Sunday, April 15, 2007

New Prompt (Week Fifteen) Posted at AnceStories2

I've just posted some new journal prompts over at my other blog AnceStories2: Stories of Me for My Descendants. This week's theme is the last in a three-part series about marriage, and is titled "Your Anniversaries." As I wrote out the questions, I flashed back to a humorous anniversary story of my own that I thought would be fun to share with my readers.

My husband struggled with low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) for many years, and during that time refrained from using sugar in his diet, choosing artificial sweeteners or honey instead. When we planned our wedding, a church friend of my mother's (who lived in another city) was picked to make our cake. We communicated through Mom that we would like the top layer of cake to be sugar-free. That way, we knew during the reception when Norm and I fed each other a piece of wedding cake, he would not be consuming sugar.

So the big day came, and after the wedding, we went to the reception hall. First of all, visually, it was not a pretty cake (and I hope to God that the lady who made it never reads this!). My wedding color was a soft pinky-peach--coral--I guess you'd call it. The cake was white with stark yellow and bright orange frosting flowers, two of my least favorite colors. That should have warned me right there. After what seemed an interminable time shaking hands and giving hugs in the reception line (three-inch heels, and we'd already stood for nearly an hour during the wedding!), we went over to the cake table and proceeded to cut the cake. When Norm fed me the piece of wedding cake, it was all I could do not to spit it out right then and there!

Yes, the top layer was sugar-free. Sugar-free as in NO sugar. No Nutra-Sweet, no Sweet'n Low, no honey. Nada. Zero. Zilch. It was like eating sawdust with shortening on top. Yellow and orange shortening, no less. What was worse was that the lady who had made the cake was at the reception, so I felt like I had to maintain that "happy bride" look.

The top layer was saved in the traditional manner to be frozen and eaten for our first anniversary. The trouble was, we lived in a studio apartment with a tiny apartment-sized refrigerator with a freezer that had to be less than 1.5 cubic feet. That blasted cake took up almost all the room in the freezer: a tray of ice, pound of ground beef, and the cake. Too bad for us if we wanted ice cream.

About six months into our marriage, I was struggling yet again to fit something into the freezer. Pulling out the cake that was taking up so much room, I asked my husband if he really cared that we ate it on our first anniversary. He said no (he's not one for traditions, anyway), and I couldn't stand the thought of ruining our first anniversary by eating any of that God-awful cake! I happily pitched it into the garbage.

I don't remember much of our first anniversary. By then, we had moved to an old Nike missile silo base which had been converted to a microfilm-production and hard document storage facility, where we worked as caretakers. The owner, who was quite wealthy, lived like a Scrooge and expected his employees to as well. We were too poor even to go out to dinner and a movie. I suppose I probably cooked a nice meal, but at least we didn't have to eat any of that cake!

I hope you'll leave a record of your anniversary memories with your descendants, too!
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