Local neighbor Martha Cakesworth used to make friends here at Bakertown Lane, a middle-class neighborhood sandwiched between an upper-class colony and a not-so-upper-but-not-so-middle-class-either neighborhood in South Carolina. She used a standard technique to make friends and is now known to the entire neighborhood as ‘the cake lady’.
Martha used to approach houses saying that she was from their neighborhood, and had baked a cake for them. Who can say no to a homemade cake? Almost the entire neighborhood had become her friends, and Tiana, another lady in the same neighborhood, who also cooks homemade cakes, took notice of it.
Tiana became ‘friends’ with Martha, and initially appreciated the fact that others could also home-bake cakes like herself. She felt people looked at Martha and herself as ‘equals’, and she also wondered how Martha made cakes that were as good as her own. This is when she realized that Martha got all the fame without being an expert cook from scratch, but instead, only made cakes from Betty Crocker ready-mix cakes. The yellow Bonnet Bot spoke to Tiana to know more about the issue. She told him, “Now I am no longer satisfied with being an ‘equal’ and feel that I deserve more praise than her. This is specifically because I am capable of making cakes from scratch, unlike this ‘imposter’.”
The Bonnet Bots decided to speak to more people in the neighbourhood to understand the complex situation better. Different people had different opinions. Cara, a management professional from the upper-class side edge of the neighborhood, commented, “It is what it is.” She was speaking to the Bonnet Bots about this issue. Some people felt outright cheated, as the only reason they allowed their kids to eat Martha’s cakes was that they were homemade. “We avoid processed food ingredients at all costs”, said Trim Uver, a local money-plant transplanter to the Yellow Bonnet Bot. Some felt that the ingredients were not the issue, as ‘factory-made’ means ‘clean’, but it also means that it is not actually homemade. “My daughter too has a sparkly toy jewel set out of which she made earrings for my wife. But my wife doesn’t go around claiming to guests that she is wearing homemade jewelery,” said Carpe Enteur, a local antique chair collector.
At the time of going to press, several people who had Ikea furniture, demanded that Martha stop using the ‘homemade’ descriptor for her cakes. They threatened that if she didn’t do so, they would start demanding the right to call their self-assembled furniture as ‘homemade’.
Image Credit: Cover illustration Image by Oberholster Venita from Pixabay; Image with Yellow Bonnet Bot: Photo by Carter Moorse on Unsplash; Photo of Martha: Photo by Ana Tavares on Unsplash