Tonight I lost it. I screamed, I cried. I hit the wall, I threw food. I exploded with anger. Let me begin at the beginning.
I decided to make my son’s birthday cake. I wanted to save money plus I wanted the glory. I am a very good baker and frankly, I like the praise I get when people taste my work.
I made the first layer. It was chocolate. I had even bought a new pan to bake it in. I have these cooling racks that you can either put right on the counter or they stack on top of each other with these little feet that collapse. I had the rack up on it’s feet and as I was putting the cake on it, one side collapsed and I grabbed the cake with my oven mitt covered hand to keep it from sliding onto the floor and burning me. I did save the cake but I left a big dent in it.
My son (now 6) said that it looked like a good cake and I should go ahead and use it in the final cake, dent and all. Several friends told me that I should use it and just fill the hole in with icing. I decided to wait.
Then I baked the second layer-yellow. It was perfect in every way. Gorgeous, perfectly cooked, and wonderfully shaped. I loved it. I decided that such a perfect second layer deserved a perfect first layer and I sent hubby to the store to get another box of cake mix. By this time my son has gone to bed and I was exhausted. I just wanted this whole cake thing to be over so that I could go to bed. So after he finally gets home with the new cake mix, I dragged myself into the kitchen and re-made the layer. All went well-it was in the oven and I made the icing. Butter and sugar-how can you go wrong?
I should mention that by this time I was so tempted by the wrecked first layer that I wondered if part of my decision to trash it was so I could eat it. As soon as I saw the dent, I just wanted to eat it all up.
So layer number three came out and is near perfect. I put it in the freezer to cool faster. Meanwhile I iced the yellow layer and waited. Finally the choco layer is cool so I put it on the top and iced the whole thing.
As I was icing it, I noticed that it the top was slipping and falling off the bottom. I tried rotating it to see if that would help. Now it was cracking a little. I hoped that if I put it in the freezer it would be ok. After about 30 minutes I checked on it and it was broken into three pieces and each one was sliding off the cake. I kept trying to push it back to together. Nothing worked. I put a knife in and tried connecting the two layers with it. I thought if only they could stay together for a while in the freezer then somehow it would be ok. The knife just ripped the cake more. I kept trying to hold the cake together. I got hubby and told him that I was about to lose it.
Then I did. I screamed, I shouted, I threw the cake into the sink. I got cake all over the place. My life is the cake. No matter how perfect I try to make it, no matter how much I try to push the sliding, cracking pieces together to fix them, they just get worse. They just fall apart.
I don’t know how to be this new me-this me that just can’t handle that much. That cries all the time and gets really pissed. That spends her son’s birthday mourning and feeling sad. I don’t know how to be her. She scares me. I don’t chat with my friends so much, I just can’t handle their problems. I don’t want to know what’s bothering them because I can barely handle my own life right now. The woman who I was, before surgery, could do all that but was eating herself into an early grave. This is so hard. Why is it so hard to be human?
I feel like I spend so much of my life trying to hold the cake together so it won’t fall apart but it does anyway and I’ve just wasted all this time that I could have spend doing something that I actually wanted to do. Is there any part of me in my life or is it all just making cake for others and then trying desperately to hold it together as it falls apart?