However, as everyone who knows me well knows, there is one thing that I require on my birthday: Birthday cake. I must have one of those store-bought birthday cakes, vanilla only, not chocolate or marble or almond or any other variation, and my cake must be smothered in that thick, dense, hyper-sweet icing, on top of which may sit more icing flowers and swirls.
And the icing has to be vanilla, too, though of course I don't mind if the trim and flowers are dyed red or yellow or pink or blue or any color on the spectrum, for that matter.
But I will have cake on my birthday, if I have to go and buy it myself,
I opened the door to see a nice-looking, smiling young lady holding a box and a card, which she handed to me, then she turned and sprinted back to the car that was parked on the street in front of my house.
the box appeared to be from a bakery and on the top was a label that read, "Fate-Cakes.com"
I ran out the front door with the card in my hand and waved to the cake-delivery woman, who was just driving off. But she saw me, stopped, and rolled down her window.
"Say, can you tell me who sent that Fate Cake?" I asked, "There's no name on the card."
"Oh, I have no idea," the nice lady said with a smile.
"Well...isn't there some way you can check?" I asked. "I'd really like to know who sent this."
"If there's no name on the card then they probably wanted it to be sent anonymously," said the lady, still smiling. "Sometimes people do send them anonymously."
"They do?" I asked, incredulous.
"Oh, yes," the lady replied.
"Huh," I said, confounded, not thinking quickly enough on my feet to say to the lady, "Well, look, nobody who knows me would send me an anonymous cake because everybody knows that I have small tolerance for big surprises, that it doesn't take a whole lot to transport me into an anxiety state, and that receiving a mystery cake would definitely do the trick. Now, please grab your phone and call the place of origin of this cake and ask whoever's in charge to look up who sent it. Who ordered it? Who paid for it? Who, who, who?!"
But of course I didn't say any of that to the lady. I just stood on the side walk looking at the card and saying, "Huh," as she drove off.
Then I went back inside and opened the lid of the box.
Inside was the most beautiful birthday cake.
I knew that this cake was not the mischievous doing of some anonymous trickster. Somebody near and dear to me, I was sure, was out there already wondering if I'd received their gift, if it arrived in good shape, if I was delighted with it.
Which I was. A lot. And so I knew it was going to be my fate to go online and look up the number of Fate Cakes, call the place, and try to find someone who could tell me who sent me this sublime work of birthday cake art.
As I was about to set myself to the task my daughter called. I told her about the mystery cake and asked her if she'd sent it. She hadn't, but she suggested that I post a picture of the cake on Facebook. Chances were that whoever sent the cake would see the post and, well, a mystery cake was kind of a fun subject for a Facebook post.
So I decided I'd post the cake on Facebook and contact Fate Cakes.
As I was snapping shots of the cake Tom, who'd been out all morning - though he didn't leave before leaving me a bouquet of flowers on the kitchen table - arrived home. I showed him the mysterious Fate Cake, and just like that the mystery was solved.
"Oh, you sister called this morning while you were in the shower to wish you a happy birthday. She told me she was sending you a cake."