Sunday, January 17, 2016

Have Your Cake and Eat it too.

If my mothers, sisters, aunts and best friends still lived in southern China, they might warn me of men who “want both the fish and the bear paw.” But, that is a different poem, a different continent, a different destiny on a tiny palm. Living in NYC circa 2016, I try to explain my relationship status, and I’ll immediately hear, “Ohhh! Sounds like he wants to have his cake and eat it too! What a dick!” The thing is, until recently, I never gave this idiom much thought, didn’t have to. I the cake here? And if I am the cake, what kind am I? A lemon yellow sponge cake from a Chinatown bakery? An angel food cake because I pretend to act saintly? A devil’s food cake because I’m full of sin and need to be spanked with a big bear paw? I know I’m definitely not a wedding cake, but am I the cake that the svelte break diets for? Am I a cake on the cover of Bon Appetit or an amateur foodie blog?  Does “having the cake,” mean that a man can possess me, keep me on his kitchen counter, and maybe if he’s into photography and social media, post me on instagram? #mysweetbabycake!
But cakes eventually go bad if not eaten, that’s the truth. Have you ever tasted a cake left out for awhile? It is a rare occurrence for me, but apparently the frosting stiffens like an Easter egg-shell, the cake parts harden too, the sugar becomes less sweet, all knowing that they’ve lost their existential purpose, which is in fact, to be eaten. It is also a sin to have food go to waste. And let’s be honest, who doesn’t like the taste of cake? So why should I begrudge him for wanting to eat it?  Maybe he just prefers Red Velvet, Lemon Meringue, even Carrot, if he’s craving a good cream cheese filling. It’s why I have both apple and orange juice in my fridge. My sisters shake their head at me. They wonder why I was absent from class that day. It’s actually the having vs. the eating. It has nothing to do with the flavor of my cake or anyone else’s. I guess it was a trick question..for me. I am totally effed.

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