Saving Cake for Special Occasions

Here it is, Marvel fans: the day that you have been anxiously anticipating for nearly three years. That’s right, ever since Tony Stark announced that the famous group of superheroes was going to avenge the world, you’ve been waiting for them to do it again.

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A lot’s happened since that last movie came out. I remember watching it for the first time, thinking that I was witnessing history. Imagine—multiple heroes leaving their own isolated films to join together to fight evil, no longer ignoring each other and pretending that they’re the only superhero on the block. Wicked sweet. I was just about to start graduate school at the time. While I studied in Japan the summer before the beginning semester, I saw The Avengers again. In a bizarre meeting of cultures and nerd jokes, some of my American and Canadian friends and I found a shawarma stand in a street market in Tokyo run by two Turkish men. It was delicious—if you’ve never tried it, definitely do—and it was fun.

What I didn’t know then is how much that story would follow me for the next three years. Tumblr, along with the use of .gifs and editing softwares, exploded. Suddenly, everywhere I went online there were pictures, mash-ups, cross-overs, jokes, continuity nit-picking, pin-ups, and memes from the movie. At first, it was fun, good for some laughs and a good showcase of the creativity out there in the nerd world.

I’m staunchly proud of being a part of the nerd community, but I do have to say, as a baker and a person who has a low tolerance for sugar, fans don’t often know how to stop themselves when it comes to sweet stuff.

Like many people I know, I love cake. I love making cake almost more than I like eating it. But as much as I enjoy the process and the product, I can’t have cake every day. After too much, it starts to look less and less appealing. The taste is no longer something that makes your mouth water. You start looking for something else to get that same wonderful taste after the original treat has lost its attractiveness. So you might try a chocolate version. The trouble is, you can’t keep the specialness of that cake if you eat it every day, no matter what flavor it is. And if you go long enough, you start to forget that it’s not meant for everyday eating.

In my case, probably because I always go straight to a sugar crash and miss the rush completely, I had to put some distance between me and The Avengers after about a year of drowning in other people’s “feels” about it. I’d gotten to the point where I’d turn a little green at the slightest whiff of vanilla frosting. But I wanted to keep my own cake and enjoy it, too, despite hipster tendencies. After all, stories are my life. I collect them and think about them all the time.

However, I learned I couldn’t overdose on them. Spending so much attention and time on one story seemed unfair to the others, and it was leading to a sugar crash.

So, I’m proud to say that I’m going to see Avengers: Age of Ultron today. But it took some work to get here. I’ll pat myself on the back for a job well done swerving around spoilers, fleeing from first looks, and evading behind the scenes specials. I freely admit that I don’t know who Ultron is (as I watch my back for comic book ninjas to leap out of bushes), and I don’t really even know what the main idea of the movie is, other than superheroes fighting bad guys.

But, you know what? I’m excited.

It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a movie that I didn’t know what was going to happen ahead of time, and it’s a real treat.

Not everyone is like me, and that’s a great thing. But I hope that other Marvel fans out there will remember that there are so many stories out there, and this is just the latest installment in a hero saga that’s now out for our enjoyment. While this will most likely result in another avalanche of feels, .gifs, and memes, you don’t have to take it all in. You don’t have to gather up armloads of cupcakes like there will never be another thing to celebrate.

Save cake for special occasions, like today, and relish each bite.

The beautiful and creative cake in the featured picture is a masterpiece by Hope’s Sweet Cakes. Check out more of her awesome work at her website.

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