Last Saturday, my grandma and her twin sister celebrated their 80th birthday. It was a beautiful––BEAUTIFUL––day for an outdoor party with all the family. We did this a few years ago when I was a freshman in college.
So let me share my story of their 76th birthday party. . .
Picture it: 2018. I was 19 years old, and who oversaw the twins’ birthday cake? None other than me, myself, and I.
Just before the party began, I hopped in the car with my family, and we drove to Ingles to pick up the cake. It was a lovely sheet cake with lots of icing-flowers on the corners, and a beautifully cursive “Happy Birthday!” across the center.
The dessert that was to feed up to 48 people sat upon my lap in the car, looking divine as ever––at least until I leaned over it to pick up my jacket that fell. . . I sat back up and saw that when I’d bent over the cake, my body pressed down on the icing and ruined everything. The writing. The flowers. Ugh, the flowers. . . They were all smeared across the top of the box, totally ruined. “Happy Birthday!” was an unintelligible smudge of pink icing. Oh, the tragedy––no, the irresponsibility and shame––that would ruin the party.
Minus the twins turning 76, the cake was the most important part!!
Sheer panic flooded my voice. “Okay, okay, don’t freak out, don’t freak out.”
Mom turned around from the front seat. “What?! What happened?”
“I. . . I messed up the cake. It’s not bad,” I lied. “It’s not terrible.”
She lifted her sunglasses––every mother’s sign that they’re concerned and a little bit irritated––and looked down upon my lap, at the very thing I’d single-handedly ruined. “Oh, my gosh, Macy.”
“Can they fix it?” I pleaded.
“Chris,” she said to my dad, “turn the car around.”
We popped a U-turn and shot straight back to Ingles. When we made it to the parking lot, Mom explained the plan.
“Let me handle this.”
“Wait, wait, I wanna go in with you,” I said.
“Yeah, me, too,” Dad said.
Mom continued, “I’m gonna slip her a $20 and see if they’ll fix it, okay?”
“Okay,” I said. “But wait, I don’t want to carry it. Don’t tell her I messed it up.”
So we moseyed back into Ingles, sporting the newest version of the lovely cake the bakery had made for us, sham-ridden, might I add. My mom explained our little problem, slipped her the money, and our cake was good as new ten seconds later. (Kudos to the Ingles bakery ladies. You really pulled through for me that day.)
Without the slightest bump in the road, the party went on, and nobody knew about my briefly dreadful encounter with the top of that cake.
Flashforward to last Saturday.
There we were, picking up the cake (that I was in charge of again), and the jokes wouldn’t stop. I carried it from Ingles to the car and all the way to my grandma’s house flawlessly. But Mom and Dad kept on:
“You sure you got this?”
“Is it too heavy?”
“Let me get the door for you.”
But ha-ha, my friends! For I have redeemed myself with the 80th birthday cake. I transported it from one place to the other, stuck the candles in it, and the twins got a slice of their beautiful cake.
Well, now for the rest of all the birthday cakes I’m in charge of. *wink, wink*
M.M. Cochran is a YA writer and author of Between the Ocean and the Stars (summer 2022). With an educational background in English and creative writing, she has worked in the journalism industry, as well as the agenting and publishing industry, and she is currently a freelance book editor for her service, Elegant Editing. Now pursuing a career in publishing and becoming a full-time novelist, she spends most of her time editing and writing in her novels. Meanwhile, you can find M.M. collecting coffee mugs or slipping into an oversized sweater, wishing for a white winter.