Cupcake: (n) a small cake, the size of an individual portion, baked in a cup-shaped mold.
I was well into my thirties before I started eating cupcakes.
I didn’t abstain from them totally before that time, but I was known to often pass them up, insisting that even though I am a large man, that I wasn’t a “big sweet eater.”
Every time I said that, people looked at me with a massive skepticism.
Maybe that’s one reason I never ate cupcakes. It may not be fair, but I don’t know if a fat person can sit around eating high-calorie delicacies, or if an Italian man can devour a pizza or a black man chew fried chicken and watermelon.
This may sound raciest, but actually it’s understanding the silent racism that exists in our country, which giggles to itself whenever a stereotype plays out before its eyes.
But for a season, I just didn’t like all the frosting.
Then I was invited to a wedding, and while sitting at a table watching people dance, I noticed that most of them had eaten the insides of their cake but left the frosting behind. So I asked somebody at a nearby table, “Does the frosting suck?”
He vigorously shook his head. “No. It’s just too good.”
I was lost on this concept.
So without being noticed, I reached over with my fork and ate a clump of the rejected frosting from someone’s plate. (It seemed okay to do since I was only going to do it once. Are you familiar with that rationale? Of course, you can only carry it so far. For instance, promising to commit adultery or killing someone is not forgiven because you only choose a single occasion.)
But meanwhile, back to the frosting.
It was buttercream.
I knew this because there was a note on the table, written in beautiful calligraphy, which read: “Butter pecan cake with buttercream frosting.”
It was delicious.
Just sweet enough. Not heavy. Not crusty—but as advertised, buttery and creamy.
As the celebrators continued to do their best imitation of dance, I sat there and ate all the leftover frosting from about seven plates.
I don’t know—maybe there’s an addictive force associated with frosting.
From that point on, I had absolutely no problem eating cupcakes.
I realize that such a statement might be regaled as growth and toleration—but actually, all I did was raise my calories, my blood sugar and my ever-growing need for things that are sugary-sweet.