Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Flummoxed



When life is good, when a person has only minor problems, sometimes those small annoyances loom larger than they should, larger than they are. For instance, the baking of a cake can become a Really Big Deal. Yesterday I got up early so I could bake my birthday cake for a dinner party in my honor. It was a recipe I've used many times from a cookbook I've had for such a long time that the spine is long broken, and the pages are stained with the detritus of cooking.

Perhaps I've made the cake too many times, which is why I didn't check the recipe and inadvertently used twice as much flour as I was supposed to. I was miffed when I realized my mistake, but still determined. I went out, bought more ingredients and started from scratch. But the second go-round was as bad as the first even though I used the right amount of every ingredient. I kept at it, though, thinking maybe when I added the filling, or made the frosting, it would be better. But no. It was a sticky, gummy, heavy, yucky awful mess. After investing many hours trying to get it right, I threw the cake, the pan I baked it in and the cookbook into the trash, walked to a nearby bakery and bought a damn cake.

What a birthday.

In the midst of all this, a massage therapist came to the chateau so I could receive on my own table, something I have never experienced. The massage was blissful but in some mysterious way, while adjusting the table height to suit her needs, the therapist broke my table. It snapped like kindling when I tried to fold it and put it away. My table! I've had that table since 1997. I went from annoyed to panicked in a heartbeat. I NEED a table in order to work. Ordering new tables takes at least a couple of weeks and no massage therapist can afford to take that kind of time away from work.

Deciding to deal with it later, I dressed up, went to dinner upstairs. The martini I drank helped me become more philosophical about the upsets of the day. We engaged in great conversation, ate delicious food - yep - it was a fabulous turnaround. But then I woke up at 2 a.m. An extreme quiet shook me out of my sleep (I am very urban). The power had gone out in the chateau! It's the first time that has happened in the year and a half I've lived here. I spent the rest of the night worrying about it all - the table, the damn frickin cake, the fact that my apartment is all electric. Good lord!

Morning is more clever than evening. The power was on by 7 a.m. I found a way to buy a table today. I have a wonderful friend who will drive and help me schlep the table back to the chateau. The cake is in the garbage.

Fifty-nine is the end of the decade of my 50s, a wonderful decade of my life. I guess the double cake failure, table breakage and power outage are symptomatic of what I'll be doing this year: letting go of this decade of life. Onwards and upwards! Indeed!

11 comments:

Kerry said...

(Laughing at "airplane")

Awww, that cake sounded like it was going to be so fabulous, too. Maybe you should retrieve that cookbook, though, forgiving it just this once?

The broken table is not good news, but I'm glad you have the help of a good friend in quickly replacing it.

What a birthday. May your Valentine's Day be a happy one!

Angela said...

My "recipe" for such crooked days is laughing it all off, as you can`t do much more but accept these lessons of humbleness. Okay, no cake, no chair, no power. But it was your birthday and you are still AROUND, Reya! Best gift is life. May the next year make you even wiser than before! I`ll be 64 this summer, and these last five years have been my best.

Amanda said...

what a series of events to lead you to this philosophical realization - but there you have it. when the universe wants us to let go sometimes she only has to tap us gently and sometimes she shakes the bejeesus out of us.

that cusp at the end of one decade and the beginning of another is an auspicious event — happy birthday, reya, and many magical blessings to you♡

lacochran's evil twin said...

Happy birthday... year!

The Bug said...

Oh wow what a day! You know that morning thing is just such an amazing elixir - it's too bad I don't remember it in my middle-of-the-night angst. But then I'm a present moment person & tomorrow is eons away.

I like your interpretation of what the crazy day means - let go & fly!

ellen abbott said...

the cake and the pan, OK. But the cookbook too!?

Elizabeth said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
what a chapter of accidents..... all piling up all at once
I prescribe MORE MARTINIS and plenty of them
and cake too.....

Washington Cube said...

Yanno how you say, "Wow?" "Wow."

Tom said...

they say things, even bad things, happen for a reason. as for the table, better it broke when it did, then when you were with a client, i guess. now, i need to find me one of those forever stamps so i can mail a letter...

Reya Mellicker said...

I LOVE MY NEW TABLE! It is luxurious, and I even got a substantial discount since at the massage school they needed to clear out a room where it was stored. It's twice as plush as my old one and the facerest is adjustable in several different dimensions (not just up and down). I'm in awe! LOVE MY TABLE!

Ellen if you could only know how liberating it was to throw all three things in the trash. Wow. It was cleansing, satisfying. It was perfect. Hasta la vista!!

Steve Reed said...

Yikes! I missed a lot of drama during my trip, I see! I'm glad, reading the posts above this one, that all this temporary misfortune shook out well.