Word has gotten out that I have cake pans. Word has also gotten out that being mildly unhinged, I occasionally agree to make wedding cakes for family members and close friends.
So there they were, the glowing bride-to-be and the debonair groom-to-be, along with her mother, her father, my husband and myself, all gathered in our kitchen for a cake tasting. Shortly, the engaged couple would be having one of their first arguments.
Before them sat their two choices in small scale on pedestal plates. The vanilla cake with chocolate cookie crumbs was covered in white icing and chocolate cookie crumbs, and a lemon velvet cake with raspberry filling was finished in traditional white icing.
They tasted the vanilla cake with cookie crumbs first. They liked it. Everyone did.
The lemon cake was next, and everyone liked it, too. The groom-to-be might have let it slip that he liked the lemon cake better because it looked more traditional.
“Well, I want what you want,” she cooed to him.
“But I want what you want,” he cooed in return.
So it began, two lovebirds locked in a gentle tennis match in which neither wanted the title of winner.
“It’s not about me,” he said. “If you prefer the vanilla cake with chocolate cookie crumbs, I want the vanilla cake with chocolate cookie crumbs.”
“But I think you want the lemon cake because it looks more traditional,” she said.
The tennis match continued, eventually turning into a tennis tournament, so I made coffee.
Back and forth it went until the mother of the bride-to-be exclaimed, “Lemon!” To which the father of the bride-to-be echoed, “Lemon!” Neither of which were heard, of course, because of the engaged couple being engulfed in a sound barrier of euphoria.
On it went with more “I want what you want.”
I shoved the lemon cake to the center of the table hoping to make myself clear.
They never even noticed. All they could see was each other.
“I want you to be happy.”
“But I want you to be happy.”
I was about to ask if they could all stay for dinner.
“I want you to remember this day as the best day ever, so I want you to have the cake you like.”
“But I want you to remember this as the best day ever, so I want you to have the cake you like.”
Someone had to intervene.
“I’ll make the cake you want,” I said, “but in my opinion the cake covered in chocolate cookie crumbs looks like something I dug out of the garden. The chocolate cookie crumbs look like dirt. People will think one of your families is depressed about the wedding.”
There. I said it.
Then they started again. I want what you want. I want what you want.
“Enough!” snapped her mother.
“Enough!” snapped her father.
“Pick a cake already!” I snapped.
So they did. Lemon velvet for the bottom layer for guests, and vanilla cake with cookie crumbs for the top layer for the bride and groom and wedding party, all finished in a traditional white icing.
It was a creative compromise, a key ingredient to every good marriage. They’re going to do well, these two. May all their arguments be tempered with sweetness and may they always think of the other first.
Borgman is a columnist for Tribune News Service and she may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.