Today was the in-office celebration of one of my coworkers. The standing tradition here in the office is that you bring in the food for your own birthday celebration. This way, you will like whatever is served, you picked it out.
So today, there was a cake in the kitchen area when I arrived in the morning, the tell-tale sign that a (horrible) rendition of Happy Birthday will be sung. And the (not-so) secret birthday card was passed around so that we could write down our own wishes for the next year of life.
Typical fare at these events include homemade cake, store-bought cake, ice cream, fruit and all free of charge. So you would think that there wouldn’t be any politics?
OOOOOHHHHH-NNNNOOOO… of course not. First, the birthday celebrant purchased a cake that was a mash-up of four quarters of different cakes. Kind of like the United Nations of cakes. It had Red Cake, German Chocolate Cake, Carrot Cake and an all-chocolate cake… a little bit for everyone. Keeping the masses happy.
Singing and Celebrating generally happen around 10:15am, early enough not to mess with lunch. At about 9:45am, it was discovered that the said celebrant had not purchased ice cream to go with the cake. There would be no ā la mode. Well, groups gathered and mutterings spread. The vocal ones spoke of their displeasure on not having frozen creamy goodness to eat with their cake. (It’s not like these people NEED the extra calories!).
The birthday celebrant being diplomatic (I guess) went out and purchased a tub of ice cream. And not the crappy store brand, but Mayfield, which is the local premium ice cream. I felt so disgusted! Why should this birthday person have to feel like they have to go out (during work) and purchase ice cream just to please them, when it is their prerogative to bring whatever they want?
So there you go… freaking birthday politics! So in protest, I didn’t lie on the floor in front of kitchen… nor did I throw red paint on the ice cream… I didn’t strap on a bomb pack and take out the whole kitchen while it was packed with ice cream goers. No, I just quietly abstained from eating the ice cream… the cake was mighty tasty, but no ice cream was consumed.
One of my co-workers, who was also disturbed by the moaning and groaning of the thought of no ice cream, said that he is going to bring a vegetable tray and jalepeņo ice cream on his birthday! That’s in July… stay tuned!