Tuesday, December 6, 2011

593. I Lied to The Bakery Lady

Sunday was Tall’s birthday. Besides the fact that The Husband argued with me for ten minutes straight about which day was Tall’s birthday (“I know it’s the 7th not the 4th, you’re wrong”) and I thought I might have to pull out his birth certificate to convince him, the day went smoothly. We had planned an afternoon bowling party for him and his little pals, and he was excited to go. The grandparents sent generous gift certificates for tiny pieces of plastic to embed in my foot in the middle of the night (also known as “Legos”). The problem began, however, when I went to pick up the cake.

If you have followed my blog for more than 60 seconds, you already know about the cake fiasco (come back and read after this story) with Short from last summer. I was determined to not let that happen again. I got there early this time, and I planned to ask to see the cake before I actually paid and took it with me.

The bakery lady came from behind the counter and told me that she was “just finishing up” and how old was my son again?

I wasn’t mad that the cake wasn’t ready. Heck, being a mom I appreciate a 15 minute wait at the gynecologist’s office and consider it my special alone time. I thanked the bakery lady, grabbed the newspaper, and sat down to relax for a few minutes.

About half an hour later, she walked out of the back kitchen with the lovely cake. She set it on the counter in its pink paper bakery box, then slowly lifted the lid. She was clearly very proud of her creation. It was an extravaganza of chocolate and brightly-colored sprinkles. Eight little clowns stared up at me from the frosting.

This woman who I’d been going to since her shop opened four years ago, this woman who made desserts of such high caliber and perfection that they literally made me weep with joy, this woman who had single-handedly gotten my dental insurance deductible tripled, this woman who could go on Top Chef Just Desserts and win every challenge in her sleep, this woman … clearly had no children of her own.

I didn’t have the heart to tell her that the only people who like clowns are two-year-olds and meth addicts. I knew instantly that Tall would deem the cake “too baby,” but that’s what I get for not being more specific (“Oh, no particular theme. Whatever you think is cute.”). Control-freak Queen Virgo was instantly regretting the idea of being nice for once and letting the bakery lady do her job without me micromanaging her.

My hands were sweating. I really needed to say something, something like, Bakery Lady, you have to take those bizarre clowns off of there or Tall will never speak to me again because he will be the laughing stock of his second-grade cronies who prefer skateboards and soccer balls and Star Wars to toddler-style clowns, but I was too afraid. I didn’t want to insult her by implying that there was some sort of problem with her decorating.

But I also didn’t want Tall to be mad at me and boycott his own party to avoid being mocked by his peers.

I did what I always do in situations like this: I lied. I looked the bakery lady right in the eye, smiled, and said sweetly, “Wow! Pretty! But would you please take the clowns off? Tall has a deep-seated fear of clowns.”



  1. I actually do have a fear of clowns. It's not pretty. I'd do whatever (within reason) necessary to rid myself of evil clowns on a cake. Just thinking of it makes me feel creeped out. (Sorry to anyone who loves clowns.) I'm sure I could psychoanalyze myself and explain exactly why I don't like them, but let's just leave it for now. (I'm pretty sure it has something to do with hiding the face.) Hope Tall liked his clown-free cake!

  2. Clown hater here too. Given the chance, I'd happily Punch a clown or two! From a distance with my eyes closed while planning my escape!


  3. But the REALLY important question is- did he like the box?

    -Motaki, Aspiring Falconer and New-Keyboard Dazzled

  4. As a new reader to your blog and sort of not like the other ones I must suggest an alternative option.

    I would have stuck with the clowns and set too with a permanent marker pen and turned then into huge blood sucking monsters with tentacles and maybe added some cardboard wings and a few spiders from the cellar. There is nothing cooler than watching your friends faces as the cake decorations slowly walk across the cake. Anyway it was just a thought for next time when the cake has nine clowns on it

  5. If you haven't told 3 lies by the time you've gotten out of bed, then you're not a mom.

  6. You should have just let out a piercing scream when she opened the box. Damn clowns.

  7. andrea--you always say the right thing. can you be my new therapist?

    couse--glad you understand!!

    L Girl-- mimes are what freak me out. But they are pretty much black & white clowns, aren't they?

    taki-- could care less about the box (unlike Queen Virgo who is ALL about the packaging and presentation. Give me a cheap Bic pen wrapped as a gift in a fancy box with gorgeous wrapping paper and a real fabric ribbon, and I almost forget about the Bic. Ha!).

    Rob Z Tobor-- this is excellent advice. I think I must've been caffeine-deprived to not think of this fabulous and easy solution myself, and now I am humiliated and embarrassed that I did not. I am writing it down for next year.

    marianne--this will be my next blog post: 3 lies by the time you get out of bed. thank you for new material, that $35,000 check is in the mail (still not $50,000 like I sent to Haley, because she drew a blind monkey for me. If you want to draw a deaf dolphin or some such, let me know and I can increase your fee).

    kait-- thought about it. but seeing as how I let out the piercing scream every time they are out of panne cotta, I thought they might be done with me and my piercing screams.



When you write a comment, it makes me feel like I won the lottery or at the very least like I ate an ice-cream sundae. (This has nothing to do with the fact that I did just eat an ice-cream sundae.)