Adult Smash Cakes are the New Promposal.

It’s hard to identify what a decade is about when you’re in the midst of it, but oh-so-easy after they’re over.

The ‘70s didn’t know they’d be remembered for their Disco and groovy polyesters. The ‘80s didn’t imagine we’d mostly recall their patchy vests and Duck Head shorts. And the ‘90s had no idea we would think of them and reminisce on the beautiful days of music.

Okay maybe I’m biased.

However, I believe I have cracked the case on what the twenty-teens will be remembered for.

Their ability to narcissistically turn every happening into a massively overblown moment.

“Oh, in the 90’s, y’all just asked people to prom? Well then. We will hire a skywriter or ask on the Jumbotron or (Dear God please no) get a tattoo to ask our girlfriend to prom.”

(That’s right. As if their girlfriend needed them to get a tattoo to invite her to an event for which she full well knows she will be invited to. I mean, if you’re inviting the super hot girl you’ve never even spoken to, get a tattoo. But if you’re inviting the girl you’ve been dating since your freshman year, a note card and perhaps a small bouquet will suffice.)

The twenty-teens also have a penchant for taking things that are typically considered mundane or undesirable and turning them into a FREAKING EVENT.

This is the generation of rainbow-dyed armpit hair, purposefully squiggly eyebrows, nose hair extensions, selfie nails, and of course, glitter pits.

crazy trends of twenty teens

Another aspect where turning a mundane thing into an event occurs is within the term “Adulting.” Let’s stay un-grown-up even when we’re definitely supposed to be grown up and then groan about it being extremely difficult when we have to, say, pay our car payment or, maybe have a job, or, heaven forbid, LOAD THE DISHWASHER.

The agony.

It’s totally chic.

This digital generation is but a season away from professional photoshoots of scented divorce papers being served in hot air balloons. And life-sized body cakes served in chilled coffins alongside the IRL caskets of loved ones. (Of course, all perfectly filtered for the ‘gram.)

So it makes total sense that these kids who were promposed to and attempt to do as little adulting as possible would invent the trend of Adult  Cake Smashes.

Just search the hashtag #adultcakesmash on Instagram if you want to feel better about your life.

Adult Cake Smash

I’m not going to show you multiple photos of this event because I really want you to go yourself, check it out, mouth agape, accidentally drooling on your iPhone.

But allow me to describe some of the trends within this trend for you, just to whet your appetite. Or bile.

So the idea is to take the ubiquitous one-year-old photo op that we all had and turn it into something for a twenty-something (or even thirty-something) year old woman (or, in rarer but still existing cases, man. Yes, man.)

There are almost always tutus, booze, and sparkles involved in these pictures. They’re the foundation that the A.C.S. is built on.

From the foundation, you can build your Smashing Good Time via two main paths.

….1. You can go the Cutesy Little Girl way, and give yourself pigtails, have a chalkboard stating how many months old you are, what your favorite candy is, and what you want to be when you grow up. This option can also include a tiara, much pink icing, and maybe even a hobby horse and/or Barbies.

….2. Or you can take the Super-Sexed-But-Trying-To-Act-Like-I-Always-Look-Like-This route, where you want to familiarize your Instagram followers with every aspect of your over-glittered body, all while having the expression of innocence and naïveté on your face that says “Oh, it’s sexy when I’m wearing nothing above the waist except strategically placed icing? I had NO idea – I was just trying to recreate my one-year-old photos!”

(Yes. I did see that specific photoshoot while researching for this post. I am not exaggerating.)

But to pull off the Super-Sexy A.C.S, you don’t have to be completely nude – no need to put the future of your Instagram account in danger. Instead, try wearing a gold sparkle bodysuit, perhaps. Or mermaid shells are always a nice touch.

(If you’re a dude, your choices are much more straightforward. You just have to decide if you want a hamburger-shaped cake or Star Wars Death Star cake. And what kind of beer you want next to your cake while you’re smashing yourself into it.)

Once you decide whether you’re going Cutesy or Sexy or Dude, you then must decide how much icing you want on your face. Do you want to look as if you head-butted your cake, spreading the actually-carefully-placed-icing all the way to your forehead and creeping into your hairline? Or do you want the more subtle look, as if you just picked up a hunk and shoved it in a still-awkward-with-fine-motor-movement-toddler way toward your mouth?

Because heaven forbid that we let on that we can, at this age, actually eat cake like a normally-functioning adult. The only thing you never see in an A.C.S. is a dang FORK.

But. In all of my research into this matter, I did find the exception. The one pair of Cake Smashers that ABSOLUTELY deserved the event, the cake, and the mess of icing.

These 100 year old twins.

Screen Shot 2017-11-01 at 12.35.59 PM

So. If you have a twin and you both live to be 100, I absolutely INSIST that you have a cake smash.

But the rest of you could do with a bit more adulting.

A Tale of Two Muses.

I tend to be a dichotomous person. I sometimes exhibit characteristics that seem diametrically opposed, such as having purple hair and being a homeschool mom. And writing extensively on the internet but never mentioning politics (in a serious manner, anyway.)

Opposites make me extraordinarily balanced. Right?

Because of that extreme personality balance, I take photos of sunsets and seek out the most beautiful vistas, and I take photos of roadkill (after giving them props of course, because roadkill-only pictures would just be downright lazy.)

I appreciate the beauty in both – the most lovely of scenery and the most deranged of humor.

And this year, you, too, can remember whichever one you want – all year long. Because I have them BOTH available in calendar form.

Calendar 2018 Choices[4]

It’s kind of like a personality test. Which calendar brings you happiness? A reminder that the beauties of fall will come again,

2018 Calendar October161114c-Playing-by-the-River[15]

or inspiring quotes to remind you that New Year’s Resolutions will kill you?

Calendar January 2018 web[10]
Which do want to gaze listlessly at during a stressful work day? A glittering view of Birmingham during ice skating and the holidays,

2018 Calendar December161202-Ice-Skating-at-Railroad-Park[13]

or a possum reminding you that the right oils can cure anything?

Calendar November 2018 web[9]

Do you need more poetic views in your life,

2018 Calendar April170602 Sunset at Railroad Park _MG_9334 s[16]

Or an uptick in poetic mice?

Calendar February 2018 web[9]

Both calendars support great causes – 100% of the profits of the Roadkill calendars are donated to The WellHouse (who rescues and cares for victims of human trafficking), and all of the profits of the Birmingham calendar are split between The WellHouse and Mission Birmingham (who works with local businesses and government to support the transformation of Birmingham and caring for its resident’s needs.)

So whether you find your most joyful place from Cahaba Lilies in a rushing river,

2018 Calendar May170429 Cahaba Lily_MG_8544_2405[16]

or from a chipmunk reimagined as a massive terror,

Calendar October 2018 web[8]

you will be helping others.

They’re both five dollars off through the end of the week, and either are perfect for wedding presents, Dirty Santa gifts, and baby showers. Or even in lieu of flowers at funerals, depending on the personality of the deceased. Or maybe not funerals.

It Doesn’t Take a Village [Of Strangers.]

Most of the time, I am highly amused at the odd antics of strangers – especially since I seem to attract so many of the especially bizarre.

However, there is one stranger behavior that irritates me like no other – the “volunteering” to parent my children.

I need my friend’s and family’s help in parenting – they see things I do not, their eyes are pointed where mine are not, and they are, in general, invaluable.

However. I have never come across a stranger, who upon foisting unrequested parenting onto my children, were the tiniest smidge helpful.

For example.

One day my children and I were walking at Railroad Park. They always enjoy stopping at the exercise equipment to play on it. There’s a pedal thing, various bars for push-ups and the like – the usual outdoor exercise stuff.

Ali was at a very low bar and was walking on it like a tightrope. The thing was maybe half a foot off the ground – at most. She was also approximately four feet away from me, where I had my eyes pointed in her direction.

A young guy (not the usual demographic of the Awkwardly Intense Busybody Club) turned to Ali and said, “You need to get off of that – it twists around and you could fall.”

SHE WAS MAYBE SIX INCHES OFF THE GROUND.

AND SHE’S TEN YEARS OLD.

AND I WAS RIGHT. THERE.

Indignant rage bubbled inside of me.

But unfortunately, my genteel southern upbringing took over. I simply herded my children out of the area and ignored the man all together.

(Which for the situation, was 120% as polite as I could have been.)

Every time I find myself in one of these situations, I always regret afterwards that I did not explain to the stranger that I shockingly(!!) am able to safely parent my children even when they’re not around and they make me want to approve letting my children play in a field of thumbtacks just to spite their unrequited helpfulness.

Okay maybe I have rebellion problems.

Anyway.

That brings us to this week.

On Monday, my friend Amanda and I took my kids to a small park along the Cahaba River to enjoy the newly crisp fall air. It was a perfectly lovely fall day, giving hope to all that perhaps soon our humid 88 degree days would be but a memory – at least for a couple of months.

The leaves have just begun changing here (fall comes late here BUT IT’S COMING!!), but I noticed that approximately .005% of the leaves on the ground were actually in fall colors. In my most exuberant of mental states, I yelled for my children that we would be having a Grand Fall Scavenger Hunt – and to find as many non-green, non-brown leaves as they could.

As soon as they whooped with joy and set off to run around the small park trying to beat each other to the prettiest of leaves, an older lady in the parking lot, who was in the act of getting into her car, yelled angrily (venomously even), “There are snakes ALL OVER this park!!!”, then proceeded to glare at me, as if I’d just gleefully instructed my children to find and swallow vengefully furious scorpions.

Which led to the loudest 5 seconds of silence in my life.

Because a) The park is a park and therefore meant to be attended by humans (and wasn’t she just here?), b) as stated before, my #1 pet peeve is strangers parenting my children for me (although she seemed to be trying to parent me and not directly my children so she gets half credit), c) The park is 4.7 acres – how many snakes could we possibly find there because d) I do adore snakes – especially snakes I find in the wild, but e) my momma raised me to be polite even to the most impolite people.

I looked at her. She was still standing expectantly behind her car door, glowering at me, The World’s Worst Parent.

So I called back in a faltered but oh-so-genuine voice, “Yes ma’am!”, which satisfied her enough to allow her to sit down and close her car door.

Immediately I said to my frozen-in-place children, “Find the leaves! And the snakes! If you find one let me know! And don’t let it get away until I see it!”

We searched for an hour and only found leaves. My resentment only grew – both still in rebellious annoyance that the lady had attempted to quash my fall joy and because I hadn’t found a SINGLE SNAKE.

We gathered our leaves and I presented Ali with the award of Best Leaf Collector. The children helped me line the leaves up in a beautiful fall bouquet.

171023b Fall Leaf Scavenger Hunt IMG_4907

I kept waiting for the poetic justice of a venomous snake slithering through my arranged ombré of leaves as I was photographing them, but sadly it didn’t happen. So next time I see The Outraged Snake Lady, I’ll be sure to tell her that we looked as hard as we possibly could, but she falsely advertised the features of the park.

Epilogue: Two days later we went out hiking again, found zero snakes again, but did collect the best collection of fall leaves ever collected in the history of hiking dangerously close to life-ending reptiles.
 171025b A Late Afternoon at Oak Mountain IMG_5099

…Also if you illegally download the following photo, it makes a darned good fall phone lock screen photo, of which you can impress your friends by pointing to it with a horrified look on your face and say “There are snakes in that pile!!!” If you can’t figure out how to illegally obtain my photographs, email or text me and I’ll be glad to send it to you.

171025 Leaves in Ombre from Oak Mountain IMG_5089

So basically, my children and I risked all, braved untold dangers, and conquered fall – all for your iPhone’s lock screen.

171025b A Late Afternoon at Oak Mountain IMG_5051
You’re welcome.