Thursday, April 28, 2011

Pound Cake

So I'm about to tell a story that some of y'all may have heard before. Some stories are worth retelling though.

About ten years or so ago I was going through the "Why am I still single?" thing. Being single in itself doesn't really suck. It's just that your formerly single friends seem to drop off the planet. And then they have kids. Suddenly they are doing stuff -- with people who also have kids. But you don't so you're so out of the loop. But then when you meet up with these friends on those rare occasions, they somehow think that your life is so great. And I suppose it is if you think that entertaining the thought of adopting every stray animal that crosses your path so that you can have consistent companionship is better. Hell. You want to go to shelters and adopt every cute stray. Well not maybe cute. Pitbulls can be cute. Think of Petey on The Little Rascals. Cute as hell if you ask me.

Enough rambling. I was at some function or another at my dad's and his sister-in-law and I had snuck out to have a smoke. (Another revelation. Part of the reason why I can't quit smoking is because it's one of my defenses against others.) So started the pound cake story.

She told me how her dad told her about how fabulous her mom's pound cake was -- so much so that they would swipe a taste while it was in the pantry. And then her dad reminded her how sometimes her mom would put a lemon glaze on the cake. The glaze just enhanced the flavor of the already really good cake. Her dad then told her that she was the cake and that any man in her life was the glaze. The cake (you) is perfectly good on its own; the glaze (that other person) just adds something that makes the cake seem better. The key point though was that even if there is no glaze, the cake is perfectly good on its own.

That's what I remind myself of in the middle of the onslaught of everything else in life. Because being never married and childless in one's 40s? Can you say pariah? Freak of nature? OK. Maybe not but that's how it sometimes feels when people ask. Or when I'm hanging out with old friends and they say,"I always thought that you would be married with kids before me." But nowadays I really like other people's kids. One's that can be returned.

And then I remind myself that I'm like the pound cake -- I'm perfectly fine on my own. Some days it's harder to remember this than others.


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