Party Like It’s 1994 – Pink Rosette Cake + A High School Reunion

pink rosette cake slices - coco cake land

Cakes with roses remind me of high school. Sheet cakes with electric blue borders and custard filling, Safeway cakes with hastily piped roses, cheesy flowers like the carnations and baby’s breath I had delivered to the ex-boyfriend who crushed my heart after I heard he broke his leg during a football game.

pink rosette cake - coco cake land

Memory one: using my sister’s expired passport to get into Starship Nighclub on Kingsway in Vancouver. I wore sheer black Betsey Johnson pants with a large pink floral print, giant hoop earrings and a half top. We bought orange juice at Safeway for mix and chugged it in the car while my girlfriends smoked cigarettes. Why are teens in such a terrible urge to grow up? If I could tell my teenage self to cool it, I would’ve. It was always such a push and pull between childhood and adulthood for me.

pink rosette cake slices - coco cake land

Memory two: the taste of my after school snack. Every day we’d get off the bus and stop at 7-11 and I’d get a bag of salty Sun Chips, a pink lemonade (some weird Canadian brand) and either a sleeve of white powdered mini donuts or a package of Hostess cupcakes, the chocolate one with “creme” filling and the white swirl on top. My metabolism was on fire in those days.

a wedge of pink rosette cake - coco cake land

Memory three: Being voraciously hungry/thirsty after basketball practice and coming home from school and pouring the largest glass of milk possible. Chugging it and ruining my appetite for my mom’s ground beef spaghetti and iceberg lettuce with watery-sweet Catalina dressing.

pink rosette cake decorated buttercream cake

So yeah … I survived my 20 year high school reunion over the weekend. It was the most surreal experience. I was nervous going – clammy hands, even. Would the bitches still be bitches? Would my old crushes look like shit? Would people hate ME for some reason?? I was throttled with high school-y like thoughts and obsessions. I had skipped the 10 year reunion because at the time it hadn’t been long enough since high school ended. I was a “different person”, I’d discovered feminism and critical theory – basically I thought I had moved on and was too cool. But 20 years later, as I approach my 38th birthday, with a husband of 8 years and a 2 year old son and 20 years of life-living between me and high school, this time I was drawn to it and I wasn’t sure why.

pink rosette cake slices - coco cake land

It turned out to be soooo hilariously fun, deeply surreal, like stepping into a time warp. Seeing some of my old friends, it felt like yesterday. I sweated through my chambray shirt ripping it up HARD on the dancefloor to some brutal 90s tunes. I hugged and took pictures with everyone. I drove home happy and finished the banh mi that was waiting for me in the fridge. I was fraught with feelings afterward – like, why did that affect me so much? Why did seeing all my old boyfriends bring back giddy emotions, from disgust to giggly fondness?

pink rosette cake slices - coco cake land

For the days after the reunion my brain was fritzing with memory after memory, washing back up onto shore like long lost message bottles. So I processed the shit out of my feelings and came up with this: As a teen, you’re a disgusting cocktail of hormones, explosive emotions, anxiety and insecurity. Every feeling and emotion dug me out with a spoon so deeply, whether they were happy or sad -as a teenager (basically a child), you have no perspective. Everything is SO IMPORTANT. So my memories have scarred me. But now I can finally wear those scars happily and I can look back fondly. My high school experience is like a Safeway sheet cake – oily, sweet, with prettiness and surprises inside, bad for you, nostalgic and addictive. Pass me a plastic fork and I’ll dig right in.

12 Responses to “Party Like It’s 1994 – Pink Rosette Cake + A High School Reunion”

  1. Michelle @ Hummingbird High

    Love, love, love this post. It’s crazy how much anxiety seeing people from your past can bring — my theory is that, in high school and maybeeee even college, people saw you at your worst/craziest and vice versa. But it’s nice to know that everybody has chilled out and grown up.

    Also, I certainly miss my high school metabolism. I used to have fast food every day for lunch and weigh like, 100lbs. Da fuq…

    Reply
    1. Lyndsay // Coco Cake Land

      aw michelle thank you – that is a good theory – so true, everyone’s having these first time experiences and trying to deal with the fallout/aftermath mixed with hormones and emotional explosions – “worst/craziest” is a great way to put it! i have indeed mellowed out in my older age, hehe! Um, 100 pounds!? damn girl. my right leg weights a hundred pounds probably … haha… xoxo

  2. cynthia

    This post was incredible. “Every feeling and emotion dug me out with a spoon so deeply, whether they were happy or sad -as a teenager (basically a child), you have no perspective. Everything is SO IMPORTANT. So my memories have scarred me. But now I can finally wear those scars happily and I can look back fondly. My high school experience is like a Safeway sheet cake – oily, sweet, with prettiness and surprises inside, bad for you, nostalgic and addictive. Pass me a plastic fork and I’ll dig right in.” Just. Incredible. Your words are just as deeply and meaningfully crafted as your beautiful cakes, Lyndsay — so glad to have you sharing your thoughts with us. This resonates with me in such a big way! I can only imagine how freaked out you must have felt — I would have been too. But it sounds like you handled it the best way possible, with these reflections and this AMAZING CAKE. Love this so so much <3

    Reply
    1. Lyndsay // Coco Cake Land

      Cynthia – oh man. I am so so glad that you are here on this blogosphere, and that we have become friends – your comment means so much, thank you, thank you! i’d love to hear what your high school experience was like … gad, i just want to get to know my blog pals in person, in a room full of food and drink and music! xo

  3. danielle @ this picture books life

    Love this post, Lyndsay! I skipped my 10th too, but have dreams of going to my 20th in a couple of years. You’ve inspired me! :)

    Reply
    1. Lyndsay // Coco Cake Land

      danielle! omg. don’t miss the 20. i’m so glad i’ve inspired you to go. my initial thought was fear when i saw the 20 year invite – but then i decided to go, whether it was going to be terrible or super fun, for the “experience.” ^__^ xo

  4. Amy

    Nicely said, the cake is so perfect! Now you have to make a cake that looks like a bottle of Excla!m perfume. :)

    Reply
    1. Lyndsay // Coco Cake Land

      Amy, imagine an Excla!m FLAVOURED cake!!! haha… xoxo

  5. Marisela | NomNom Kingdom

    Love this post!!! Full of nostalgia and cake. I was thinking that same thought the other day… about kids in a hurry to grow up. Why?!!! Can’t they see how unglamorous it is? lol

    Your cake looks like a time machine that came straight from the early 90s. With a bite it should take us to the past so we can tell ourselves to calm down and enjoy, as hard as it may seem, being a kid. Who wants to be a grown up anyways? lol

    Reply
    1. Lyndsay // Coco Cake Land

      marisela, they don’t see how unglamorous it is!! you’re only a child for 12 years (ok, 18) and then you have to live in the “real world.’ it’s a bizarro scenario to navigate. the entirety of life is pretty much a crazy learning curve… !

      i LOVE your comment about the cake coming from a time machine! thanks so much for stopping by… xo

  6. Nancy @ gottagetbaked

    Girl, you transported me right back into high school with this post. Your words are magic – you’re a freaking word wizard! I think we all had similar experiences back then. And yes, everyone wanted to grow up as fast as possible. We did stupid shit, thinking we were invincible, that nothing could hurt us, that we could overcome anything. We felt like the world was ending when high school relationships ended. We all felt inferior to the cool kids because we weren’t pretty/thin/funny/popular enough. Despite all of that though, I had a lot of fun in high school. I found my people, the ones who understood me and could relate to me. I tried to ignore all the high school politics and cliques. I tried organizing a 10 year reunion and only about 20 people showed up (lame) so I’m hoping we have a big 20 year blow out bash (in 2018. My gawd, time flies!). I’m so glad you had fun at your reunion and that your fears were unfounded. The leftover banh mi sounds pretty rad too ;)

    Reply
    1. Lyndsay // Coco Cake Land

      oh man – believing we were invincible is so true. i shudder thinking about what idiocy my friends and i got up to … and we weren’t even that bad ass comparatively to some other people …

      10 year reunion!! still, 20 people is better than zero people! i think you will find that now with facebook, and 20 years later, people WANT to come – they don’t care about all that stuff they might’ve been hung up on at the 10 year. HEY MAYBE YOUR CALLING IS TO BE AN EVENT PLANNER!!! just an idea …

      as usual… thank you for stopping by and for your insightful and sweet comments … xo

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