I'm trying to keep my business, my triplets, and my waistline under control. I excel at one of those, fail at another one of those, and one is a work in progress. Which is which is day dependant.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Inappropriately Icky

This week I had to make a cake which made me feel a bit icky, and I don't need to tell you that feeling icky is not generally one of the emotions I associate with cake decorating.

Some months ago a couple approached me about making a wedding cake for them - but they wanted something a bit off the wall, a bit different, a bit...inappropriate. Because the word "inappropriate" was actually the theme for their wedding. With my new-found "why the hell not" attitude to life in general, I figured I'd give it a good ol' college try. What the heck, I quite like doing out of the ordinary cakes - and they sounded (over email and the phone) like nice people with a great sense of humour. So I started the design process for them and we organised to meet - but by the time that meeting happened, both they and I were committed to the relationship.

Meeting them was...an experience. Unfortunately I'm a nice person, and so I could not divorce them even though I wanted to. Badly.

When I met them, they were (still) pretty nice. We brainstormed various ideas, came up with some new concepts...basically it seemed to be going pretty well. Until they started to get more and more outrageous with their commentary. What at first seemed sort of funny and irreverent and just that itty-bitty risque...became rude, and mean, and even a bit cruel, and a whole lot racist and horrid. But like I said, by then we were already committed (financially as well.)

I should have fired these people as my clients, but I didn't.

In the end we went with a design they were very happy with and I was sort of "meh" about - because while it's not horrible, it's really not all that nice, either. Funny? Yeah, kinda. Inappropriate for a wedding? Absolutely. A little..just...icky feeling inducing? Yeah, that too. Now at this point if I'd just made the cake and never saw them again, it would be okay, right?

Except...then they sent me a text. A really nasty one. Not nasty to *me*, but nasty in so far as it said a bunch of horribly racist and rude things, and it was clearly a text they had sent to all the contacts in their phone. And then they emailed me a couple of times and asked some ridiculous questions (eg "Do you think we should have [insert gross thing] at our wedding?") These otherwise seemingly nice people just... deteriorated into attention-seeking nitwits.

So I made their cake - and exacted the only, and best revenge I could - which was to make it as technically perfect as I possibly could, given the subject matter and my overall feeling of discomfort about it all. There are, of course, plenty of lessons to be learned here - about being true to myself, trusting my instincts, learning how to fire a client, and so on and so forth - but perhaps the biggest lesson of all is this - NOTHING you do in the course of your work should make you feel icky. Not even for one single solitary second. Or at least not in the, "I really shouldn't be doing this!" sort of icky.

Cake made, lesson learned...and heaven help these people's children when they procreate. (Which, by the way, they intend to do immediately. I know because they told me about it in extremely intimate detail.) (and now YOU feel icky, don't you?)

1 comment:

Claire - Matching Pegs said...

Super curious now...

Racism and bigotry makes me feel extremely icky and I can't stay silent about it - I would hate to have to for business reasons.