Depressed After Generational Conflict

Decorating By kate_c Updated 7 Nov 2008 , 2:49am by ILE

kate_c Posted 5 Nov 2008 , 10:57pm
post #1 of 31

My mum's birthday is coming up again, and I asked my step dad (who I usually get along with very well...) if I can make mum's birthday cake this year. Actually, I have offered to make her cake every year, especially for her 50th a few years ago, but every year I get the go ahead, and so ask my step dad to find out what flavour cake she wants, and then he always comes back and says "she just wants a Michel's Patisserie cake" and so he goes buys one.So I asked the question again this morning, and made sure I mentioned that I really would like to make it this year, and not just buy one. Once I had got that point across, I then said (again... de ja vous) "But you will need to find out what type of cake she wants". He asked what I meant. I said "well, what flavour? What type of cake?" and he said "well, you know, a BIRTHDAY cake... Just a sponge cake or a fruit cake". This led into a long and frustrating conversation, where my generation was slammed as trending towards the "cheap, easy and mass-producable" options for cakes. Wedding and celebration cakes that are made from chocolate cake, or some other flavoured mix, and covered in frosting (buttercream) are childish and cheap and "easy" apparently. Then came the sarcastic "they'll be putting hundreds and thousands on them next" (is that what you call them too? The tiny little colourul candy dots that are on sprinkled on kids' treats). I tried to defend every caker out there who has ever used buttercream in a serious capacity, but it fell on deaf ears. Then he came out with "only YOUR generation thinks birthday cake or celebration cakes can be used for desert. Traditionally, celebration cakes are just symbolic, and you don't even eat it at the event. It's supposed to be able to last so you can send it home for people to enjoy days or even weeks later. You cut a cake, then have a proper dessert afterwards. And really, the cake isn't something you even have to like or enjoy, because it's just a symbol. It's only YOUR generation who thinks otherwise"...

I don't know why I am so hurt by this. It's just an opinion, and he wasn't trying to be mean, he just believes in what he is saying and believes he is right. I must add, we are in australia who has always *traditionally* had english-descended celebration cakes, of fruitcake, marzipan, fondant and royal icing for big occasions, or a plain vanilla sponge cake for lesser occasions. Now I regret offering to make the cake, and keep swinging from saying screw it, I'll just do the plainest, most tasteless cake I can find, to going all out and trying to find the most delicious cake recipe and going all out on it.

I really do feel hurt and depressed. Why is it so wrong to want cake that is tasty to eat? Why is it so wrong to actually ENJOY the "symbol"? Why is it so wrong to think you can eat the cake for dessert? Have any of you out there come across the same thing? How did you respond? And which way should I go? Plain tasteless cake? Or my best yet?

30 replies
superstar Posted 5 Nov 2008 , 11:17pm
post #2 of 31

Cheer up Kate, he obviously does not know about cakes!!! I would say go ahead & make a cake that is a similar kind to the one she requests every year & then just decorate it with love for your mom, tell your step dad that you have done this & he is free to go & buy some other dessert as well.

sari66 Posted 6 Nov 2008 , 12:44am
post #3 of 31

I would make a cake that you both will enjoy.
Don't feel bad about your step-father I don't think he was trying to be mean.

Ursula40 Posted 6 Nov 2008 , 1:13am
post #4 of 31

You are making this for your mother, as a gift from the heart, why would you need his approval?

indydebi Posted 6 Nov 2008 , 1:39am
post #5 of 31

Why can't you just ask your mom what kind of cake she wants? Why does he have to find out for you? icon_confused.gif I mean, she KNOWS her birthday is coming, right?

Melvira Posted 6 Nov 2008 , 1:53am
post #6 of 31

Personally he sounds like an @ss to me. Sorry. That's just my opinion.

I understand that things may be WICKEDLY different between the USA and Australia, but since when isn't cake a DESSERT? What kind of stupid statement is that? What is cake if it's not a dessert? And what constitutes a 'proper' dessert? Pudding? Ice cream? I'm very sorry that he has made you feel this way, and denegrated you to the level that you have obviously been pushed down to. No one deserves that, and especially not from someone who is supposed to care about you. You need a big 'ol hug, and I wish I was there to give you one!

Here's a thought... don't ask his permission to do a cake in the future. Every year, when her birthday comes around, you make her the most beautiful, heartfelt cake you have ever made in your life. You make it whatever flavor you want, or ask her. Go all out and create something gorgeous and memorable! You will feel good about it, and she will see how hard you worked to do something kind for her. And if Daddy MeanButt has anything to say about it... kindly tell him where he is cordially invited to shove it! thumbs_up.gif

indydebi Posted 6 Nov 2008 , 2:14am
post #7 of 31

Melvira, are you a cousin to chutzpah? icon_biggrin.gif

all4cake Posted 6 Nov 2008 , 2:16am
post #8 of 31

I'm sorry you are feeling down about something that means a lot to you. Even if your step-dad had no issues at all, I would bypass him and go straight to mom for what kind of cake she likes. If the cakes are planned to be a surprise...you've got an entire year to find out what flavors rock your Mama's world. A couple of well planned outings...stopping for lunch. Over dessert..."I would love to have the ultimate banana cream dessert! Banana cake or yellow cake with a layer of thinly sliced bananas topped with a mound of super light but flavorful banana mousse! mmmmmmmmmmm doesn't that sound gooooood?(directed toward your mother...definitely fill in the type of dessert with your own favorite or desired combination). Make sure to remember long enough to write it down. Then, ask in the same fashion color(s), flower(s)....

Let this be between you and your mother...she can share if she'd like....once you find out what cake will curl her toes(ugh, right), she may not want to.

I didn't see anything different at Michel's Patisserie...I mean not so Wow that I would make sure to get one from there...their meat pies look good icon_smile.gif

dragonflydreams Posted 6 Nov 2008 , 2:40am
post #9 of 31

. . . ya, he's insensitive . . . probably has no idea he hurt your feelings . . . or may be he's an @55 and did it on purpose . . . either way, it's your gift to your mom (and I'd refrain from including him in the conversation again) . . . if you are close to your mom (in distance) by all means try to pick her brains for flavor ideas (stealth mode of course) . . . if you are not close by, you must have some ideas as to her preferences . . . does she go gaga for chocolate . . . is she a citrus lover . . . what does she choose for herself if you're out for dinner and have dessert . . . color wise . . . what does her closet look like . . . are they pastels or saturated colors . . . what does she hang on her walls . . . how does she decorate her favorite room . . . all of these are clues to you and can be used as starting points . . . good luck, hon, and sorry your step dad is clueless . . . consider yourself (((hugged)))

TC123 Posted 6 Nov 2008 , 3:00am
post #10 of 31

I'm sorry that your step dad's words hurt you. I, like others, don't think he meant to. Since you go through this every year, I think you should ask you mother what flavours she likes. And who knows? Maybe once your step dad gets treated to your scrumptious delights, he'll understand why it's such a big deal to us! Best wishes for a happy birthday to your mom, with a wonderful cake from you! icon_smile.gif

Melvira Posted 6 Nov 2008 , 3:00am
post #11 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Melvira, are you a cousin to chutzpah? icon_biggrin.gif




I'm not sure if I'm flattered or insulted by that question! Hehehehe. Just kidding! Yah, us opinionated broads travel in packs, so ya gotta be careful! icon_lol.gif

indydebi Posted 6 Nov 2008 , 3:14am
post #12 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Melvira

Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Melvira, are you a cousin to chutzpah? icon_biggrin.gif



I'm not sure if I'm flattered or insulted by that question! Hehehehe. Just kidding! Yah, us opinionated broads travel in packs, so ya gotta be careful! icon_lol.gif




From one mouthy broad to another .... it's a high compliment! icon_biggrin.gif

Melvira Posted 6 Nov 2008 , 3:33am
post #13 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

From one mouthy broad to another .... it's a high compliment! icon_biggrin.gif




I suspected as much! thumbs_up.gif

kate_c Posted 6 Nov 2008 , 4:41am
post #14 of 31

Thankyou everyone for your hugs and kind thoughts... yeah, I think I'll just go straight to the source. Usually, since it's a very traditional famly, it would be the partner of the birthday person's job to organise a birthday celebration, so questions regarding anything to do with my mum's birthday would *traditionally* (there's that damned word again!) go to her hubby, to either answer or investigate. (hence my mother had the WORST time earlier this year trying to help out with her mum's 80th birthday - ended up being a real disappointment because Grandfather wouldn't approve any of the locations we suggested for the party, as he is not a fan of foreign food, big crowds, loud noise or travelling too far, resulting in a buffet dinner at a small club, no decorations, and a dry cake from a local bakery with the most hideous hot pink icing... Wasn't happy!)

Anyway, it's not a "special" birthday, the only people celebrating will be immediate family, so I'm going to have to just put it in perspective. I think what hurt me most was to hear someone ridicule something that I really love doing, and what made it worse is that I am only a hobbyist in cake decorating, so the only people I ever make cakes for are either close family, or my best friend. So it felt like I was being slammed by the equivalent of my biggest customer! (though I wouldn't dream of charging a cent!)

Thankyou again for the virtual hugs - I really needed them!!!!!!!

And I agree... since when was cake NOT a dessert????????????????? Well damnit, I'll make a cake so tasty, they keep going back for more and can't fit in dessert! (oh, and to answer the question... the "proper" dessert mum served after the cake at the last birthday......... cheesecake. hmph!)

GI Posted 6 Nov 2008 , 4:57am
post #15 of 31

I would get your adorable daughter (in your avatar?) to help you make the cake. If all she does is stir up the egg yolks with her plastic spoon!! icon_wink.gif And present a pretty, feminine, adorably special cake to your momma for her birthday. Make it from you and your little tyke. Now, what kind of a Mother could resist THAT! I'd leave your so-called step-ahem-"dad" out of the whole thing. Put it in a little pink box, curley ribbons, bows, and the whole thing.

And tell the step-a**-dad to take a bloody photo of the 3 of you with your gift!!! Leave HIM out of the picture itself, too.

What an arrogant piece of man he is. I am sorry you have to put up with a dork like that.

lovely Posted 6 Nov 2008 , 5:05am
post #16 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by kate_c

Thankyou everyone for your hugs and kind thoughts... yeah, I think I'll just go straight to the source. Usually, since it's a very traditional famly, it would be the partner of the birthday person's job to organise a birthday celebration, so questions regarding anything to do with my mum's birthday would *traditionally* (there's that damned word again!) go to her hubby, to either answer or investigate. (hence my mother had the WORST time earlier this year trying to help out with her mum's 80th birthday - ended up being a real disappointment because Grandfather wouldn't approve any of the locations we suggested for the party, as he is not a fan of foreign food, big crowds, loud noise or travelling too far, resulting in a buffet dinner at a small club, no decorations, and a dry cake from a local bakery with the most hideous hot pink icing... Wasn't happy!)

Anyway, it's not a "special" birthday, the only people celebrating will be immediate family, so I'm going to have to just put it in perspective. I think what hurt me most was to hear someone ridicule something that I really love doing, and what made it worse is that I am only a hobbyist in cake decorating, so the only people I ever make cakes for are either close family, or my best friend. So it felt like I was being slammed by the equivalent of my biggest customer! (though I wouldn't dream of charging a cent!)

Thankyou again for the virtual hugs - I really needed them!!!!!!!

And I agree... since when was cake NOT a dessert????????????????? Well damnit, I'll make a cake so tasty, they keep going back for more and can't fit in dessert! (oh, and to answer the question... the "proper" dessert mum served after the cake at the last birthday......... cheesecake. hmph!)




Good luck with it all, can I just ask...if the cake is traditionally to take home(and I thought that was traditional only to weddings in au not other celebrations) then why buy a cake from Michels (although they are expensive and delicious). Did he send that cake home with the guests?
Anyhoo, hope you get to make the cake and be sure to post the beautiful dessert once it's made.
icon_smile.gif Leigh

kate_c Posted 6 Nov 2008 , 5:06am
post #17 of 31

lol, i LOVE that idea! Bridgette (yes, my daughter in the avatar) can "make" the cake! Noone can criticise that!!!!!

Mum's birthday is on the 17th, I'll take some photos of the finished cake and post it so you can all see the end results icon_smile.gif

Then mum'll know what she's been missing all these years!

kate_c Posted 6 Nov 2008 , 5:10am
post #18 of 31

Leigh asked "why buy a cake from Michels (although they are expensive and delicious). Did he send that cake home with the guests?"

EXACTLY!!! Welcome to my world! Can't argue with someone who keeps contradicting himself!!
[/quote]

lovely Posted 6 Nov 2008 , 5:15am
post #19 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by kate_c

Leigh asked "why buy a cake from Michels (although they are expensive and delicious). Did he send that cake home with the guests?"

EXACTLY!!! Welcome to my world! Can't argue with someone who keeps contradicting himself!!


[/quote]

LOL your cake will be better than Michels...haven't tasted it but can guarentee it. Michels looks pretty but not always nicer.
Can't wait to see it. icon_biggrin.gif

kalamagal Posted 6 Nov 2008 , 5:18am
post #20 of 31

I too am a mouthy broad. icon_biggrin.gif

You go ahead and make mums cake. You have got to have some idea of what she likes.

If you are so torn about flavor, make your best cake and go from there. Make two tiers - use several flavors. You are making it with love so make it shine girl! Step outside that box! You know she will love it.

You do have your traditions, but after this maybe your cakes will be the cakes they want for the parties. Why they would even order dry, pukey cakes from someone else when they have you?

Take the cake to the party and then it is in mums hands. If she wants to serve it, save it or for goodness sakes dance on it she can.

I am new here but I say go for it! WOW them. thumbs_up.gif

Would love to hear what you end up doing and see some pics.

indydebi Posted 6 Nov 2008 , 5:21am
post #21 of 31

Do I have this straight? In this case, the spouse is "traditionally" suppose to "organize" the birthday, but you and other family members are doing all the work? icon_confused.gif

i don't do well with someone sitting in their favorite chair and dictating everything they DON'T like while everyone else is going cuckoo trying to get things done and keep everyone happy, while working with a dictator who can only tell everyone what they are NOT doing right.

I say to those folks, "Do it yourself or shut the he** up!" icon_mad.gif

kate_c Posted 6 Nov 2008 , 5:30am
post #22 of 31

ROFL.. I am picturing the look on Grandfather's face if ever anyone said anything like that to him!!!! Lol.

Cheers for the laugh! icon_biggrin.gif

GI Posted 6 Nov 2008 , 2:32pm
post #23 of 31

Don't let that poor excuse for a masculine influence affect your relationship with your mother and your daughter grandma. He doesn't know a good thing when he has it! icon_twisted.gif I'll bet you can make a cake that not only looks pretty but is also tasty delicious. And it does make me wonder, about the cheesecake last year, if the S.A.D. (step-a**-dad) told her to get a cheesecake, you know?

Anyway, have fun making the cake with your cute little girl! icon_biggrin.gif

MosMom Posted 6 Nov 2008 , 3:44pm
post #24 of 31

Go ahead and make the most delicious cake but don't expect your stepdad to admit he enjoyed it. Even if he LOVES it, I'm willing to bet he will be hard pressed to let you know. I may be wrong and I only know as much about your stepdad as this tiny little post but I think what he said to you was cruel and rude.

Don't get your feelings hurt all over again if he refuses to comment or makes yet another rude comment. At that point, I would tell him he has hurt you and he is rude or as my son would say WEWD!

99% of my family is supportive of anything I do but my mother has always had a snide comment to make. It gets old and after MANY years I'm able to ignore most of her WEWDNESS! :p

superstar Posted 6 Nov 2008 , 11:36pm
post #25 of 31

Start a new tradition Kate.

JanetBme Posted 6 Nov 2008 , 11:52pm
post #26 of 31

um...haven't you been to her party for the last couple of years that she got the bought cake? What flavor does she get? Or- just Don't ask- after all these years, since you already KNOW the answer he's going to come back with, you are giving him the opportunity to make you feel inadequate. Don't give it to him.

If you don't know if she really loves a certain flavor- then go out on your own and bake something that you know will taste great. Decorate it very incredibly elegant...and then at the party when they cut and EAT it ALL because it tastes great, he will be put in his place!

Show them that birthday cakes are not just sprinkles(the hundred's and thousands) and buttercream... but something you put your Love into. Make her proud that you did it for HER. That's the point of you doing it anyway.Even if they happen to buy one- yours will be more enticing!

On the other hand, please don't do some outrageous recipe that you've never tried. Stick to something simple but good. I.E. I know that a chambord filled black raspberry cake is decadent and elegant- but if I brought it home, my family will think it was yuk- because it is not in their "taste" repetoire...They'd rather have a yellow cake any day....so keep your family's taste in mind!

Melvira Posted 6 Nov 2008 , 11:57pm
post #27 of 31

Hey... if you ever feel like taking the 'low road' (you know... being pure evil... icon_twisted.gif ) then for HIS birthday make a nice, dry, poorly iced buttercream cake and just coat that sucker with hundreds and thousands! Then smile and tell him you wanted to let him know just how much you think of him! icon_redface.gif Ok, I'm sorry... don't REALLY do that, but just enjoy thinking about it for ONE minute!! We are not supposed to enjoy being mean, but you can enjoy the thought just for a second! I won't tell! icon_lol.gif

ILE Posted 7 Nov 2008 , 12:28am
post #28 of 31

Melvira"]Personally he sounds like an @ss to me. Sorry. That's just my opinion.
i like melvira she tells it like it's.. don't ask him ask your mother, or just make the cake .and show up with it.

flbeachbummom Posted 7 Nov 2008 , 12:33am
post #29 of 31

I would make whatever cake I liked. I believe that every birthday is extremely sacred. God has given us one more year on this earth. Besides, everyone no matter who they are deep down loves to have someone do something special on their birthdays. It's especially nice when it is unexpected! icon_smile.gif

Melvira Posted 7 Nov 2008 , 2:09am
post #30 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by ILE

i like melvira she tells it like it's.. don't ask him ask your mother, or just make the cake .and show up with it.




Hehehehehehe...thanks. It's funny til it's aimed at you though! Haha! Just kidding! I won't say anything mean to/about you! icon_lol.gif

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