I don’t know if you are aware, but I am currently taking a cake decorating class. It meets once a week, every Friday, from 6-8. I have a lot of fun in the class, and don’t really notice the time that has gone by until the class ends, and I don’t want to be done decorating my cakes. In fact, I’m enjoying the class so much that I’ve even registered for the next level, which starts next week. Anyhow, tomorrow night I have my “final” basics class. We are going to learn to make some kind of roses. I’m actually looking forward to this very much.
The one problem that I have with the course is that while it is only two hours, one day a week, it actually has a ton of prep work required to be prepared for the class each Friday. I have to bake a cake (or cupcakes, depending on the lesson), mix frosting and color frosting. And for this last class, I have to bring in an already prepared and frosted cake so that I can spend the entirety of the class learning to make flowers. Unfortunately, the time that all of this prep work takes each week begins to add up.
Last night, in an effort to try and split the time commitment of the prep work into multiple nights, I decided that I would bake and cool the cake after my raid. I’m just making boxed cake, because, uh, time commitment…and I’m not even eating the damn thing anyhow. So it’s just a matter of opening said box, dumping in ingredients, eggs, water and oil, then mixing it for the appropriately listed amount of time. Pretty simple a man, a can, a plan stuff. So I pre-heat the oven, mix up the cake, make sure the pan is greased, pour the ingredients in, and toss that sucker in the oven.
Because I am using an 8×3 cake pan (along with some baking strips to make the cake “flat”), it takes almost an hour for the damn thing to finish. At this point, it is after 11:00 and night and I’ve grown tired, cranky and impatient. I want to go to bed, but can’t until the cake cools and I can put it into my cake saver. Now, I know full well that I need to let it sit for 15 minutes before taking it out of the pan. But I have that whole tired impatient thing going on. So after 5 minutes, I convince myself that it will be perfectly fine, and that the cake will have cooled enough, that I could remove it from the pan.
Yea, no. In my impatience, I actually complicated my situation by causing the sides of my cake to stick to the pan, making the cake worthless for my needs. Had I been just feeding it to people, I would have slapped some frosting onto it and been like IT STILL TASTES THE SAME, ENJOY! But come on. This is my final class. I could not take a ghetto cake in for decorating. I just couldn’t. So into the trash it went. And I will go home tonight, and try to mix up another cake and get it into the oven before the raid starts, so that it can cool and I can frost it after the raid.
But we’ll get back to the cake in a minute.
I think that I mentioned that last week Brade had surgery. Apparently one of the things that they do when they mess around with your insides is pump you full of gas to make it easier for them to move around. One of the down sides to this is that sometimes you can get a gas bubble stuck under your rib cage, that will have to dissipate on its own accord over the course of a few days. This can be very painful, and unfortunately your pain killers will not do anything to alleviate this pain. In Brade’s case, it also meant that it was more comfortable for him to sit upright in a chair than it was for him to lie down.
This in turn meant that he took full advantage of the “position of least pain” being upright and played a lot of Diablo. Unfortunately for me, the caretaker, I continued to do the things that needed to be done (cook meals, walk the dog, tend to other household chores) – and only after doing these things that ate up a good portion of my time, got the opportunity to also veg out in front of the computer. I was also pretty keyed up, because I was also dealing with Brade’s parents for large amounts of time, and was “keyed up” when I was really exhausted and wanted to just crash, let my house fall into utter dissaray, and deal with the stress of the situation in my own way (you know, bashing heads in with giant two handed swords or watching trash on TV while eating a pint of Phish Food). Unfortunately for Brade, I quietly resented that he got to spend the whole week doing exactly what I wanted to do, only wasn’t doing because I was being the loving, responsible party and dealing with everything else. Oh, and feeling like a total asshole because I was quietly resenting the dude that just had surgery like…two days ago.
So last Friday, still trying to hold my shit together, I decided and declared that I was going to make scrambled eggs for breakfast. I was going to smack them between two pieces of toast and feast on something other than Cap’n Crunch. I was so excited about this prospect that I’m pretty sure that I drooled the entire time I was running errands in anticipation. Except when I got home, I had to take a minute for a call from the office. I’m not going to lie, the entire call all I was thinking about was if I wanted to add one slice of cheese or two to my eggs.
Only, when I got off of the call, I learned that my patient, whom I love dearly but could have killed in that moment, used all of the remaining milk in the house on his cereal. I mean, really?! All I needed was like…a tablespoon of milk for my eggs. I was angry, ashamed for being angry, upset, pissed, irate, conflicted all at the same time. Oh, and I didn’t have any fucking eggs.
I opened and closed the cupboards and fridge looking for an alternative dining option, but I just couldn’t find one. So eventually, I stopped feeling sorry for myself that I couldn’t have any eggs, raged out of the house and bought some damn milk. I think it was the raging out of the house part that clued (a diablo playing) Brade into the fact that I was mad. I mean…it was A TINY AMOUNT of milk I needed. It probably didn’t even cover like THREE of his stupid Cracklin’ Oat Bran squares. I wasn’t being an asshole, I just really needed eggs dammit!
So I got home with my milk. Very frankly advised the patient that unless he had a good reason for not saving me a DROP of milk, he probably should become scarce, lest I hulk out on him, and do/say something that we’d both regret – like egg him or some shit.
Apparently, my inner hulk was subdued by being fed the mouth foam inducing eggs, and I was able to express my frustration (which had truthfully been building all week) about how I was feeling – and how the action of using all of the milk, more than the milk being gone in and of itself, which generally probably wouldn’t have been a hulk inducing event, spoke volumes to express those feelings.
The other night, someone that I had considered a friend did something in a spat of haste and frustration that had ramifications far beyond what I think was probably expected, or perhaps they just didn’t care or think about the consequences. Who knows. While it may have seemed a small thing, much like my impatience with the cake or Brade’s usage of the milk, the domino it pushed over started a chain reaction of things that may, or may not, have irrevocably damaged the friendship.
It was this event that actually got me thinking about actions and consequences. As I stood in my kitchen last night, completely overwhelmed and exasperated at my own impatience and stupidity, I just told myself “you should have known better”. And I should have. In my impatience and haste, I ultimately ruined something that I really didn’t want to ruin. I set myself back, and as a result I haven’t saved a lick of time, or been efficient, which was the goal. But ultimately, what really struck me was how small these actions were and how big the consequences were for such seemingly minute things.
Interestingly enough, as I grow older, I find that I think more about consequences and learn that those who are younger think far less about consequences. I would like to think that this is the “wisdom of my years”, but in reality it’s me trying not to repeat the dumb shit I’d previously done (and lord knows, there is enough of it I wouldn’t care to repeat). Which, I guess, could be wisdom. Regardless, action/reaction is something that I think will always plague relationships – including the one between the baker and the cake.
I suppose at this point I’ve probably rambled quite enough, all to just say “think about what you do before you do it”.
Oh, and that big fluffy pink cupcake up there? Yea, I’m totally going to make some blue frosting, buy a bag of chips a’hoy and make that bitch into cookie monster. It will be most glorious.