sherryville (sherryville) wrote,

Crumb Coat

Cake decorating is a little bit of a hobby of mine. I started learning how to do cakes many years ago when my kids were small as a way to save some money and add a personalized touch to celebrations. Lately I have been watching some cake decorating videos to get ideas for Z’s upcoming birthday.

Watching those videos has reminded me of one of the steps that is standard procedure in decorating cakes: the crumb coat.

The crumb coat is the first layer of icing that you put on a cake and, after you have done it, you usually still see some cake crumbs showing through.

Hence the name.

The second layer of icing goes on and is much smoother and prettier because the crumb coat is holding al the crumbs.

The crumb coat doesn’t make any difference in how the cake tastes. Sometimes I skip it, sometimes not. Just depends on the cake and the occasion. It can still be a delicious cake if you don’t make it beautiful.

And a beautiful cake can still taste like crap.

Last week I had lunch with my friend Pam and we had great conversation about so many things as we always do. Pam was my boss for many years and has always challenged and pushed my thinking in ways that helped me grow, both professionally and personally.

We have a lot in common, but we are different enough to keep it interesting. She hates my tattoos and we don’t always like the same books. I don’t really love Mac N Cheese like she does.

I could go on about how we are different, but in the big things, like how we should love our fellow man, we are the same.

We both feel like it is our job to love and not to judge.

We also agree on cussing. We are fine with it for the most part.

While we were having lunch the other day Pam asked me, “Do you think a person can use the F word and still be a good person?” I just started to laugh. She knows what I think about that. Over the past twenty or so years she has known me, Pam has heard me use that word dozens of times.

Now I know everyone doesn’t approve of cussing. Good news. If I know you don’t like it, I will try not to cuss around you. I know when to be professional. Also, I will never require you to cuss to be my friend. You do you boo.

And I’ll do me.

I do protest when people say, “Only uneducated people who don’t have a good vocabulary swear.”

Dammit. I have a great vocabulary and sometimes the cuss word is just the perfect word!

Anyway, I’ve been bouncing that conversation around in my head since last week.

Then a few nights ago, I had a super fun opportunity to host Open Mic night at a great local venue. It was a blast! There was great music, and my fabulously talented niece headlined and just knocked everyone’s socks off. Seriously I don’t think she knows how good she is!

It was laid back and everyone was friendly- like there was this great sense of community and support. I just love musicians.

There were only a very few moments I didn’t enjoy.

There was one act that was not musical. It was a stand-up comedy routine and I found it extremely offensive. I was going to describe some of the content- but no. I’m not going to do that.

Those who know me in person know I’m not that easily offended. (See above discussion on cussing for example) but, I was offended and I didn’t find the material funny at all. It was crude and stereotypical of several different groups of people.

I sat there for a while (longer than I should have) not laughing.

I tried giving him the teacher look, but that didn’t work.

I glanced around at the audience and felt somewhat better about the world because MOST people were not laughing.

I realized that I was feeling an obligation as the host to stay, but finally, I got up and walked out anyway.

And I’ve been reflecting on that today.

I know why I walked- It was my way of ’speaking up’ about what I thought.

I would have been fine with some cussing...
But not ridiculing people for who they are.

Here is what I am reflecting on: Should I have walked out sooner? Is there anything else I could have done differently in that moment to show that I was not complicit with his words?

Because, the fact is, you are just not going to get through this world liking everything anyone has to say, and you aren’t going to change everyone.

Probably, for example, you won’t get me to stop cussing.

I think it’s okay to cuss sometimes, and this guy obviously thought what he was saying was okay too.

What do I do with this?

Part of me feels sorry for him.

I’m struggling with how to approach people like this with love.

I’m struggling with how to not judge those who are cruel.

And I’m struggling with making sure I am not silent in the face of hate.

I like to give people the benefit of doubt. Just because some crumbs are showing doesn’t mean you aren’t a great cake! Just because you drop the F bomb sometimes doesn’t mean you aren’t a good person.



It doesn’t matter how many layers of icing and beautiful buttercream roses a cake has if when you take a bite it is stale and moldy on the inside.


We aren’t required to pretend that cake is good.

So that is where I am today. Feeling a little crummy, like maybe I didn’t do enough.

I welcome your thoughts and ideas on the subject.

Happy Sunday
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