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Taking the Cake

Two things became readily apparent after pawing through a shoebox of family photos I was recently reunited with.

One: no one took photos of food. At least not intentionally. (I do have a middle-school Christmas shot of me sharing a seat at the table with a bread bowl, one of my summer 2015 obsessions.)

Two: photography skills left a lot to be desired pre-digital. Nearly half were out of focus, the framing dubious, lighting wonky. Delete is now our friend.

The one exception to the food-free subject matter, I discovered, were birthday cakes. I don’t remember anyone ever taking pictures of them, but there they were, at least ten of them spanning from age seven to roughly 20. Because it’s Thursday I’m going to post them all.

monkey cake

Fairly certain this was seven. One of my aunts decorated cakes as a side hustle, or maybe just a hobby? I don’t know. She still exists. I should ask her.

cat cake

Very koala looking cat.

ziggy cake

I was given a Ziggy card last week, if only to prove that Ziggy cards are still buyable.

garfield cake

That orange laminate counter top never looked so good.

felix cake

betty boop cake

More balloons. cherry cake

Fourteen candles. This is my favorite photo. I mean, look at it.

chocolate cake

I received this cake early because I turned 17 in rural France, which is the sort of thing anyone else would say and I’d think they were a douche (actually worse than a douche, but I try to refrain from the C word here even though it flows right out of my mouth). No one in my family had flown to another country before, I’m pretty sure. I was the first. I didn’t have that great of a time because I was a teenager who didn’t care about canals and sunflowers, and I’ve never been back to France since. May never return.

picnic cake

The summer between high school and college. I didn’t move away for school so 18 felt like whatever. My grandma used to open up the entire cartons of ice cream and slice servings into slabs. That now seems cooler than scooping.

stagecoach cake

me with stagecoach

This store-bought stagecoach cake threw me for a loop, zero recollection, until I found myself holding it in better focus. I was definitely at least 20 here. My mom thought she was being funny, I suppose. That’s an genetic impulse I’m often taming.


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