courtesy of the brilliant savannah dooley
“We ahr not into ze pumpkin,” said the German exchange students I offered cake to last Thursday at the Wellesbourne bar near UCLA.
“Aw, man. We just spent three hours at Soup Plantation. Wish we weren’t so full,” said the Asian crowd when I moved on to them.
“Are you serious?” asked our barback, after bringing us a knife to cut a cake he couldn’t eat. “I’m allergic. Pumpkin and tomatoes.”
justine and ze pumpkin cake
Cake Rejection: My Salted Caramel Tears. A one woman show starring Audrey Shulman. The Wellsbourne might be a lovely bar, but it super failed us for cakebarring. My sweet and talented actress friend Justine and I had met up here for a visit and some cake distribution only to realize that everyone around us was on a date. The place has a few booths and a handful of high tiny tables, making it very conducive to couples and less conducive to anyone else. I decided to order us some Moscow Mules while we waited things out (maybe lots of young single grad students would appear!) and came back from a mostly losing game of trying to get the bartenders’ attention to live music so all consuming that Justine and I couldn’t hear ourselves scream into each other’s ears. But we persevered, enjoying the deafening music and the cake, a recipe from the Magnolia Bakery cookbook for pumpkin bars that I just didn’t cut up. (We can’t flipping get enough of pumpkin.) The people we did manage to offer cake to in between songs– everyone listed above, and a few other dudes who were not in the middle of dates– were not interested. Justine is such a champ– she even has a boyfriend and was excited to come anyway– so I really owe her a fantastic cakebarring outing, like, where we are literally beating boys off with a stick. (In my mind, bacon cake = beating boys off with a stick.)
girlz at 3rd stop with root beer cake
The Monday before this was cakebarring at 3rd Stop near West Hollywood, leaps and bounds more successful, even if it meant most of the cake went to our handsome, friendly waiters. 3rd Stop is a really lovely restaurant and bar right by Cedars-Sinai, with a nice staff and plenty of outside tables. I had made a root beer cake from the amazing Baked cookbook with my gleaming new bundt pan! My work girlfriends and I had met up with some friends from Vh1, who were excited to join in on our ritualistic cake baiting ploys. When we glanced around to scope out our options, I actually recognized the person sitting in front of us, who was reading a book with a glass of wine. I couldn’t figure out if I had offered him cake before. Then I remembered that he (Adam) actually works at a restaurant in Culver City where he seated me once, and that I had actually told him about the blog. (I’ve become a shameless self-promoter even in my off hours.) He was happy to take some cake.
ben and vince – right before i revealed the ruse
I called the two guys sitting behind us, while Sam took the two guys to our side. My guys, a CAA assistant and a travel writer who have known each other since they were little kids here in LA, were real winners. They were talkative and sweet– so much so that I decided to tell them about the blog, and they wanted to know all about it. They marveled at how easily I had offered them fake leftovers. Oh wait, they said. You’re a seasoned liar. You do this to guys all the time. By the time I made it over to Sam’s table, her guys actually seemed scared. They did not want any cake, and it probably didn’t help that Sam was trying to shame them into eating some. Despite any aforementioned rage I might feel over cake rejection, force feeding is not quite the goal of this project. Sam gets major points for trying.
I’ve probably offered cake to hundreds of Los Angeles residents this year, but I still manage to forget sometimes that this is about finding a boyfriend. It’s become more about going to new places and catching up with friends, approaching guys I would never have been able to muster eye contact with before, and eating boatloads of sugar. It makes being single a real pleasure. My incredible friend Catherine, who I met in a taxi in Prague five years ago, sent me this message last week after reading my latest entry for the Huffington Post:
I love you, Catherine! Come cakebarring in America after you finish your Ph.D!!
justine and me, post wellesbourne time
root beer cake close-up
me, adam, and adam’s book