Piece of cake

  • Thursday, July 11, 2013

Not everybody has a more than a half-century old dessert on their dining room table. Well, not exactly dessert. But I guess it could be called that as it was the cake served 56 years ago tomorrow as the finale at our wedding reception. I can’t believe it myself, but I still have the top layer. For 11 months of the year it decorates a bedroom dresser. But in July it reigns supreme in our dining room.
Unaccountably it has survived under a glass dome. When I ordered that four-layer delight, the lady who baked it joked that the dome should preserve it “at least until the honeymoon is over.” Many of my friends had frozen some wedding cake to be eaten on their first anniversary. But somehow that didn’t appeal to me as I was charmed by the idea of actually being able to look at it for a time. I just didn’t dream I was going to be able to look at it intact for at least the next 672 months!
Well not exactly intact. The cake was originally cream colored with delicate pink icing flowers surrounding a pair of snuggling wedding bells that topped the fourth layer. Over the years – like the bride and groom – it has aged somewhat around the edges. Those edges are now caramel colored and a couple of petals have drooped a bit, but it still represents one of the happiest days of my life.
 Here I was I was marrying a brand new Air Force 2nd Lieutenant and I knew we would be moving around a lot. It turned out to be 22 times in 25 years. That cake has seen a lot of dining rooms. It didn’t travel everywhere with us. It took a couple of “field trips” to my mom’s house when we had to put our furniture in storage and when we spent four years in England. But I insisted on carrying it on my lap on many a road trip to a new Air Force assignment.
Not everyone is so enamored of this memento. I’ve had to endure annual jibes from friends and family – mostly the male contingent. We females are generally a lot more romantic and sentimental. And more tolerant of the idea of pampering a mere mixture of flour, eggs, shortening and sugar. The teasers have beleaguered me with such comments as: “I want a piece with a bell on it.” Or, can I have ice cream with mine? And almost always, “Don’t you think we’ll need a hacksaw to cut into it after so many years?”
I just ignore them. Whenever I dust the dome or shine the glass, I remember the day we ate that first piece. It’s a ritual I so enjoy when it makes its annual trek into the dining room. We have another ritual with our wedding album. We page through it annually and sigh at how young we looked in those black and white photos.
But that cake is just so special to me. I’ve determined it will be with us as long as it lasts as a reminder of July 13, 1957. So, I take care of it the best way I can. Maybe that’s also a reason why my groom has lasted so long.
Happy Anniversary honey! Piece of cake?

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