Sunday, May 23, 2010

I Was Told There'd Be Cake

That happens to be the title of a very funny bookthat has nothing to do with losing weight. In case you're interested.

I had an epiphany yesterday about cake. (Yes, that's what I said, an epiphany about cake. I don't claim to be deep.)

I've been sick this week. Well, actually for two weeks. (I'm finally starting to get better, thanks for asking.) And I had to work yesterday, which kinda sucks. Then after work I was driving to a birthday party for a special seven-year-old and thinking of how exhausted I was, when I found myself thinking, "I hope there's good cake."

And then I got to thinking about all the events where we serve cake in our culture. Birthdays, weddings, graduations, anniversaries, retirements, basically any cause for celebration is cause to eat cake.

Here's the thing about me and celebrations. I'm very happy for whomever is celebrating. And generally I'm going to the celebration because I love the person being celebrated. But celebrations mean large groups of people. And as R likes to say, "Janet doesn't like people."

That sounds bad, I realize. And I guess the truth is, I love certain people. And I love those people one-on-one or in small groups. But you put any people in a large, loud, chaotic group? I'd really rather be at home.

So, I realized yesterday that I tend to say to myself about every time I'm faced with one of these situations, "Well, at least there will be cake." Cousin's wedding? Grandparents' 75th anniversary? "At least there will be cake."

This cake coping mechanism is a classic example of me using food to numb whatever feeling is making me uncomfortable. I'm grateful that I live in a culture which serves cake. Otherwise, I'd be forced to feel uncomfortable without assitance.

Do you suppose this is WHY we serve cake at these things? Because generally they involve seeing family we don't like? Or being around large groups of noisy children? Or co-workers we'd rather not spend our social time with? Do we serve cake to medicate people into being able to stand the pressure?

At any rate, I know that I personally look forward to the food at these things. And I'll admit, good food is a good way to motivate me to do something that makes me uncomfortable. Which is something for me to think about.


Katherine said...

I'm pretty sure we serve cake (at least at our house) just because we like it. Although this does remind me of a great comedy piece of Jim Gaffigan does about cake. That we will put up with a lot to eat it.

Regina said...


I think there should be a balance enforced with cake...for every one "forced" situation - there should be one "chosen" cake celebration!

Point in fact - will have evil-right-around-the-corner cupcake "date" with kiddo to celebrate the end of a great school year tomorrow.

And for the record -I'd hang with you even without the cake!

Mary (A Merry Life) said...

I think we serve cake because cake is yummy. I think some people might misuse cake because of the fact that they are uncomfortable in the celebration or don't want to talk to people or something.

Elizabeth's Gone said...

Well, I've been eating leftover cake for the last 3 days. You are welcome to come over and help us finish it off. :-)