Tuesday, February 14, 2012
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!