The guests were gone and there was a lot of cake left. The baby shower was lovely, but it was a lot — a lot of food, a lot of people, a lot of set up and clean up, a lot of cute onesies and receiving blankets and stuffed monkeys.
Once people had left, a few of us stayed and picked up used paper plates and cups half full of wine or juice, broke down tables and did the dishes. I collected all the big lavender balloons and popped them, before Kate, Adrienne’s good friend who hosted the shower at her house, went to get her dogs and bring them home. As the tight balloons popped, shreds of lavender stuck to the walls and my dress. Carrie, Adrienne’s mother-in-law who’d organized the shower, ordered the food, helped develop the guest list and planned the decorations and activities with Kate, finished packaging up all the leftovers, and left.
Finally, it was quiet. Adrienne, Kate and I looked at the big slab of cake still sitting on the kitchen table.
“I’m not going to eat that cake,” Kate said. Adrienne has gotten more gluten intolerant with her pregnancy, and hadn’t even tasted the cake. I eat very few sweets, generally avoid refined wheat products, and had already had some of the cake, which made me feel sick. Kate had eaten a piece earlier too, and we agreed the highlight was the cannoli filling — sweetened ricotta, laced with cinnamon, running through the cake between the top and middle layers.
“Let’s mine the ricotta vein,” I said. Kate and Adrienne and I looked at each other, grabbed forks, and got to it. I cut big pieces off the slab with the cake knife, the handle smeared with frosting which then coated my hand. Adrienne, Kate and I all broke apart the layers of cake and scooped out the ricotta filling. I sliced off another big piece, and we again ate the ricotta. And another. Once again. We laughed and ate and felt like we were breaking some rule, but all we were doing was not eating cake, piling discarded pastry into a miniature dessert dump.
We were eating our delight, and forgetting about the rest.