Everyone’s been to a gazillion birthday parties, but today’s generation of kids have no idea what it was like a long time back. A gallon of ice cream used to come in an oblong cardboard box and yes, it was put in the freezer until someone wanted it. There were only three choices of ice cream: Vanilla, chocolate and Neapolitan and the latter, was the choice of moms to serve at their children’s birthday parties.
Neapolitan was three kinds of ice cream together in a rainbow-like pattern of vanilla, strawberry and chocolate in layers and it all tasted the same regardless of there being three flavors or so it was said. I never tasted a single flavor but a combo of something unidentifiable.
I know all too well because every single birthday party I attended as a kid or even as a teenager, that tri-colored ice cream was served smack beside a slice of birthday cake. It seems that people thought the only way to slice it was to make it about three inches thick, and then plop it right beside a skinny piece of birthday cake.
Worse was that if the weather were warm, all kids and/or teenagers were sent outside with their paper plates loaded with that ice cream and the teeny piece of birthday cake—and the paper plate seemed to cave in from the sheer weight of the ice cream. Oh and that ice cream melted and ran all over the birthday cake making the cake all slimy and infiltrated with the three colors. I was lucky if I got one bite of the edge of the cake as were most kids and that wasn’t a good thing at all.
And the same continued for years and years it seemed: One slither of a piece of birthday cake and a heavy helping of that horrid ice cream—that is until more ice cream flavors arrived on the scene [they were and had been available at places that specialized in ice cream but nowhere else,] and yet, as always, the mother of the person celebrating a birthday, always plopped the ice cream right beside the cake while never asking “Would you like ice cream with your cake or not?” That question was never asked. Ever.
So many past birthday parties seemed the same and when it came time for mine one year, I asked my mom if she’d ask my friends if they wanted ice cream beside their cake. She got a shock when she heard too many say “I don’t want any beside my cake but thanks.” No, they knew that it took over the cake and also it melted.
Forward in time and at any given time, birthday party or not, I refuse to have ice cream beside my cake—any kind of ice cream and any kind of cake but the one ice cream I won’t touch is that horrid Neapolitan —too many past bad memories of it.
I love cake and love ice cream but not touching: I am not OCD but remember all too well the past and so, I’ll take my separately if you should ask me. Smile.
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