Because I have a late October birthday, my parties as a kid involved a Halloween theme. Black and orange balloons (sometimes mixed with other colors) hung above a tablecloth of black cats, ghosts and witches. The centerpiece was chocolate cake with chocolate or white icing.
Sometime after my seventh birthday, I realized how much I hated the color scheme and chocolate cake. By my next birthday, I mustered the courage to tell my mom.
“Well, why didn’t you tell me sooner?” was her reply.
“I don’t know,” was and still is my answer.
Perhaps, because Halloween was one of my favorite kid nights, which included going from house to house with a pillowcase and not returning home until it was too heavy to carry. But something changed. I developed my own mind. From then on, birthday cakes were white or yellow with pretty colors.
Avoiding chocolate cake has been easy through the years, but something short-circuited in the cosmos my senior year of high school. My family moved to a small town in East Texas while I was on summer break, enjoying a former life in Sikeston Missouri.
Mom picked me up from the airport. On the drive to my new home, I asked about the new school I would be attending. “What are the school colors?”
“Black and orange.”
I was already angry about the move for multiple reasons, but black and orange for school colors. Who does that? I wanted to throw up.
I suppose God thought it would be funny to have me fall in love and raise my daughters in the same town. I even had to work for the school for a time and wear the dang black and orange t-shirt to show my team spirit. At least I didn’t have to have chocolate cake and eat it too.