Category Archives: cupcakes

Dating is Like a Chocolate Pecan Cupcake

Yesterday I wanted Pecan Pie. I also wanted Chocolate Cupcakes. So, I decided to put the two together. Seeking guidance, I turned to the internet, where I found dozens of recipes, all written by witty ladies and teeming with glamorous photos of food.

My photo doesn’t look like that. Mine looks like this:  20150809_115211-1

Messy. Complicated. A work in progress.

And so, I bring you: Dating Is Like A Chocolate Pecan Cupcake.

The photo shows you my first tentative efforts. I’ve got the ingredients, I’m ready to go. I’ve told all my friends I’m going to pursue this, so I’m pretty much committed.

The internet ladies didn’t mention that there would be a cat in the kitchen, the one that wove itself between and around my legs while I tried to cook. The cat represents the things about the dating relationship that were cute at the beginning, but soon become a major annoyance, like his snoring or the way I sing Don Henley’s “Dirty Laundry” all day on Sunday when I do, well, the laundry.

Let’s say you get past the cat (although it never leaves the kitchen), and you make it to the point where you’ve got all the ingredients mixed together, the batter in the little fluted papers, and the pan in the oven. You look on the counter and there you see the pecans, which were supposed to go in the batter, and the Hershey’s Cocoa, which wasn’t even in the recipe. These are the little things you didn’t expect, like his friends being complete assholes or your insisting that he go with you to the “80’s Retro Dance Party” on the third Saturday of every month.

You try to recoup by pulling the pan out of the oven and sprinkling the pecans on top of the half baked cupcakes. The pecans are the guy in the accounting department who you keep flirting with, just in case your new relationship crashes and burns and you need a last minute date to your cousin Yvonne’s wedding next April. Speaking of crashing and burning, the pecans begin to smoke. No need to explain this, you all know the beginning of the end when you smell it.

But you remain hopeful, and leave the cupcakes in that 350-degree heat for another little while.

When you finally admit that they’re done, your friends look at your ruined cupcakes and put on fake smiles. “It’s not that bad,” they say. “You can try again another time, maybe use a new recipe.” That’s what all happily married women with 2.5 beautiful children say to their hopelessly single friends.

And now you’re stuck with the dishes. You’ve used every pot and pan you own to make this mess. You fill the sink and squirt in the detergent, you pull on the worn yellow gloves. You can hear your friends telling you that it won’t take as long as you think it will, that you’ll feel so much better when it’s done. You vow that next time you’ll do things differently, you’ll read the recipe all the way through, you’ll, you’ll – oh screw it, there is no positive spin to this. Everyone hates to do the dishes.


Filed under aging, autobigraphy, chocolate, communication, conflict, cupcakes, dance, divorce, fiction, flash fiction, food, friendship, humor, irony, relationships, sarcasm, the 80's, women, writing

Fat Ass Cupcakes

“Do these pants make my butt look fat?”

The words every husband dreads hearing. Laurie and I are walking down King Street; it’s a nice evening until she asks that. The million dollar question. The question to which there is no winning answer. To say “yes” will bring on a world of trouble, starting with hurt surprise, followed by retaliatory accusations and ending in inconsolable, sullen sobs. To say “no” would bring about a very similar response, but with disbelief and suspicion added in.

So I say nothing. It is very important that I say nothing. My mouth is a steel trap.

“Rob, I asked you a question. Do these pants make my butt look fat?” Say nothing. I must say nothing. I have disabled the connection between my brain and my tongue. I am thinking of baseball. I am silently humming “The Girl from Ipanema”. My jaw is wired shut, my lips are held fast by one of those clamps on a jumper cable. I say nothing. I say nothing. The word is welling up; my answer is boiling in my throat and frothing behind my teeth. I say nothing. I must, I must, I must say nothing.

Laurie is distracted by the shop window beside her. Her face lights up as she turns back to me and asks, “Don’t cupcakes sound good right now?”

The levee breaks and the flood comes rushing out, “Yes! Yes, dear God, Laurie yes, in answer to your question:  Yes! Without a doubt, yes!”

“Jeez, Rob, you’re awfully wound up,” she says.

I say nothing as a deep sense of relief washes over me.



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Filed under autobigraphy, body image, cupcakes, flash fiction, humor, Uncategorized, women, writing