Sunday, April 27, 2014

A Carefree Cupcake That Is Not So Carefree

People kept asking me “So how does it feel to be back in the US?” 

Well, there were no fits of panic attacks, the sky did not turn red, white, and blue, I didn’t crumble into dust, and there were no marching bands playing Hail to the Queen. I guess it was rather uneventful on the whole, but totally eventful on the whole, if you get my meaning.

Actually, the entire time was surrealistic. There was this sense at times that I was astral projecting hovering over some other version of me, while experiencing my life just an observer. This could be partly due to the difficulties with the last piece of the wedding puzzle: the cake baker.

We had contracted with a company in Des Moines called A Carefree Cupcake a.k.a. Carefree Patisserie back in November. At that time, I gave them an approximation of the anticipated number of guests. I had also requested that they provide us with decorated cookies that looked like Easter eggs. They sent me a picture of what they could do, I modified their rendition and we settled on a design for both the cake and the cookies.

As the time approached, by March 1st, I started to reach out to them to inform them of the final numbers. At that time, we had 80 people attending; this meant modifications in the size of the cake as well as the number of cookies. Ron had said that he did not want two groomsmen on the cake, but would settle for two Easter bunnies. He said it in jest, but I thought it was a fun idea. This was not meant to be a stuffy affair, but one that was playful and light. The bakery was informed.

From mid-March to the final-final days, there was a breakdown in communication with the bakers – two sister-laws in business together. I would write, they would not answer. I would call, but only get their message machine. I would write to arrange a phone call, but not get a response. Two weeks went by without a whiff of their existence. I started getting nervous. Every other day, I would send a new e-mail hoping for some signs of life. Each time, the auto-responder would arrive in my mail stating there was no computer in the bakery due to flour and other flying particles. Guess they have not heard of an iPad before. Still there was no response to my reaching out. This continued to the point where I was questioning whether or not we should pick up cookies from the supermarket to serve in lieu of a wedding cake.

Finally, I received a message that they had us on their calendar; they were planning for 50 guests and had as many cookies planned. The cake was to be almond and they returned the wrong design. Oh, and they were in the process of moving. NOOOOOOO!!!!

Panic set in. The cake was not correct, the number of servings was not correct, the flavor was not correct. And so the cycle continued with calls unanswered, e-mails not responded to beyond an auto-responder and hives were about ready to erupt all over my body from stress.

Right before we left Budapest, the ladies sent an e-mail to arrange a call. With great restraint, I kept my anxiety under lock and key when we spoke, remaining polite and professional. We made the corrections and it seemed like a done deal with everything on track. That is until we reached Des Moines…

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