Today could very easily be the worst day of my life. Except that day has already been accounted and paid for, with enough tears to saturate the Mojave Desert.
You see, one year ago today, I turned thirty-four (yes, that means that I, Elizabeth Leanne Stevens, am now thirty-five, but I’ll get to that in a minute). Also, one year ago today, instead of being given flowers and a romantic dinner to celebrate my birthday, I was handed my walking papers. My husband of ten years – my boyfriend for ten years previous to that – announced he wanted a divorce. He was madly in love with another woman and he was moving out. Immediately.
As if that wasn’t crappy enough, he also instructed me to rearrange my schedule for the following day. He wanted me to be at home when the real estate agent came by to put the ‘for sale’ sign up on his house.
Yeah, Marc, my dickhead ex-husband, actually referred to the home we’d planned together, had built together, and had decorated together as his.
If you’re wondering how I could have missed such a grand-aptitude toward dickheadedness after spending twenty years with this man – you’re not alone. I’ve spent the last twelve-months wondering the same. What I’ve decided is I married a lemon. Unfortunately, there was no handy guide to check with a nicely organized table of contents. I object strongly to this. Come on, you get a set of instructions in three different languages when you buy any minor appliance, you should sure as hell get one when you commit your life to another person.
Many marriages would be saved if such a manual existed. I am positive of this. And, hey, it could become part of the wedding ceremony, given out in front of all your family and friends. Right after the ‘I Do’s,” and right before the kiss.
Anyway, to get back on track; today is my thirty-fifth birthday. It is also the one-year anniversary of the day my husband stomped all over my heart. I have yet to leave my apartment this morning. Hell, I may as well be completely truthful – I have yet to leave my bed. And if I could figure out a way to do so, without feeling like a self-pitying idiot, I'd stay in bed for the next week.
Because what I have to do today could quite seriously make me ill.
It could kill me.
As in flat out dead.
I can see the headlines now.
DEATH BY CAKE! HIGHLAND PARK BAKER SUFFERS MASSIVE HEART ATTACK WHILE SWALLOWING EVERY LAST VESTIGE OF PRIDE SHE HAD LEFT WHEN BAKING HER EX-HUSBAND AND HIS MISTRESS’S WEDDING CAKE.
Yep, that’s right. My job today, on my freaking birthday of all days, is to create a culinary work of art for the soon to be Mr. and Mrs. Marcus Stevens. Marc and Tiffany. Otherwise known by my small circle of friends as the Jerk and Jerkette. Personally, I prefer dickhead and brainless twit. Crass? Probably. But hey, it makes me feel better.
You may also be wondering how I, of all the bakers in the Chicago area, would be the one chosen for this momentous occasion.
Did I mention my ex is a dickhead?
Marc swears he had nothing to do with this latest misery, only discovered by me a week ago, but rather it was Tiffany’s mother who chose Indulgence as the bakery for her daughter’s “High Society” wedding.
Ha, high society. Granted, Marc is very successful in his selected field. In fact, he is one of the biggest, meanest sharks in his own little shark tank of personal and business financial planning.
But, come on, high society? I wouldn’t go that far.
Let’s be frank. I wish I could say that a year later I was completely okay with my world and the choices that brought me to today. Not only mine, but Marc’s.
That, however, would be a monstrous lie. And I draw the line at lying to myself. Usually. Mostly. Okay, so every now and then I tell myself a small fib, especially when I want a second piece of anything chocolate. I figure it’s okay to lie about two things in life if you’re a woman: chocolate and headaches.
What I am, if I am bluntly and rudely honest with myself, is a woman filled with remorse, confusion, sadness, and yes…a huge amount of venom. I am the coiled up snake waiting for the perfect millisecond to attack. Unfortunately, I am also the timid house mouse that runs and hides at the first sign of trouble.
That’s me, the mouse hiding the snake.
Windup works if you've got an unexpected payoff (think Good in Bed by Jennifer Weiner). The payoff here is undercut because I wonder why the baker didn't notice a name on an order? didn't consult with the bride? uh...even in my extremely limited interaction with the bridally afflicted, that doesn't seem right.
You've got a biz-as-usual set up: husband dumps wife for tiffany setting; previous wife miffed as hell. Something needs to catch on fire, and soon.
This was a great idea in the hook. Have you considered starting with when she discovers she can do magic instead of all this set up?