Do people get embarrassed on their birthdays? I do.
Excessive attention is one thing. True, it is nice to be occasionally made to feel like a celebrity and bask in the glory of it all, but you also have to say thank you graciously to people who wish you in a half-hearted, formal, I-have-no-choice manner- you can just see it in their eyes, and what an effort it is to mask it in your own!
What made this birthday really embarrassing, though, was that my team at work and I managed to ruin somebody else's birthday. You see, my people had this cake in the fridge in the pantry, waiting to have teeth sunk into it. When they called me in, there it was in a red box, swathed in creamy vanilla, delectably adorned with slices of fruit and cherries, jelly permeating its layers, entirely in readiness, candles and all. We had a cosy little party and went back to work, sated with cake and delight.
We realised only fifteen minutes later that we had gorged on somebody else's cake.
There had been a terrible mix-up, you see. This vanilla impostor had somehow been mistaken for our own one, more compact and walnut-adorned. Don't ask me how the accident happened- I ain't the culprit.
We got them another cake, of course, to make amends. But we did have our cakes, and ate them too, for there was another party at night with the 'original' cake, and the story is still doing the rounds in office. As for the looks they gave us for having 'stolen' their cake- can we discuss that some other time?
PS- The person from the other team whose birthday it was did end up looking foolish- all ready to cut his cake, he could only smile stupidly when he realised it was already a shredded, crumbly remnant of its once plump self.
PS2- This post is named after a book by Jeanne Ray, where the protagonist bakes a variety of cakes and cheers people up. We had a variety of cakes in one day too, chocolate, vanilla and walnut, but the cheering-up part is still being disputed.