A while ago, I was having a standard bad day, nothing important just one of those days when I was feeling fed up and needing a good night out. Everything had just got too much for me I suppose. Hubby came home from work and must have noticed I was in a major grump. I'm not one of those people who is good at keeping up a front, not at home at any rate. In passing, while I was struggling to serve dinner and get the children to stop throwing my best cutlery on the floor and use it to practise fencing each other, he said that at his work they were doing a cake baking competition.
Now this was interesting enough to get me to stop for a moment, wipe my sweating brow and look at him in confusion. His work is a very male dominated, testosterone filled environment.
"What, you're all going to bake cakes?" I asked.
"Erm...no," he replied at this point, he had the sense to look a little shifty. "No, it's the wives and girlfriends who make the cakes, then we'll bring them in, eat them and decide which is best."
"What!" I screeched, dropping a small child to the floor in horror.
"You don't have to do it, it's ok."
I think I was struck dumb for about half an hour. I could not believe he had even mentioned it. What had happened to my life? The thing which surprised me was that he wasn't shocked by the idea. He's a pretty modern guy. Before I had children, I earned more than him and he never had a problem with it, he does his share of childcare and even some housework. How could he possibly think that expecting your wives to take part in a baking context for your entertainment is a good idea?
It's not the baking part which upset me. If he's asked me to bake something for his birthday to take in, or because they had been working hard I would have. I enjoy baking so that's not a problem. It was the competition element which upset me. What next a swimwear competition?
So I thought long and hard and then had a genius idea. The only cake I could make in such a situation was shaped like a pig. I had great fun making it with my eldest daughter, it's not the prettiest cake in the world but it was good enough. He did chuckle when he saw it and then shook his head. There was no way he was going to take it in. Oh well we enjoyed eating it.
So what happened next? I would like to say that I stuck to my guns and didn't make another cake. I certainly thought about it. In the end I realised that I love him, I love baking. I don't want him to be the only one not to take in a cake, what was the point? So despite feeling like I was in The Taming Of the Shrew. I baked him a carrot cake and packed it up and sent it in.
A few days later I couldn't help myself. "So which cake was best?" I asked.
"Oh Mrs A's triple layer chocolate cheese cake," he replied.
So the moral of this story? If you're going to force your wife to take part in a completely unnecessary sexist bake off, at least have the decency to lie to her and say hers was the best. Would that have made me feel better? Probably.