Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash
Jill is so excited. She has invited the whole family and her besties around on a sunny sunday afternoon for tea.
On the table is a beautiful cream cake.
Her husband Joe joins his heavily pregnant wife at the table along with their son Billy and he announces that it is time to cut the cake. The gender of the unborn baby revealed to the expectant audience.
What will it be?
The excitement builds, will Billy have a brother to beat up or a sister who will run rings around him before breakfast?
In the mother’s belly, the baby is wondering what all the fuss is about and wishing that its mother would stop stressing and go lie down.
The mother and father hold the knife together just like they did all those years ago and plunge the blade into the cake.
Squeaks of delight from all the single ladies while the mothers clip their little Johnnies around the ear for pigging out on the sausage rolls.
A second cut. It is the moment of truth.
The slice emerges from the creamy camouflage to reveal… beige.
It’s a gender-neutral baby.
OMGs all around, what is going on?
Shock and blank stares and a few chuckles from the early adopters.
Joe rotates the cake and quickly cuts another slice, maybe the reveal is sector-specific. He lifts the next slice and the crowd gasps. It is still beige.
This baby has no gender. It is destined to live life on the outer rim of society never fully accepted by any social group.
At this point Joe’s mother-in-law steps in.
She snatches the knife and begins to hack away at the cake as if her hand will obviously find the blue or the pink bit.
But no. There is no colour.
It is either the wrong cake or the baker forgot to add the food colour. The gender of Billy’s bro or sis is still a mystery.
What happens next says everything about the human condition.
Everyone could all have a laugh and do it all again next week with a coloured cake or…
Jill shouts at her husband, bursts into tears and runs up the stairs bawling with embarrassment. She had spent weeks preparing for this only to have a disaster in front of all of her friends. Her anxiety spikes and suddenly the sky is falling in.
The mother-in-law clubs the husband with the phone as though it is all his fault, then calls the cake shop to give them hell as the worst cake shop in the history of the patisserie, only much less politely.
Joe escapes to the barbecue in the garden where a couple of his mates have stashed the cold beers while the guests are left to mill around and come to their own conclusions.
If I tell you that this scene is played out on a YouTube video, then of course we find that funny. We’ll lol with hilarity that the family goes off at an honest mistake and starts to blame those idiots from the cake shop before they realise it’s their own emotions that are triggered.
The scene is entertaining and it gets millions of views.
What concerns me is that the family reacted that way in the first place. Put that situation in front of all the families in the world and half the time you would get the same result with the family suing the cake shop for damages. The other families would have a good laugh about it for years.
Too many of us have lost the ability to put events into context and how seriously to take them.
The disaster that was 2020 didn’t help.
It is a new year.
Let’s smile at the little mistakes in 2021
Have a great one.