It’s not about the cupcake.


photo by Jill E. Williams

As has become tradition here on the blog, every Valentine’s Day, I tell the same story.  It’s the story of one of the biggest fights in my marriage to BF.  And thought it seems like it is about a cupcake, it is NOT about the cupcake.   This is the funny thing about our marriage.  BF and I are about as different as two people can be.  I mean, we are seriously different.  But this has worked to our advantage because it means we have to communicate and compromise about everything.  The only thing that is the same between the two of us, I think, are our politics.  Anyway, because of our differences, we know that we’re not going to feel the same about anything and so we just go into every conversation knowing that there will be lots of communication until we get to the other side.  Since we don’t expect to see eye to eye on everything, we rarely fight.  Except when BF takes something that is mine. Without asking.  Because I just think it is disrespectful.  Not because I want the sugar so badly (okay, maybe a little bit is that, but mostly it’s about  the respect issue), I swear, but just because I think you shouldn’t take something that is not yours.  It would be one thing if he asked.  It would be another thing if I didn’t say, I have a cookie in there I really want to eat, please don’t eat it.  But he doesn’t, and I do.  It’s enough to drive a woman who once won a Holly Hobby cake in a raffle as a four year old but was sick the day it came home and her family devoured it without saving her a piece bonkers.  So my territorialness about sugar, I mean asking, has deep roots.  And I am forthright about it.  You’d think a boy would learn. But he hasn’t.  Or maybe he has.  Just last week there was a mini-sugar situation in our house.  But this time BF didn’t eat my cookie (I made him his own set and just asked to have one that I sealed away in aluminum foil for later), he threw it away.  And we survived it and everyone went to bed happy at our house.  Unlike Valentine’s Day 2007.  Speaking of Valentine’s Day, happy day, BF.  I wouldn’t trade you for the world.  Or even a cupcake. 

Here we go:         

I love cake.  Grocery store cake to be specific.  Give me some Harris Teeter (Can I get a shout out for the Dirty South’s grocery store of choice?) vanilla cake with vanilla icing and you have a girl who doesn’t need any other sustenance. 

Anyway, for Valentine’s Day 2007, BF’s aunt gave us two cupcakes.  Grocery store cupcakes.  With a lot of icing.  I was so psyched about the cupcake that in the car, on the way home, I was talking about when I was going to eat my cupcake.  Yes, I am simple.  I know this, but I don’t ever get grocery store cake or cupcakes and so a little part of me was dancing inside from the impending sugar rush.  BF looked at me nonchalantly and said, “You can have my cupcake.”  “Are you kidding me,”  I asked.  “Because if you are, that is just cruel.”  “I am not kidding you,” he answered.  “I don’t need to be eating that.”  He actually said that line with a hint of self-satisfaction, as if he were mature enough to rise above the cupcake trance that I was so clearly in. But I ignored him because I knew that I needed the cupcake– both cupcakes. 

So I started planning, aloud, when I would eat each cupcake.  “Thank you, thank you, thank you,”  I exclaimed, as if he had given me something gold and shiny.  But this was better than gold and shiny.  Sugar is my gold and shiny.  Back home, I dropped my cupcakes off in the kitchen and then retreated to my office to work on whatever deadline I had approaching, and BF went to bed.  Finally at a good stopping place a couple hours later, I walked through the kitchen on the way to our bedroom.  My eyes darted to the cupcakes that I had so lovingly wrapped in tin foil.  Panic struck.  Even through the tin foil, I could see that one of the cupcakes was missing.  I opened up the foil.  Just one cupcake looked back. 

Mercury rose through my spine.  I marched into the bedroom and noisily opened my dresser drawer, stomped my way into the bathroom, threw on every light, hummed my way through my bedtime routine until BF woke up with a jump.  “What?”  He asked, as he always does when he is aroused out of a deep sleep.  I turned to him, put my hands on my hips, and said “I can’t believe you would do something so tacky as to eat my cupcake without asking.”   ”It was my cupcake,” he tried to reason.  “No it was not,”  I said.  “And that doesn’t matter because this is not about the cupcake.”  “It is too about the cupcake,” he insisted.  “It is not.  This is about you offering me something and then regretting the offering and rather than coming to ask me if you could have it back like an adult, you just did what you wanted.  That is no way to be in a partnership,”  I sneered.  ”You’re just mad that I ate MY cupcake,” he volleyed.  “This is not about the cupcake,” I fumed and ranted and raved until we both just went to sleep. 

In the morning, he looked at me when I hopped out of bed.  “I am sorry that I ate your cupcake,”  he offered.  “It’s not about you eating the cupcake,” I tried again.  “Don’t you get that?”  ”Yeah, I do,”  he answered before leaving for work.  But I wondered all day if he really did get it.  Sure, I love cake, and I love the anticipation of cake.  But I also love sharing things I love with people that I love, and I would have been happy to give the cupcake back if he had just asked.  That night, he walked into the house with a six pack of grocery store cupcakes.  “What’s that?”  I honed in, my cake-dar on high.  ”A peace offering,”  he answered.  “Now, you have five cupcakes all to yourself.”  I did a double take, clearly counting six cupcakes in the container.  “But there are six cupcakes,” the greedy little cake hoarder in me said.  “And one of them is mine,”  he smiled before walking into the kitchen, opening the case, and savoring his cupcake.

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2 responses to “It’s not about the cupcake.”

  1. Yvette

    This still makes me laugh 😀 Love it!

  2. kate

    I love this. How many times have we had/I started arguments that “aren’t about the cupcake?” Too many, to be sure. I hope you got some good HT sugar this V-Day, friend.

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