Monday, March 17, 2014

I've never been good at knowing my limits. I do things I don't really know how to do, and it turns out well often enough that I keep plunging into new territory without the know-how and hoping for the best. This worked for me when I decided to refinish a hardwood floor using only YouTube and blog posts as a guide.

When things don't turn out so well, my brain conveniently forgets the failures and focuses on the successes, enabling me to keep barreling on ahead regardless of whether or not I should. It's called confirmation bias, and I'm really good at it. (How would I know if I'm not?)

Unfortunately, last night, my attempt at ignorant, beginner's luck glory fell flatter than a tone deaf soprano, and this time it left a victim. My failure caused my newly 14 year old Cate to look at me with such sad disgust, I was sure I'd ruined her birthday. In fact, I think I may have retroactively ruined every birthday before it, including the day 14 years ago I spent 13 and a half excruciating hours getting her here. (I feel like I need to apologize to HER for her painful induced labor.)

To prevent more tragedies like this one, I'm documenting the sad story here so my brain won't repress it in favor of happier memories. I'm here to confess and make amends. My crime? I ruined Cate's birthday cake. I ruined it, but good, and I'm pretty sure my daughter is never, ever going to forgive me for it.

Don't blame Cate or label her an ungrateful teen. The cake in question was hideous. My other kids looked at it and immediately suggested I submit it to online fail collections, cake and otherwise.

When I decided to blog my sad cake exploits, I hooked my iPhone to my computer to transfer the picture I took of it (the sad, sad picture that never got better, no matter what I did to edit it). Clicking "yes" to an unfamiliar question promptly deleted all the pics I'd taken today. Obviously, I don't know how to use my iPhone any more than I know how to decorate cakes, so this didn't really surprise me.

Any dismay I felt was quickly overshadowed by relief. I think my actual words were "Oh, sweet holy cannelloni of dumb luck awesomeness! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!"

I didn't actually want anyone to see the cake. I joked with a coworker that I could describe the monstrosity in 100% accurate terms, and you'd all think I was exaggerating and imagine a cake that looks way better.

A few hours later, my lost photos miraculously reappeared on my phone again. Like a zombie reanimating and beginning its quest for human flesh, the cake picture returned from the dead. Maybe it's like that video in the movie "The Ring". It wants to be shared and will send a creepy dead girl to kill me if I don't pass it along. it is.

(FYI: I still don't want you to see the cake, and I'm adding this other birthday picture here so this post will at least have a different thumbnail when it's shared on Facebook. And to give you a few more seconds to change your mind.)

Gah. Okay. Here's the stupid cake! Are you HAPPY?!

I'm...I mean, it's possessed.
I was going for "whimsical." I got "mentally deranged and at risk for homicide" instead. Oh. The. Humanity. Don't cry for me, blog readers. Cry for my poor middle child who is wondering what she did to deserve this and whether or not it's too late to join another family or run away with the circus.

It wasn't all sadness and dislike. Richard, ever the kind, bright-side-looker-on-er, excitedly exclaimed, "It's Seuss-ian!" However, he's sweet to a fault and frequently love drunk, so I don't ever take his word for the things I do. (If I did, I'd be insufferable. Well, more than I already am.)

Also, the problem with calling this leaning tower of craptitude "Suess-ian" is that there are talented people in the world who know how to make Dr. Suess-style cakes. They do so on purpose and their cakes look nothing like this. Accidentally making a disaster like the one above and THEN labeling it Suess-ian doesn't really make it Suess-ian. It just makes it sad.

Now that you have my confession, I must ask for forgiveness.

Dearest Cate...Catybug...Mini-me,

Remember when you were four and you cut off all your beautiful, curly hair the day before we took family pictures? We're even.


I guess I apologize as well as I decorate cakes.

At least Richard will like it...


Erin said...

Hey, as long as it tasted good that is all that matters anyway. ;)

shassysue said...

I have to admit that cake is pretty sad, but it was made in LOVE!!! I absolutely LOVE your honesty! Gina says we are exactly alike!! LOL

Karen Marsh said...

I have to confess that I thought of Dr. Seuss as well. I made my daughter a pyramid cake that was very sad and then left for 10 minutes and the dog ate the whole chocolate cake (she had never before, or since, eaten anything off the counter). I thought I had both ruined the cake and killed the dog.....