I had braved my way home from the theatre in two feet of water and was getting ready to go to my UPS job when I noticed this thing on a plate.
Now, my parents 25th wedding anniversary had been three days before on the second; but, because it was the middle of the week, they decided to have the party during the weekend. Mom's friend Stephanie had come over to help out with preparations. Stephanie ran a business on the side making cakes and party decorations.
But, back to the thing on the plate.
It looked familiar, but I couldn't tell from where. The thing was white and with curly decorations on the corners, so it could have been cake, but it had a look to it that said, "I am not food". It stood about six inches across, six inches wide, and six inches high. I asked Mom.
"Mom, what is this?"
"Oh, that's the top tier of our wedding cake."
Mind you, my parents had been married 25 years before this.
"THE top tier?"
"Weren't you supposed to eat this at my christening or after your first year...whatever came first?"
"We sort of forgot about it."
"Where has this been?"
"In the freezer."
In other words, this was a piece of cake that had been wrapped in foil and sitting in the freezer for the last twenty-five years of my life.... and I had never noticed. What really scares me is that we got a new fridge when I was ten and my parents had to move this thing into the new fridge. They made a conscious effort to keep this little piece of family history around. Then a more horrifying thought came to mind...
"Mom, you weren't thinking about eating this, were you?"
I had to stop her.
"Mom, this is food that has been in a freezer for twenty-five years. I don't even eat food that's a year old unless it's in a can. This is food four years older than your oldest child. This is food that is not only old enough to drive, but it can vote is most elections on the city, county, state, and federal levels. This is food that could run for office. This is food I wouldn't ID to let it into a rated R film. This food IS a rated R film for disturbing imagery. This is food that gets a lower rate on its car insurance. This is food we have black-and-white photos of because...."
"It's soaking in brandy right now. It's fine."
"Mom, it could buy the brandy. This is old, old food, Mom. You should be asking it, 'So when are you going to get married?' and not me...."
At about that point, something came up and our lovely mother-daughter conversation was cut short.
My parents did eat the cake at the anniversary party. Dad had seconds. I did not eat the cake and I wound up with food poisoning from the Krab-dip. I was so unhappy.
And what makes this story even that much more disturbing..... it was fruitcake.
Back to the Index