This one time, in 6th grade (around 1990), I brought some cupcakes to class. Ya, this was back before schools started banning cupcakes and other sweets, and we weren’t fat back then either. Not many of us anyway, but that’s beside the point. I only vaguely remember why I brought those cupcakes to class, but I think it was part of an event, probably my birthday. I’m pretty sure that back then, when a student had a birthday, they brought in goodies and we had some free time. No one brought in poisoned food. No one cried that they were being forced to eat cake instead of having study time, and no parents tried to sue the school district for encouraging obesity, because we all had common sense back then. Not like today, where morons sue and win for spilling hot coffee on themselves. Retarded crap like that makes a mockery of our justice system and our country.
Anyway, back to the story! My mom made two batches of cupcakes and sent me to school with them. One batch of cupcakes was ‘normal’, and one was ‘weird’. The ‘normal’ batch of cupcakes were made of white cake and vanilla frosting. The ‘weird’ cupcakes were strawberry cake with chocolate frosting. They just didn’t look right, especially since I’m not a girl and people who are not girls shouldn’t have a pink cake, or cupcakes in this case, at their birthday. It’s not manly. The strawberry cake / chocolate frosting combination my mom used for those cupcakes is so unusual that I didn’t find a single result for it on a Google image search. I found a lot of chocolate cake with strawberry frosting cupcakes, but not the other way around.
The cupcakes looked like the image above, but unattractive, and reversed, with pink cake and melty chocolate frosting on top, the kind you get from the grocery store that’s flavored, rather than the fluffed sugar crap you get on ‘fancy’ confections. (This picture of lovely cupcakes is from the Sweet Indulgences Cakes blog.)
I remember thinking that if I had enough ‘normal’ cupcakes to go around, I would have hidden the other cupcakes. That wasn’t the case, and when it came time to open the two tupperware containers to present the cupcakes to the class, I could immediately see the same reaction I had to the pink/chocolate cupcakes in the faces of the other boys in class, and in the faces of some of the girls as well. A line formed, and as students walked past, they picked up a cupcake. One of the first girls that went by picked up the pink/chocolate cupcake, but everyone else took the ‘normal’ cupcakes until they ran out. The disappointment was obvious.
So, no one, except maybe for that first girl, wanted the ugly cupcakes, but since there was no choice, the kids at the end of the line had to take them. I had to take one too, since I took what was left after everyone else had taken a share. I know that’s sort of backwards from the usual practice of the birthday boy getting the first piece of cake, but that’s how it was.
The odd thing is that after biting into the cupcake, I realized that it tasted great! I heard other students commenting on it as well, and then the burden of disappointment shifted to the people who had taken the ‘normal’, and ultimately more boring, cupcakes.
I’m sure that I didn’t think of this at the time, but I wonder if, on some subconscious level, this experience reinforced the idea that being adventurous and taking chances can pay off? I’ve taken a lot of chances, some which paid off and some which ended in disaster, but up to now, I don’t regret those choices, because I’ve seen and done things that a lot of people will never see or do. To me, that’s special. If I were more conservative and I were the type to always take the ‘normal’ cupcake, I wonder how boring my life could have been?
Don’t always take the ‘normal’ cupcake. Take chances and enjoy life.