Connie Lakey Martin
Like many brides, I saved the top tier of my wedding cake. Tradition says it’s good luck to eat on your first anniversary.
My wedding cake was baked by the Giant Open Air Market in Portsmouth, Virginia, for December 12, 1970. They let me pick a little bride and groom to stand on top. I chose a couple that looked happy, proper, and perfect. As I hoped our life would be. Since we were leaving immediately after the reception for our honeymoon and then traveling to live in South Carolina, cake was the last thing on my mind. Mother, however, made sure the cake top was removed and securely stored in her freezer. The cake stayed frozen in Virginia for nearly the entire first year. Luckily, I remembered to retrieve it on a visit home and brought it safely south to store for the big day. Our first anniversary, we unthawed the cake top. Sadly, it didn’t taste all that good. Sort of mirrored our first struggling year of marriage. I was homesick a lot and learning to accept not every day would be happy, proper, or perfect. But the cake top had remained intact. And so had our marriage. We decided to save it for maybe another year. So we refroze the cake and got on with life. And on and on with life. We never tasted the cake again. Every now and then, I would see it in the freezer, but I never had the heart to throw it away. Year after year, we shoved it around behind the Easter ham, Thanksgiving turkey, beside the french fries, hamburger, and ice cream. It survived four moves, five refrigerators–six counting Mom’s. Then came a day we needed a new refrigerator. We both agreed, the cake top had to go. Our good luck was pretty much guaranteed by now. So to give it a suitable end, we found a nice spot in the yard, Charlie shoveled a hole, and I placed the cake top tenderly in the ground. Yes, we buried the cake top. But not the bride and groom! They stand in our china cabinet. Happy. Proper. Perfect. Keep heart, ~Connie