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  • November 21, 2017, 11:54:33 PM

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Author Topic: Cake maker stress  (Read 8850 times)

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forsythia

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Cake maker stress
« on: April 26, 2017, 04:11:18 PM »
Hi,

I have gotten myself into a tricky situation with the wife of my DF's best man.

We are having a very small intimate wedding in less than two weeks. We are foregoing many of the extra trappings of a formal wedding as this is a second for both of us. However, I have still planned to be slightly formal, even though it is in our home. It is an afternoon ceremony officiated by a minister in our living room, followed with a sit-down catered dinner.

During preparation and planning which began in February of this year, I have also been dealing with finding out suddenly just a month ago of my mother's deteriorating health and have been quite focused on caretaking with my mom's sudden extra health needs. Thus, I was not exactly up on my game when it came to not making judgment errors.

The wife of the best man, (given our age and the type of ceremony, he is in fact a witness and support mainly as opposed to the traditional best man with extra responsibilities) during all of this, spontaneously offered to make the cake. She does do cake baking as a side hobby - mainly the occasional children's birthday cake. I took her up on the offer.

Now, Houston, we have a problem. WOBM has been nothing but a nuisance ever since. To be clear, she is not a close friend. I would say she is a social acquaintance by way of DF. Nonetheless, I must tread carefully so as not to offend her and possibly cause a rift with my DF's best friend.

Example:

I provided her with the exact type of cake I would like, with some example recipes that I put much time and effort into sourcing. I gave her exact exterior design icing instructions. I provided her with the topping detail - fresh flowers that I would source and provide.

What I have to deal with:

Unending Combobulations, off-tangent questions, not reading clearly nor looking at what I sent, going "off-script" to "what about this's", not to mention completely irrelevant and nosy questions about the rest of the wedding including, "What caterer did you hire?" and "What's for dinner?"  ::)

These communications, and I use that term loosely, have all been via her Facebook messaging me,  which is not my preferred method, while she is at work and quite obviously distracted.

The situation is as of this past Monday, at a stalemate when WOBM wrote, "Well, let me know what you decide!" after I had made it abundantly clear exactly what I wanted. How does one proceed with this level of incompetence? I do realize I got myself into this mess. If this were a professional, I could and would simply walk out of their door and go elsewhere.


My situation:

I am stuck now. I am fed up and annoyed at having to deal with her. I also do not want to cause hurt feelings. On the other hand, I do care about having a quality cake present and accounted for at our wedding ceremony. Is there a way to salvage this fiasco?

My one option that I have come up with so far is to print out the cake recipe, the icing, and the full instructions as well as one single picture of the end result and clear instructions that I will provide the topper. I have already done this. My DF can go have a friend visit with best man and pass them on with a friendly "From the bride-to-be for your kind wife".

Would this be okay or seem passive-aggressive and cause more problems? At this point, I cannot bring myself to talk to her, as I am too annoyed.

Any other win-win solutions in keeping with etiquette would be gratefully appreciated.







HannahGrace

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Re: Cake maker stress
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2017, 04:19:42 PM »
I would order a cake from a regular vendor and thank her for the kind offer and move on. I don't see any other way to salvage the situation at this point.

forsythia

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Re: Cake maker stress
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2017, 04:30:23 PM »
Thanks, @HannahGrace.

I have been strongly considering and wanting to do this. My only hold-back is that I fear it would come across as a slap in the face to her. I do feel between a rock and hard place with this.

If it were someone closer and I could talk to them normally, and say, "Maybe this was a bit too much? I will let you off the hook." I would not feel this hesitation.

bloo

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Re: Cake maker stress
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2017, 04:45:31 PM »
I think you'll have to pick up the phone to talk to her so you can get a sense of her level of information comprehension/retention. You've sent detailed messages and she's ignoring that? I'd call her. If you get the sense from talkng to her that you just don't want to trust her with it then cut in and tell her that you've got someone that really wants to make the cake for you (she doesn't need to know it's another vendor) that has already made exactly what you want. Thank her for trying to help.
I'm so sorry about your mom and I hope your wedding is exactly what you want.

TabathasGran

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Re: Cake maker stress
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2017, 05:08:00 PM »
I would call and say, "Hi Ann, I got the sense that this cake might be too much trouble, and I would really just like to have you attend as a guest and enjoy yourself without the hassle. So please don't worry about the cake, I've ordered one now.  We are looking forward to seeing you and SO."

She might be offended but that's on her.

Mustard

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Re: Cake maker stress
« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2017, 05:14:26 PM »
I'm wondering whether she has bitten off more than she can chew, and doesn't like to say so outright; she has given you an out when she asked you to let her 'know what you decide'.  You have decided to get your cake elsewhere  ;)
I'm sorry to hear of your mother's deteriorating health.

forsythia

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Re: Cake maker stress
« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2017, 05:16:22 PM »
I think you'll have to pick up the phone to talk to her so you can get a sense of her level of information comprehension/retention.

I will try this as a first resort to try to salvage this. I have spoken to her on many other occasions, always via her husband and DF being friends and this has been less than fruitful in the past as per her comprehension. Hence, my kicking myself at this point. I do want to hold to my promises though and do my part, so will try again.


You've sent detailed messages and she's ignoring that? I'd call her.


Yes. I sent her detailed information in writing. Combined with an exact type of cake with links via text message, as she always too busy to meet up. My information was exhaustive as well as clear. It is just the way I do things.

I would not say exactly that I know she is ignoring my communications.

She does respond -- eventually. The problem is that it is obvious she does not look closely at what I sent  coupled with her going off on her own many ideas, none of which I care about or are relevant. It seems apparent that all she does is a quick two second scan and then goes off into la-la land of her own - and sends her own irrelevant musings to me.

I will call her. I have tried to no avail so far. But, I will give it one more shot. I needed to get my annoyance out first, though so I don't spill it out on her.



If you get the sense from talkng to her that you just don't want to trust her with it then cut in and tell her that you've got someone that really wants to make the cake for you (she doesn't need to know it's another vendor) that has already made exactly what you want. Thank her for trying to help.


Yeah, this will be what I have to do. It won't be easy given what I have been dealing with so far. Even mentioning someone else, I fear might cause tears and drama from her at this point. It has happened before that she gets like this. While she is not a close friend, she has been in my social circle for 25 years and is extra sensitive.




I'm so sorry about your mom and I hope your wedding is exactly what you want.


Thank you so much.  :)
« Last Edit: April 26, 2017, 05:20:41 PM by forsythia »

forsythia

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Re: Cake maker stress
« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2017, 05:28:01 PM »
I would call and say, "Hi Ann, I got the sense that this cake might be too much trouble, and I would really just like to have you attend as a guest and enjoy yourself without the hassle. So please don't worry about the cake, I've ordered one now.  We are looking forward to seeing you and SO."

She might be offended but that's on her.

Thanks. This is what I have mulling over doing as well.

 As I tried to convey in other posts, the only thing holding me back is not wanting more stress from someone being offended. I know it is not on me in the end technically, when someone is not capable, to go with a someone who is, but I kind of feel like like it is to some extent on me to sever a handshake kind of deal in a way that does not leave a bad taste.


forsythia

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Re: Cake maker stress
« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2017, 05:32:25 PM »
I'm wondering whether she has bitten off more than she can chew, and doesn't like to say so outright; she has given you an out when she asked you to let her 'know what you decide'.  You have decided to get your cake elsewhere  ;)
I'm sorry to hear of your mother's deteriorating health.

Good point. I hadn't thought that she might be giving me an out. hmmm

Thank you! This is positive.  :D I needed an up. lol

And, thank very much from my heart about your kind words re my mom. It never just rains...


FauxFoodist

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Re: Cake maker stress
« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2017, 05:44:16 PM »
Hi,

I have gotten myself into a tricky situation with the wife of my DF's best man.

We are having a very small intimate wedding in less than two weeks. We are foregoing many of the extra trappings of a formal wedding as this is a second for both of us. However, I have still planned to be slightly formal, even though it is in our home. It is an afternoon ceremony officiated by a minister in our living room, followed with a sit-down catered dinner.

During preparation and planning which began in February of this year, I have also been dealing with finding out suddenly just a month ago of my mother's deteriorating health and have been quite focused on caretaking with my mom's sudden extra health needs. Thus, I was not exactly up on my game when it came to not making judgment errors.

The wife of the best man, (given our age and the type of ceremony, he is in fact a witness and support mainly as opposed to the traditional best man with extra responsibilities) during all of this, spontaneously offered to make the cake. She does do cake baking as a side hobby - mainly the occasional children's birthday cake. I took her up on the offer.

Now, Houston, we have a problem. WOBM has been nothing but a nuisance ever since. To be clear, she is not a close friend. I would say she is a social acquaintance by way of DF. Nonetheless, I must tread carefully so as not to offend her and possibly cause a rift with my DF's best friend.

Example:

I provided her with the exact type of cake I would like, with some example recipes that I put much time and effort into sourcing. I gave her exact exterior design icing instructions. I provided her with the topping detail - fresh flowers that I would source and provide.

What I have to deal with:

Unending Combobulations, off-tangent questions, not reading clearly nor looking at what I sent, going "off-script" to "what about this's", not to mention completely irrelevant and nosy questions about the rest of the wedding including, "What caterer did you hire?" and "What's for dinner?"  ::)

These communications, and I use that term loosely, have all been via her Facebook messaging me,  which is not my preferred method, while she is at work and quite obviously distracted.

The situation is as of this past Monday, at a stalemate when WOBM wrote, "Well, let me know what you decide!" after I had made it abundantly clear exactly what I wanted. How does one proceed with this level of incompetence? I do realize I got myself into this mess. If this were a professional, I could and would simply walk out of their door and go elsewhere.


My situation:

I am stuck now. I am fed up and annoyed at having to deal with her. I also do not want to cause hurt feelings. On the other hand, I do care about having a quality cake present and accounted for at our wedding ceremony. Is there a way to salvage this fiasco?

My one option that I have come up with so far is to print out the cake recipe, the icing, and the full instructions as well as one single picture of the end result and clear instructions that I will provide the topper. I have already done this. My DF can go have a friend visit with best man and pass them on with a friendly "From the bride-to-be for your kind wife".

Would this be okay or seem passive-aggressive and cause more problems? At this point, I cannot bring myself to talk to her, as I am too annoyed.

Any other win-win solutions in keeping with etiquette would be gratefully appreciated.

Welcome to the forum!

I'm wondering if you've seen any of her previous work?  A wedding cake is far different from doing the occasional child's birthday cake, and it is possible she's bitten off far more than she can chew.  Even if does children's birthday cakes well, if she hasn't done a wedding cake before (and especially if you're wanting a tiered cake but have never seen her do one), I would go with having someone else do it.

I think your decision to talk to her on the phone is best.  However, you state she's always far too busy to meet up.  I would see this as a huge red flag.  If she's too busy to meet with you regarding a legitimate wedding task (the details of your cake), then I have doubts as to whether or not she could pull off your wedding cake, do it as you want it done and in time for your wedding.  If you're not aware, wedding cakes (depending upon the size and the amount of detail) often take days, if not weeks, to complete.  If she can't even come up with a few minutes to meet with you, then how will she find the time to work on your cake, which, obviously, would take much longer.

Again, I think actually talking to her (not e-mail or text) would be best.  However, if you are unable to reach her after a few days, I'd go with this suggestion:
I would call and say, "Hi Ann, I got the sense that this cake might be too much trouble, and I would really just like to have you attend as a guest and enjoy yourself without the hassle. So please don't worry about the cake, I've ordered one now.  We are looking forward to seeing you and SO."

I understand your concern about not wanting to offend her so, should anyone ask (like her, her DH, your DF, etc.), "I think I'm asking a lot of her so I thought it would be far less stressful for both of us to just go with blah-blah bakery," making it about you.  Also, I would find it far more stressful to continue to be in this situation with the way she's (not) communicating vs. opting to have a reputable bakery do it, especially with the added stress of worrying about your mom (I'm sorry, too, about your mom).

I would give her a break on the non-cake-related wedding questions.  I don't think she's asking anything different than anyone else would.  I know asking who someone went with for the caterer or what's going to be served is something I'd ask and wouldn't think anything of if I heard someone asking.

Dazi

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Re: Cake maker stress
« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2017, 06:12:04 PM »
I'm thinking she bit off more than she could handle with a wedding cake. They are much more complicated than your everyday occasion cake. A suggestion I have, why don't you ask her if she could make a groom's cake instead??? It might help her save face a bit if she's the sensitive sort. Plus, a groom's cake much easier to deal with. Then just order your Wedding cake from a professional.
Meditate. Live purely. Quiet the mind. Do your work with mastery. Like the moon, come out from behind the clouds! Shine. ---Gautama Buddah





Phoebe

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Re: Cake maker stress
« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2017, 06:23:28 PM »
I'm thinking she bit off more than she could handle with a wedding cake. They are much more complicated than your everyday occasion cake. A suggestion I have, why don't you ask her if she could make a groom's cake instead??? It might help her save face a bit if she's the sensitive sort. Plus, a groom's cake much easier to deal with. Then just order your Wedding cake from a professional.

This is genius!

forsythia

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Re: Cake maker stress
« Reply #12 on: April 26, 2017, 06:35:24 PM »
I'm thinking she bit off more than she could handle with a wedding cake. They are much more complicated than your everyday occasion cake. A suggestion I have, why don't you ask her if she could make a groom's cake instead??? It might help her save face a bit if she's the sensitive sort. Plus, a groom's cake much easier to deal with. Then just order your Wedding cake from a professional.

Ah, this sounds like a wonderful saving solution. It is one more thing in the mix, which I hadn't really needed, but then I can just leave it to her druthers and it might actually be a sweet way for her to do her thing without causing me extra stress. Added bonus: DF would call shotgun on that cake!

Thank you @Dazi.

I am going to propose this. It makes so much sense too. She is much closer to DF than she is to me. In that way, I think she might feel more comfortable with a groom cake.


forsythia

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Re: Cake maker stress
« Reply #13 on: April 26, 2017, 07:00:09 PM »

Welcome to the forum!

I'm wondering if you've seen any of her previous work?  A wedding cake is far different from doing the occasional child's birthday cake, and it is possible she's bitten off far more than she can chew.  Even if does children's birthday cakes well, if she hasn't done a wedding cake before (and especially if you're wanting a tiered cake but have never seen her do one), I would go with having someone else do it.


I have seen some of her work. The cakes are on par with what one could get get from our local (large city) chain bakeries. She does a decent job. Many years ago she did a baptism cake for me and it was good. It was however also fraught with being turned into an ordeal, which just made things more let's say --- complicated --- than should ever have needed to be.  I need to forgive myself for forgetting this and setting myself up for round 2.



I think your decision to talk to her on the phone is best.  However, you state she's always far too busy to meet up.  I would see this as a huge red flag.  If she's too busy to meet with you regarding a legitimate wedding task (the details of your cake), then I have doubts as to whether or not she could pull off your wedding cake, do it as you want it done and in time for your wedding.



This is exactly my concern as per red flags and "up-to-it".




 If you're not aware, wedding cakes (depending upon the size and the amount of detail) often take days, if not weeks, to complete.  If she can't even come up with a few minutes to meet with you, then how will she find the time to work on your cake, which, obviously, would take much longer.


Yes.  :) I am aware of the timing it takes to properly create a wedding cake. I paint with oils from time to time. It is not a perfect analogy. Oils take longer, but you get my drift. Hence, my mounting concern when instead of being confirmed of "got it" and entrusting her I get fluff instead. 




Again, I think actually talking to her (not e-mail or text) would be best.  However, if you are unable to reach her after a few days, I'd go with this suggestion:
I would call and say, "Hi Ann, I got the sense that this cake might be too much trouble, and I would really just like to have you attend as a guest and enjoy yourself without the hassle. So please don't worry about the cake, I've ordered one now.  We are looking forward to seeing you and SO."


Yes, I have already decided that I will talk to her on the phone. I do not think much has changed since Monday. If I am corr ct and she continues in the same stream, I will use the "Anne" and also propose a groom cake which Gazi suggested. I really do want to find a way to make her feel she has done something, which sounds trite but I mean it well. I know she cares and wants to contribute.



I understand your concern about not wanting to offend her so, should anyone ask (like her, her DH, your DF, etc.), "I think I'm asking a lot of her so I thought it would be far less stressful for both of us to just go with blah-blah bakery," making it about you.  Also, I would find it far more stressful to continue to be in this situation with the way she's (not) communicating vs. opting to have a reputable bakery do it, especially with the added stress of worrying about your mom (I'm sorry, too, about your mom).


Thank you very much  re my mom.

This has been the worst aspect of it all by far. To me, being helpful is relieving stress where you can be of service, not adding doing to it. I am faulting her for that and I don't want to.  :-[




I would give her a break on the non-cake-related wedding questions.  I don't think she's asking anything different than anyone else would.  I know asking who someone went with for the caterer or what's going to be served is something I'd ask and wouldn't think anything of if I heard someone asking.

Okay. Break given.

Thanks  :D
« Last Edit: April 26, 2017, 07:05:08 PM by forsythia »

Dazi

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Re: Cake maker stress
« Reply #14 on: April 26, 2017, 07:47:35 PM »
You're very welcome!
Meditate. Live purely. Quiet the mind. Do your work with mastery. Like the moon, come out from behind the clouds! Shine. ---Gautama Buddah






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