One year, friends took me out to lunch, and we laughed and joked and thoroughly enjoyed the hour or so we spent together.
Each person brought a great gift, and I relished being in the limelight of this unique day. It was my 40-something birthday, so I considered it a biggie. I had looked forward to my 40’s, and was really into whatever 40 year olds do. In fact, members of the group at this particular party were my running buddies: women who considered themselves runners, not joggers. We were entirely too serious about this avocation to be mere ‘joggers’.
This happened to be the same year that the man I was dating gave me a pair of knee pads…use your imagination about that gift.
But I digress.
One of my close friends was quite a pastry baker, if that is the correct term for someone who makes cakes. And she surprised me with a beautifully decorated cake. The cake decorations featured a replica of my running shoes, race medals, trophies, things that told the story of our racing activities. And we had lots to tell about!
I was really touched by her generosity and her creativity to make this gift just for me, and at the end of lunch she handed me the knife so I could serve the cake. I was reluctant to mess the icing up, but realized cakes are meant to eat.
So I began to cut—or rather saw. The knife just wouldn’t go through the cake, it kept bouncing back. I looked up afraid the cooking queen would be embarrassed about the texture of the cake. Everyone looked back at me and became hysterical. It finally dawned on me, I didn’t have to mess up the decorations…the cake was made of foam rubber.
I should have known the camaraderie we shared would include jokes. I told them they were just jealous because I always won a trophy when we ran in races and they didn’t. No matter that I was in a different age group (older) than the age category they were in, and I usually was the only one in my category…so I always came in first, even when I was the last person finishing the race, which happened more than once!
That cake may have been the best one I never ate!