Sunday, February 27, 2011

Cupcakes to Grow Old With

Des Moines, IA
Shop: one special Des Moines retirement community
Cupcake: Vanilla accompanied by pink punch
Review: I didn't actually try any, but the guests sure gobbled them up!
Didn't I tell you that cupcakes have a tendency to follow me?  During my time in Des Moines I asked around for a good cupcake recommendation but didn't find any leads.  Funny thing is, the cupcakes found me.  I joined a few Delta Gammas to volunteer at a Retirement Home Birthday Party.  There were over 70 attendees and an entertainer who played songs on the piano and sang along.  He also took requests like "Meet Me in St. Louis".  After the performance we were to serve punch and, you guessed it, cupcakes!  While working as a consultant this year I interact primarily with women my age and spend little time with older men and women.  This Birthday Party was a necessary crash course refresher on appreciating life and remembering the good times.  One woman at the party was turning 103 and she was still as conversational and lively as I imagine she was as a young woman.  Individuals shared stories of their favorite birthday ever, and I wasn't surprised that almost all of them included family.  Some people shared stories of friends they have had since childhood and it made me think "will this be the same for my friends, or kids younger than me"?  
Though it's taboo, social media and non-intimate conversations cause me to keep in touch with more people, but remain close with fewer people.  It's easy for us to move on from friend to friend because we have the ability to get in contact easily and quickly.  My grandma and the people at this birthday party didn't have the luxury of texting their friend down the road, they had to plan for weeks in order to make a play date.  This meant that getting a call or hanging out created strong connections and people appreciated every minute they had with friends.  Will I remain close with friends in the same ways?  This party made me rethink the small and special memories I have with friends.  Elderly people have always made me appreciate simple things more, too.  The best way to celebrate simplicity: a birthday party with cupcakes, punch, and sing along songs.

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