (classic mistake when trying to do ten things at once) and it had separated. So. Freaking. Annoying. Considering the time was now 6pm and I knew we’d take forever to actually decorate the damn thing I was starting to get a bit unhinged and frustrated with myself – especially because if there is one thing you will find in my fridge, it’s butter (and apparently bacon). So I quickly went to my corner store to pick up a pound of butter because I was too lazy to go all the way to the grocery store.
Well, that is the moment this post takes a very different turn from cake and icing and fun, to ‘Whoa, this bitch is crazy.’ I quickly ran in and asked the cashier abruptly if he had any butter, and sensing my fury he pointed me in the right direction. Usually I chat with him, ask him if he’s been busy and buy lottery tickets from him – I’m convinced I’m his only customer – he’s never busy – so the responsibility falls on me to sustain him and what I imagine are his four children and wife at home. That day I threw the money at him and ran. I quickly got back into my car and began to pull out to head home. Well, as I was reversing, to exit out of the north exit, a car was approaching to exit out the south entrance, I was already pulled out, but this asshole couldn’t wait two minutes for me to straighten out and kept driving towards me. He was probably middle aged and had his wife in the car along with another couple. So annoying. He was being such a jerk – like are you really trying to impress your loser wife and lame friends by being a jerk in a parking lot? And did you all just come from dinner from the lame neighborhood pub? Seriously, back the fuck off, I have a cake to decorate!
So, as I finally drove past him, I yell (through my window) “thanks for waiting you fucking asshole” and he has the audacity to give me a look, like I’m the crazy one, and the women in the car both make a face at me. Is this shit for real? It was so on (in my mind). Well, now I’m in a full rage (road and icing based) and peel out of the parking lots north exit and cut him off before he can turn out of the south exit – to be fair, I was actually on the road first – it probably helped that I was going 70km/hr, but whatever – these are small details. I was laughing to myself thinking ‘victory is mine. I sure showed him and his loser middle aged friends who hang out at lame pubs on a Saturday night” until I realized I’d made a fatal error in road rage etiquette. I was now in front of this jerk – there were four of them and one of me. I live a block away from the store. Panic quickly set in as I thought he began to follow me. I sped away but he was still following me (hindsight indicates to me that I was on the main road with about twenty exits, so it’s likely he was on his way back home as well). I wasn’t about to take any chances so I drove 10 minutes out of my way into a random block that was far enough away from my actual residence and even though he had turned off somewhere, pretty much two minutes into our drive back home, I really wanted to be sure the loser was gone.
Having finally returned to my house and hiding my car under the cover of my garage, I went back to the task at hand. My sister arrived shortly after and we decorated the cake, and in the end, it looked surprisingly good. I was in such a bad mood from my bad day that I didn’t even bother to take a picture (I know, I totally should have), but it was done and that was all I cared about.
The next night after my sister delivered the cake (I wanted nothing to do with it anymore) I got an email from the customer:
“RAVE REVIEWS from all on the wonderful birthday cake! Thank you to you and your sisters for making such a delicious dessert for my daughter to share with her guests. The teddy bears were a huge hit too - very cute & tasty. I was able to distribute business cards to many approving parents :-). We will call again soon for our next event.”
I was able to let out a huge sigh of relief – we were a success, and we might even get more gigs out of it! Next time, to prevent myself from potentially being on the six o’clock news though, I’ll be sure to have a stocked fridge before I begin.