Sunday, March 7, 2010

Let them eat cake

It was on my birthday a few years ago. Wally asked my mom if she could pick up my birthday cake, and told her “I’ll give you the money for it, it’s sixty-five dollars. Can you pick it up from Katrina Rozelle?”

My mom said she would, but didn't have room in her refrigerator and asked to drop it by on her way home from the bakery.

Knowing my mom and her always well-stocked refrigerator, Wally of course agreed.

Next my mom called Katrina Rozelle.

Katrina Rozelle is a wonderful (and wonderfully expensive) pastry shop in Alamo, CA. My mom is a retired school teacher. School teachers get their birthday cakes at the supermarket, and for sixty-five dollars you get a cake the size of the kitchen table. Maybe even the size of the kitchen.

My mom called Kartina Rozelle and said “This is Mrs A, and I’m picking up a cake today.  I have a very small car and I need to know - how big is the cake?”

They checked, and said “It’s a fourteen inch round.”

Mommy said, “Oh. Thank you. I will send my housekeeper to pick it up.” Retired teachers don’t have housekeepers.  But they do have their pride.

She didn’t tell them who she was when she went to pick it up. And they didn’t let on that they knew. 

Today we stopped into Katrina Rozelle for a cookie, after going to the market together. I didn’t call her by her last name and she pretended to be someone else. The cake has become a bit of our family’s story, a chance to laugh at ourselves. And we could all use more cookies and more laughter.

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