Thursday, July 12, 2012

I'll Take the Cake, Thanks

"Cupcakes are dumb," claimed my eldest son.  Thinking he was saying that because they are girly and mostly about the effeminate decorations, I nodded and asked him to elaborate.  What wisdom and food for thought he uttered.  "Cupcakes are not for sharing," he added.  "Cakes are about family and sitting around the table after dinner.  You don't even need a plate or fork.  And who eats ice-cream with cupcakes?"
We reminisced for a few minutes about birthday cakes and the social aspects of sharing a cake.  Past birthday cakes included cowboys, firetrucks, dinosaurs and bears.  A big cake fan, he got glassy-eyed talking about French chocolate buttercream frosting, his favorite.  After that, we discussed the flavor and texture of the cake in some detail.  He prefers yellow cake, with some density; frankly, he's a bit picky about it.  
"Everyone is equal when you have cake," he said wisely.  "We're in it together. You don't get that with cupcakes." What an interesting thought.  The more I pondered this, the more I agree.  It's another "all about me" thing.  "It's mine and I don't have to share." You get exactly what you want. Cupcakes are bratty and sassy and choosing them over a cake just may say something about a person.

  • Cupcakes are in sync with people who are obsessed with their smartphones.  They don't interact with anybody because there is nothing communal about a cupcake.
  • Cupcakes are all about the decoration, which unfortunately is true of many people.
  • Cupcakes are often less cake and more icing, the high calorie and high fat part.  Nobody needs that, not to mention the outrageous and unnatural colors.  
  • Cupcakes are portion control.  You feel like a pig if you eat two; with cake you just cut one big piece and no one's the wiser.
  • Cupcakes are expensive.  Many decorator cupcakes cost $4 or more.  In this economy, people should hold on to their money.  

Family lore has it that four of us ate an entire angel food cake with 7-minute icing on a visit with my parents.  When it was gone, this same son, then about 2 and consumer of nearly a quarter of said cake, turned up the palms of his hands and asked in a puzzled tone, "What happened?"  That may have been the beginning of his love of cakes.