Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Abdication of the Cupcake Queen

My brother sent me an e-mail follow-up to yesterday's party with the perfect subject line:

"Cupcake queen abdicates?"

The birthday celebration we hosted for my mother-in-law was not just an opportunity to mark 90 years for the matriarch of the family, but was the perfect storm to unleash my own neuroses and insecurities. This is the moment when  the Martha Stewarts among daughters-in-law shine; I am more on the Roseanne Barr end of creativity's bell-shaped curve, but I was determined to get the food and decor right.

Months ago I began compulsively trying out cupcake recipes. My self-esteem barometer rose or fell on the results of the day's results, which ranged from inedible ("I am incompetent! I am a failure!") to pretty good ("I have created FOOOOD!").

I scoured the internet for ways to display the bite-sized delicacies and blanched in horror at the expense. ($65 for a stand that holds a dozen cupcakes? I think not.) Finally I wandered the aisles of Hobby Lobby and grabbed one of this, two of that, half a dozen of another thing, and threw them together with a couple bouquets of cheap alstroemeria from the grocery store.

People, it may not have been Martha Stewart but it wasn't bad. The candle reflectors (silly me; I thought they were mirrors) that balanced on overturned flower pots reflected the tiny lilies that my fabulous sister-in-law arranged in antique cream pitchers, and the primary-colored plates and napkins fit perfectly into the old sewing machine drawers. 

Of course, the arrangement had its glitches (who knew that lemon slush wouldn't flow through a drink dispenser?) but overall I'm calling this a win.

Just don't ask me to duplicate the success. I think one shot at being Martha Stewart may have been my limit, and as King Edward so eloquently stated, it is impossible to carry the heavy burden of responsibility and to discharge my duties as Cupcake Queen as I would wish to...mmmm, something, something, whatever.

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