Today marks 14 years of marriage to Dill Hero. I always knew that I would someday get married, assumed it would be when I was 30 or so, and knew that I would wear white, but never thought too much beyond that about it. I wasn’t one of those girls or guys who planned a wedding from the second I saw a Disney movie, though I definitely thought it would be nice and fun.
So imagine my surprise when I met Dill. Well, really met him. We’d been running in the same social circle for several years but for some reason, a couple of months before my 20th birthday, I went up and started talking to him. One thing led to another and after some phone calls we went on a date. After coffee and conversation, I found myself with a boyfriend. Within a few weeks, we talked marriage, About a year later, he proposed. I never thought, “I’m too young! This is too soon!” or really anything beyond how much fun we would have together.
A month before my wedding, and again on my wedding day, my Grandma gave me her advice for a happy marriage. Don’t bury the cake.
I was confused and asked her to tell me the full story.
When she first got married to my Grandpa, she was very young. If I’m remembering correctly she hadn’t finished high school, so they kept the marriage a secret because her high school wouldn’t have let her graduate if they knew she was married. So when that was over and done, they lived together, and my Grandma, wanting to be the BEST WIFE EVER, promised her new husband a chocolate cake when he came home from work.
She worked on it all day, but at the very end, the cake completely stuck to the pan, and trying to get it out turned it into a crumbly mess. Grandma panicked, felt like a failure and buried the ruined cake, pan and all, in the yard. When Grandpa came home that night and asked about cake, she lied and said she didn’t have what she needed to make it.
I laughed the first time I heard the story, and then, when she saw me on my wedding day, she told me that story again, except this time she said “I shouldn’t have buried the cake. I should have turned it into something else we could have eaten, instead of having no cake at all.” (I’m paraphrasing a bit)
I know my Grandma wasn’t trying to give me some deep life lesson here, she was just trying to teach me how to bake a cake, but I think it is a life lesson anyway. The times I’ve tried to hide a mess or a disaster from my husband, we’ve both just felt like crap afterwards. I’d rather we get through messes together, rather than have some secret shames apart from one another.
So that’s my advice to you, if you’re ever thinking of getting married. Don’t bury the cake. Find a way to enjoy a mess, even if only one of you caused it, together.
Speaking of which, this is the very first cake I made for Dill for his birthday/Christmas. I tried to take the layers out of the pan too soon, and they all collapsed. Dill had the idea of just icing the damn thing anyway and eating it, and it was of course, delicious.