Someone I know had a birthday last week. I ordered a cake and yes, it was from the same store where the lady talked deli to me so it didn’t go off without a hitch or glitch or whatever you call it. In fact, the whole experience reminded me of a song that came out when I was in first grade.
It all began three days before the party with a call to the bakery. Someone sort of answered, but they didn’t want to talk because they sat the phone on the counter without saying a word. I could hear bakers chatting and laughing with each other, but none of them were chatting and laughing with me. When there was a break in the action one of them picked up the phone and asked what I wanted. I told her that I wanted to order a white 8-inch round double layered cake with 10 orange and yellow roses on top. The birthday boy wasn’t turning 10-he did that about 44 years ago-but his favorite part of the cake is the icing so getting a lot of it is important. One rose was the ‘to grow on’ rose. Given the amount of icing that would be on that cake there definitely would be some growing, but it was gonna be out rather than on. The call ended and I began to wonder if I would actually get what I wanted.
The next evening, my phone rang. It was the bakery lady and she wanted to talk bakery to me. She called to make sure that I really wanted 10 flowers on top of the party cake. “Yes” I said, “I want 10 flowers.” She laughed and told me that 10 was a lot of flowers to put on a small cake, but that she’d do it anyway. It’s great when the bakery lady agrees to do what the customer wants. When I hung up the phone I wondered if I would actually get what I wanted.
Birth Day arrived and it was time to pick up the party cake. I arrived at the counter and nobody was there. I looked around and saw a lady standing about 10 yards away from me emptying boxes. I kept looking around, including back at her, but nothing. Finally, she walked over to another customer whom she clearly knew and they sauntered off to the produce section as they got caught up on things. When she returned, I was still standing there in plain view, but she said nothing. So I yelled over, “Excuse me-Do you work in the bakery?” “Oh yes” she said, as if nothing unusual was happening, “What do you want?” When I told her I’d been waiting to pick up a cake she proclaimed that she was busy helping another customer. I bet she got a black mark by her name. That’s what my mom said you get when you lie-even if you don’t want it.
It was time for the reveal party-the one where I got to see if what was on the cake was actually what I wanted. It’s like the party before the real party and most of the time I’m more surprised than the birthday boy is when he actually gets the cake. It was a white 8-inch round double layer cake with yellow and orange flowers on top…9 of them. There was plenty of room for one more so either the flower maker couldn’t count or she decided birthday boy really didn’t need the one ‘to grow on.’ Should I tell the lady with the black mark by her name that I ordered 10 globs of butter and sugar instead of just 9? That I’m not leaving until another rose was added to the cake? I decided to let it go and that’s when the Beatles’ song…oops…Rolling Stones’ song…started playing in my head.
“…You can’t always get what you want
But if you try sometimes you just might find
You get what you need” And nobody needs 10 roses.
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