The Venomous Hubby’s birthday was last week. At his request, I made him his favorite: pumpkin dump cake, with real pumpkin this time, too!
This was his 48th birthday (why, yes, he IS considerably older than me). After learning the hard way last year when the smoke alarm went off in the middle of singing, I opted for candles that spelled “Happy Birthday” instead of four dozen burning sticks of molten wax.
These weren’t neon-colored dime store candles, either. They were made by an artist friend, all in his favorite color, all individually hand-dipped and shaped. Nice candles. Expensive candles. The kind of candles that come with their own individual platforms to catch the wax so they don’t screw up the cake.
The kind of candles that, when the Big-Eyed Boy asked if he could put them on the cake himself, gave me pause until I remembered all the times my own mother didn’t let me do such things, and then I gave in.
And, as my son crammed the H candle down two inches into the cake, I realized just why my mother hadn’t let me be the one to stick candles in anyone’s cake. So, after a little distraction with a candy bar saved for just such a thing, I coaxed the remaining candles out of my son’s hand and carefully placed them myself.
Now, because I have Celiac Disease and am also on a perpetual diet, I can’t actually eat any of it. Also, thanks to the Celiac, even the tiniest cake crumbs left out on the counter can make me terribly, violently ill. And, since my husband’s a slob, there are always cake crumbs left out on the counter.
That is why, one week later, my husband is STILL eating cake because neither I nor my pumpkin-hating son will touch the thing.
So this evening my husband came home and took one look at me standing at the oven and checking on dinner. Then he announced he was going to have a slab of cake before dinner.
The dinner I’d just spent the past hour making. The dinner I’d shopped for yesterday, prepped for this afternoon, and was looking forward to leisurely eating with him by candlelight as a way to start our winter vacation, having already fed my son separately. The dinner which — I know, because after 11 years of marriage I know him — he was about to be disinterested in after consuming that huge piece of cake.
As he bit down I heard a loud CRUNCH immediately followed by spitting noises. Seems he’d encountered the pedestal from the H candle my son had put in, a candle we’d long since removed and tossed after he’d blown them out on his birthday.
“What’s this?” he asked. “Are you trying to poison me?”
“Oh, don’t be silly. That’s the thing from the bottom of the candle,” I told him as I removed the Salmon Wellington from the oven and slammed it onto the counter right next to the remainder of that goddamned cake.
“If I was going to poison you,” I continued, giving him my sweetest (well, for me) smile, “I assure you that you’d neither smell, nor taste, nor even see it.”
He blinked, swallowed the last bite left on his plate, then finally gave me a quick peck on the cheek.
“More cake, dear?” I asked.
It’s amazing how quickly that man lost interest in the freaking cake and begged to sit down and eat the dinner I’d so lovingly prepared.