I had no intention of writing about cupcakes today.
Really, I didn’t.
But it’s already been an impossible week- and today is only Wednesday. I promised myself two months ago, when this story happened, that I’d save it to tell on a day when I needed something wonderful to remember out loud. After all, the stories that you savor in your mind-those are the ones that are most worth writing down.
And this-this was just the most marvelous day.
A week and a half before I flew back to Africa, a rainy Sunday afternoon found Kellan and I in Georgetown. Georgetown is one of the more charming places aux Etats-Unis-if I couldn’t have a foggy day in London Town, this was certainly the next best place to spend a wet, watercolor day! As we strolled down M street with our umbrella, looking in each new store window felt like opening one Christmas gift after another. Meticulously staged window displays boasted elegant, couture designs from Milan and Paris. There was a gourmet food shoppe full of pretentious sounding wines and exotic looking flowers that made me wonder what sort of colorless, flowerless existence I’d been leading for 23 pathetic years. Lilies and gardenias were neighbored by barrels of long, golden brown baguettes meant to be paired with cheeses that I’d never even heard of [this from the girl that grew up in Europe!], and a long glass case was home to enough Swiss chocolate truffles to make my head spin. And just as we’d said “Auf Wiedersehen” to the truffles, we stumbled upon a musty bookstore with gloriously overstuffed armchairs begging for Dostoyevsky and an endless, cloudy afternoon of reading. [And really, is there any better way to spend a rainy Sunday?] Just around the corner, a quaint little French café served each steaming latte with leaves and flowers carefully etched into the espresso while the strains of Debussy echoed softly in the background. Cezanne and Degas graced the walls, and indeed, I was quickly certain that if I closed my eyes for the briefest moment, I would open them and find myself sitting in a Parisian café sipping a chocolat chaud by the Seine. Everything was simply perfect to me.
And then, there were the cupcakes.
Cupcakes: the “it” dessert of our life and times. [At least this week!] Who would have thought? But as Kellan pointed out with a rather resigned grin and only the slightest hint of an eye-roll, if you charge five dollars for a cute little cupcake and put it in a pretty pink box, unsuspecting women like me will bite every time.
Especially if we’re biting into a dreamy cream cheese, Valrhona chocolate mint piece of heaven wrapped in a bow. Be still, my beating heart.
In college, my friends and I had occasionally watched TLC’s “Georgetown Cupcake” show, and it had long been a quiet dream of mine to visit the acclaimed bakery itself . [Dream big, friends.] The sheer absurdity of that charming little cupcake shop on M Street is that there’s always a line hours long wrapped around the block. And who wants to stand in line for hours for a little bit of flour and water?
Guilty. So, very guilty.
That afternoon, Kellan and I rushed past Georgetown Cupcakes-and an irrepressible, delighted gasp escaped before I could help it. Even from the window I could see tiered cake platters stacked high with the most perfect cupcakes I’d ever seen-each garnished with that garish “signature swirl” I’d been daydreaming about for years. Even in the misty rain, there was a half hour line of eager people braving the cold in hopes of realizing their Chocolate Peanut Butter cupcake dreams. Or perhaps they were waiting for the Irish Cream. Or the Salted Caramel. Or the Lava Fudge. But with great expectation, they were all excitedly waiting.
Honestly, I never would have been that girl. That girl that makes her boyfriend spend half an hour in the freezing rain for an overpriced cupcake? Those girls are horrid.
But much to my [ecstatic!] chagrin, my sweet boyfriend insisted that we join the ranks of the wet and impractical, and stand in line for a Mint Cookies and Cream cupcake.
My heart skipped a beat. My heart skipped a lot of beats. It does that around him.
Determined to prove a point [what exactly, I am not entirely certain], I protested vehemently. I told him that I couldn’t care less about a dumb cupcake-that for that much money, we could make a whole cake at home. Or nine. I mocked the masses pitifully standing in line in the rain-pointing my little nose in the air and reveling in my newfound sense of faux-practicality.
Gloriously, Kellan knows me much too well to believe for a second that I’m even slightly practical, and before I could say “White Chocolate Peppermint” we had become the last two people in line. I was positively elated-there was a six year old little girl with her Mom standing in front of us, and it was a toss-up as to which one of us was more excited! After a very wet half hour, we finally made it inside-and my wide eyes took in the rows of flawless cupcakes with all of the pent up glee of a four year old on Christmas morning. It was utterly impossible to pick-and so we decided to embrace the impractical and try every kind of chocolate cupcake they had. [After all, why bother with any other kind?] And there we sat-with our box of cupcakes and steaming mugs of coffee, wet and deliriously happy as the rain pelted the window overlooking M Street.
Well, I was deliriously happy. But while Georgetown Cupcake was the culmination of all my cupcake hopes and dreams, I am almost certain that Kellan had never given cupcakes any thought at all. [Imagine that.] I hope he loved it, though-because I recently discovered that their menu changes every month…
…and I have yet to try the Chocolate Hazelnut. :)