I have always wished birthdays had themes the way anniversaries do. I’m thinking about this because I have recently had a birthday, and as much as I treasure the thoughtful gifts of others, I also want to do something to celebrate my anniversary with myself. It is my longest relationship, after all, and I feel like I should acknowledge it, now and then. I want to be able to say that this is my “silver birthday” when I turn 25, or my “pearl birthday” when I turn 30. Unfortunately, not being a milestone anniversary (or birthday for that matter), the theme of 28 is “linen.” Napkins, pillowcases, tablecloths: this is the year of sensible purchases made for practical purposes. I was mildly alarmed that I had reached the age of tableware, even more so when I realized that 29 is the year of tools.
So, I’ve decided to go off-script this year. I live in a dorm room, after all, and a table-cloth is hardly practical. Instead, I have declared 28 the year of the Jaffa cake. Jaffa cakes are these soft little hybrid cookies they sell here in the UK: they are soft, like a cake, half-dipped in chocolate and filled with orange jam. Not only are they are totally delicious, and as I consider the implications of ‘Jaffa Cake birthday,’ I realize that they are also a very good representation of how I want the next year of my life to go. Unlike linen, which screams practicality, respectability, and banality, a Jaffa cake is sweet and soft and full of hidden surprises. It never goes stale, even if I’ve left it out on the kitchen counter overnight. I am able to share it with the people around me. And, most importantly, it is cheap.
So, I hereby christen 28 the year of the Jaffa cake and hope my waistline will forgive me.
I’ve had the life of Jaffa Cake! And ruddy awesome it has been too. You can leave our fair kingdom now, you have undeniably discovered the best we have to offer (both in sweet treats and generally). There is no going back now you’ve started on the Jaffas!