H i. It’s my birthday. I’m not one of those people who hides from their birthday like somehow if you don’t acknowledge it you can slow down time.
I’m also not upset about getting older. Growing up has always been so fun.
I mean, like heartbreaking and achy in other places too sometimes, but man is it not just better than the alternative, as they say, in my personal experience it’s way way better than being a teenager or like a pushover young woman who says “sorry” when a man in a business suit steps on your foot. So anyway, I love all birthdays, I think they are a wonderful thing to celebrate and a great excuse for telling your friends how much you love them. So please wish me a happy birthday and tell me that you love me.
Also, and I probably should’ve led with this, on your birthday you get to eat birthday cake. Whose rule is that? Like who started the tradition of being all like “good job for not dying of typhoid little Sally… here is your sheet cake with flowers made out of icing in the corner.” Anyway, it’s genius. And it’s so specific. Birthday cake has its own look, its own singular time of year when you get to indulge, and somehow its own flavor that other treats now try to mimic? Like birthday cake ice cream? Birthday cake cookie dough?
What is the flavor of birthday cake? How do you parse it out from other delicious sugars? Don’t worry, I will google the answer momentarily and report back, but for now I just want to take some guesses. Whether or not a birthday cake comes with sprinkles, the flavor of birthday cake definitely requires it. I don’t know if that’s because birthday flavor includes the crunchy, slightly stale notes of dried sugar that sprinkles are made of, or because the taste of a birthday can best be described by the term “colorful.” I’m thinking it’s the latter, birthdays just are not monochromatic and neither is their flavor. Now that I think about it though, does birthday cake even come with sprinkles? Where would they go? It seems much more like a cupcake attribute. Birthday cupcakes are also an acceptable indulgence on your birthday or anyone else's. But is there even a good place to get cupcakes in the valley? Please inform.
Speaking of other people’s birthday cakes, a week or so ago my friends and I arrived at a bar and took a table next to a table that was just clearing out. Along with the birthday accoutrements scattered around the table, there was also a good third of a birthday cake remaining. We let it sit there for a while but eventually our bravest friend went over and took a bite.
And then, who are we kidding, she brought the entire cake over to our table and no one had a problem eating the stranger’s birthday leftovers. That’s how important birthday cake is.
Anyway, besides sprinkles I would say “birthday cake” flavor also includes a hearty dose of vanilla, some sort of flour that is especially bad for you, and maybe like, a hint of lemon? But of course birthday cake can be chocolate too, which really throws off my analysis. And I’m slightly suspicious that birthday cake products aren't referring to the cake at all, but the flavor of the icing.
Okay I just went to the internet and am now reporting back. First of all I think I was remiss in calling it sprinkles earlier when I think what I meant was “funfetti.” It’s such an onomatopoeia, but also unnecessary, we know that stuff is fun, you don’t have to hit us over the head with it. So, some major brands have hopped on the birthday train. Did you know you can get a birthday cake flavored Three Musketeers? There have also been limited addition birthday cake Oreos and M&Ms. Oh my god, further research shows there is even birthday cake vodka out there. That’s just about gross enough that maybe I can wait out the birthday this time around. Looks like for one more year you can find me minding my own business, apologizing to strangers who bump into me on the sidewalk.