23. Keeping the Tradition

23. Keeping the Tradition

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Happily Ever After

Keeping the Tradition

The year was 1972. Noel and I had just gotten married in Southern California and were traveling — by car — to our new life together in Pennsylvania. My in-laws offered to pack the top layer of the wedding cake in dry ice and mail it after we got settled in our attic apartment.

Sure enough, a few weeks later the package arrived. We eagerly unpacked it and placed it in our “freezer,” a small metal box mounted inside the back of the refrigerator. The cake filled the entire compartment. Now we had a serious choice to make.

After some thought, a little deliberation, and a lot of conversation, we decided to forfeit ice cube trays and ice cream for the next twelve months — in honor of tradition. It was a big price to pay, but eating the cake top on our first anniversary would make it worthwhile.

One year later our anniversary arrived. I gently removed the package from the freezer and was relieved to see that our perfectly preserved top layer looked as fresh as it had on our wedding day. I made a nice dinner while it defrosted and Noel prepared for our celebration. When the meal was over, I ceremoniously handed the cake knife to Noel and asked him to do the honors and cut the first slice.

Noel pressed down on the knife.

“Something doesn’t feel right,” he said, pressing harder. We heard a strange noise, a squeaky crunch.

“Something doesn’t sound right.”

What was wrong with the cake? Noel slid the small piece onto a dessert plate. We stared in disbelief, caught each other’s eyes, and burst out laughing.

Styrofoam! Our “cake” top was iced Styrofoam!

And, to think, for an entire year we had sacrificed cold drinks and frozen desserts in anticipation of this traditional event. After we finally quit chuckling, we raced straight to the store. Now we would really celebrate... by stocking the freezer with ice cube trays and our favorite ice cream.


~Dr. Denise Enete
Chicken Soup for the Bride’s Soul

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