Bungee jumping is something that I can assure you I will never try. Oh, I bet it’s quite a rush. But my personality is not one that is prone to being that risky. Plus I stopped crapping myself when I was around three and I don’t want to start again. So bungee jumping is out. A few years back Steph and I rented a house on Martha’s Vineyard and had a few friends come down. We ended up on a beach one day and there was a small bridge that people were jumping off, into the water. I thought to myself “I will never do that.” Ten minutes later, after watching several friends do it, I was jumping off the bridge. Repeatedly. And loving every minute of it. Everyone has their fears, whether they be heights, spiders, snakes or flying. We all have them. My fear of bees is well-documented.

I’ve always been afraid to make cake. Not in the same way that I am afraid of bees or bungee jumping, but the fear in cooking is arguably worse, because other people have to experience your failure. If you crap yourself while bungee jumping, it’s just you. Another fear of mine is giving gifts that people won’t like. This fear is not realistic. You simply can’t make everyone happy all of the time. So, with that said, I took two relatively interesting risks over the weekend for my lovely wife’s birthday, which was yesterday (Monday):

a) I got her an IPhone. I should preface this by saying that Stephanie could probably care less what phone she is using, so long as it dials numbers and functions properly. So I was a little afraid to do it, but I believe it will make her life a little easier given I work at home and hog the computer much of the day. The phone came pre-loaded with all of her contacts, an MBTA app, her music, a weather app and other little stuff I thought she would find helpful, because our lives are extremely hectic right now with a pair of 2-year olds running around. It’s a risky gift, because she’s not so much into showy gadgets and time will tell if it is truly a great utility for her, but I think it could be.

b) I made a cake! I’m totally bragging. First time ever I’ve made a cake and I chose to do it from scratch. At 10pm Sunday night after she went to bed. I was thinking it would be daunting and time-consuming to make a cake from scratch, but I buried the task in about an hour and fifteen minutes. It should come as no surprise that I worked straight from the bible, Cook’s Illustrated Best Of book and I have to say, it came out pretty damn good! I did end up going store-bought on the frosting, though. It was a chocolate layer cake with chocolate frosting and fresh local strawberries on top. Every step of the way, I had fear, though. There’s the basic fear that it will suck. But there’s also the fear that you will destroy the cake when you take it out of the pan, or you’ll render it a pile of crumbs when you try to frost it. In general, making cakes isn’t as difficult or time consuming as I had originally thought. At least this one wasn’t.

So there you have it. Two fears.  One is more-or-less conquered and the other will play out in the coming weeks and months. In the big picture, these fears aren’t nearly as scary as bungee jumping or bees and if she doesn’t like the phone, that’ll be okay, because she has a lot more birthdays coming up……

Cake, dammit. CAKE.

Cake, dammit. CAKE.