Monday, February 12, 2007

You Can't Have Your Cake and Eat It Too

So here’s my final installment on how my mom has been upsetting me with all the shower stuff. After this, I’m letting it go and getting back to TMI with my weight and pregnancy symptoms.

I hate carrot cake. Really, really hate it. Now, what did carrot cake ever do to me? Nothing, really. It’s not the cake’s fault. At first, if a carrot cake was at a party and so was I, I went my way and let the cake go its way without any confrontation. I’m not a huge sweet eater, so if there is a cake I don’t like, it’s not the end of the world. I just don’t eat dessert at that party. Geesh, half the time I don’t eat dessert for the simple fact that I don’t want or need any.

So, when my parents suddenly fell in love with carrot cake and made it their mission in life to make me love it or at least eat it too, it got annoying fast. They’d have it at every holiday and family party. I’d always decline. But there’s no telling my mom no with food. No matter how many times you tell her you don’t want something, she will keep pushing it. I think she might have missed her calling as a dru.g dealer.

Here’s how the conversation would go every time:
Mom: Emmie, we have a wonderful carrot cake for dessert. Why don’t you try it?
Me: Oh--no thanks, Mom. I don’t really like carrot cake. Dinner was delicious and I’m full. Where did you get the recipe for that stuffing?
Mom: Really, Emmie, if you tried the cake, you would love it. It has the best cream cheese icing.
Me: Yeah, that’s the thing--I really don’t like cream cheese. But thanks anyway. So, Dad, when is your next business trip?
Mom: Emmie, just have a little piece.
Me: No. So are you off to Portland, Dad?
Dad: Carrot cake is my favorite. Mmmm.
Mom: The other carrot cakes you’ve tried couldn’t have been good as this one. If you’d just give it a chance.
Me: No, really, I don’t want any!
Mom: Well maybe you could just take a piece home with you.
Me: No, no, no…

For about two years, this would go on for an extensive amount of time at I never gave in to eating it. I mean, since I don’t eat many sweets to begin with, why waste calories on a cake I’ve tried and hated?

Finally, last year, I totally lost it. My mom was pushing the cake on me again while we were talking on the phone about an upcoming family dinner I was planning. I literally yelled—“I hate carrot cake! I will not eat carrot cake! I will not serve it at my party! Stop forcing it on me!” My dad was on the line at the same time and he and my mom were just silent. I immediately felt bad for yelling—I really yelled—so I followed it up with “I’m sorry, but we’ve had this same conversation over and over again for years now. Please respect the fact that I don’t like something.”


Dad: Okay, we won’t bring it up again. It’s not that big of a deal, Emmie. We just really like it.

At the next family dinner they hosted, my parents still had their carrot cake. But they also had another type of cake there too. A peace offering cake, perhaps? After that, they were real careful about not offering the carrot cake to me more than once. I still felt really embarrassed by my outburst, but at the same time I was relieved they had stopped hounding me about it.

Now on to the shower. I’m not a picky eater, and there are very few things (like carrot cake) that I really don’t like. One of them is deli meat. Well, my mom doesn’t think a party is a party without a cold cuts deli tray, and she has been determined to have one at my shower, even though there will be six pregnant women in attendance and we are not supposed to eat cold cuts (at least not without heating it first, and whose going to do that at a party?). I’ve explained this to her multiple times, and she doesn’t believe me. She believes about soft cheese and high-mercury fish being bad, but since she loves cold cuts she can’t imagine that I couldn’t eat it. I’ve suggested several alternatives to her, such as the really great party platters other friends have had at their showers. So she asked me to pick up the menus for her so she could look. I picked them up and sent them to her (we’re going to have to order the trays from nearby my house since my parents live far enough away).

There are some great grilled chicken wraps and stuff like chicken and shrimp salad sandwiches that cost less than the deli meat trays, all of which would be great party food. Well, my mom looked at the menus and told me that she doesn’t think anything I’ve shown her would be better than the deli meat tray. (Um, except for the fact that I and others aren’t supposed to eat it!!! Never mind the fact that I don't like it.) She then tells me that “The men attending this shower would eat 10 of those chicken wraps, making it too expensive to order enough, and the deli tray is the only thing that would fill them up.”

First off, excuse me—what men attending the shower?????????????

You mean my dad and H, who would only be there to help set up? H plans to take my dad to out to lunch after the party starts, like he did for me when I hosted my sister’s wedding shower. H’s dad most likely is not coming, and if he did, he would go out with them too. So who are all these men????? Occasionally the older women in my family have their husbands drop them off and they stop in for a minute or two. You mean they’re all going to come in like tornadoes and eat all our chicken wraps and run?

I told her she was being ridiculous and she snapped back that the wraps were too expensive compared to the deli tray. I told her to take it up with H, who would be placing the order for her, and promptly got off the phone before she caused me to hyperventilate.

The phone rings almost immediately, before I even have a chance to tell H about my conversation with my mom. It’s MIL, wanting to talk to H about the shower. MIL’s role is to bring the shower cake. I hear H say to her, “A carrot cake? Emmie really hates carrot cake, mom. No, really, she hates it. Her mom told you that she loves it? Well, she doesn’t. Seriously. Trust me on this one.”

Any tears I had been holding back burst. I stared at H until he got off the phone.

H tells me, “My mom asked your mom what type of cake to get for the shower and your mom told her that carrot cake is your favorite cake and that it would be perfect for the shower.”

I couldn’t speak. I was seeing orange. (A much worse color than red in my carrot cake hating world.)

H told me not to worry—it was all taken care of. There would be no carrot cake. But I just couldn’t swallow the fact that my mom had told MIL that carrot cake was my favorite. After all the history between me and that cake. The blow up I had over it. The peace offering cake. Did my mom hate me or did she just not care enough to know anything about me?

I e-mailed my dad later that night saying: “H tells me that MIL was going to order a carrot cake for my shower because mom told her it’s my favorite. Surely she and you know how much I hate it and how I never eat it. I hate to make a big deal about it, but why would she do that?”

My phone rang a few minutes later. My dad says, “Emmie, your mom would never tell MIL that carrot cake was your favorite. Your MIL suggested the carrot cake, and since your MIL hasn’t offered to do anything else for the shower, your mom didn’t want to say anything negative about it.”

Me: Okay, so mom didn’t suggest it, but she didn’t think it was important enough to tell MIL how much I hate carrot cake??? What would MIL think when I didn’t eat any of it?”

Dad: There will be so many people at your shower, we figured you probably wouldn’t get a piece of the cake anyway.

Me: Huh???????????????????????? I’m pregnant, hormonal, eating for 3, and loving cake these days because of it, and yet you think I wouldn’t have a piece of my own shower cake????????

Dad: We didn’t think it was a big deal. Your sister was going to bring a small extra dessert.

Me: So you actually discussed this? Well, it IS a big deal! Thank goodness H stopped this in time.

Dad: There will be plenty of other things for you to eat at the shower, Emmie.

Me: (Incredulous laugh) Um, yeah, you mean the deli lunch meat platter I’m not even allowed to eat but that mom insists on ordering? Do you guys want me to be able to eat anything at this shower at all?

My dad started to take my side a little after this, probably sensing the building hysteria in my voice and realizing that my hormone levels were starting to transform me into a force he didn’t want to mess with. He said he didn’t see why my mom had a problem with the other party food options and that he would make sure I got my chicken wraps. (In the back of my mind I’m thinking, no--H will make sure I get something I can eat, because he’s the one who has to pick everything up that morning.)

So, that’s the story folks. I hope everyone keeps carrot cake far, far away from me for the rest of this pregnancy because I can’t be held responsible for what I will do to it.


GLouise said...

"Wow" is all I can say!!!

I am soooo sorry that your mom is involved in the actual planning of your shower. She sounds like such a control freak!!!

If we see national headlines of "pregnant woman goes wild at baby shower, throws carrot cake out window" I guess we'll know it was you!

Chris said...

Oh my goodness. Are we related because this sounds EXACTLY like my mother, another carrot cake loving freak. Good luck and hang in there :-)

Jena said...

Oh dear god. Thank goodness H can run interference on the food.

Does your mom have any foods she hates? Perhaps you can sneak in something she hates just for fun!

(and despite my love for carrot cake and cream cheese frosting, I hearby swear to never ever force it on anyone or even to offer it to them more than once. Just to make the world a slightly safer place for all you carrot-cake-hating-folks. Gotta do my part to save humanity, ya know?)

Hopeful Mother said...

That is outrageous. If I hear any news stories about a pregnant woman, a carrot cake and a crime, I'll be sure to check your blog for your mug shot...

though any judge hearing your side of the story would throw your mother in jail instead!

Linlee said...

I feel for ya. My MIL informed me that she is having a 2 day shower for me! 2 days! Not to mention we have to travel to get to their house and cram all this in one weekend.

BY the way, I'm not a fan of carrot cake either! YUCK.

Isabel said...

Ridiculous, insane, horrible... I'll try to send mind waves of sanity to your family for your shower.

Plus... blow up more often. Sounds like they respond to that. You know, be the parent-whisperer.

Your husband sounds like a *dream* of a man, a wonderful man, oh my goodness I wish my husband could stand up on my behalf w/ my parents and in-laws like your husband does. What a guy!

You know, my parents weren't the best parents, but as I look back I become grateful that at the very, very least, they know what I like to eat and what I'm allergic too, and ditto for my husband. Your post has given me some respect for them that I really need to have: it gets me down how much I can't stand them sometimes. Thanks for your posting!