Moral: Don’t fucking tell me I can’t have cake

Eighth Argument I Had With Victor This Week (which I’m skipping the first part of because it wasn’t as entertaining and that’s how editing works.)

Victor: …Well, you can’t have your cake and eat it to.

Me: That phrase makes no sense. I totally can.  In fact, the only way I can eat cake is if I have it.  You can’t eat cake you don’t have.  Unless it’s cake you ordered for dessert and I eat it all off your plate while you’re in the bathroom.  Then I can have my cake and your cake and eat it too.

Victor: That’s not how the phrase works. You can’t eat your cake and have it too because if you ate your cake you wouldn’t have it anymore.

Me: Um…but you still totally have it.  IN YOUR BELLY.  Where it’s safest.  That’s why smugglers always eat condoms filled with heroin.  Because then you can eat it and then have it again after you leave the airport.  So you can have your heroin and eat it too, but only after you shit out the condoms and sift through the poo, I guess.  If you still wanted it, that is.

Victor: Let’s just stop talking.

Me: Seems like a good way to break yourself of wanting heroin really.  Having to sort through your own poo to get it and then you have to put it up your nose?  That’s a sinus infection just waiting to happen.

Victor: You’ve confused heroin with cocaine again.

Me:  Basically, you can’t eat your cake and then have it too unless first you put your cake in condoms, swallow the condoms, shit them out, thoroughly wash and then open the condoms and then you can eat your cake.  Again.  Because technically you just ate it twice.  I MEAN, JESUS,  THAT’S HOW WRONG THAT SAYING IS.  You can eat your cake and have your cake and eat it and have it and just keep going until you run out of condoms.  That should be the new saying.

Victor: I don’t think that would fit on a t-shirt.

Me: Well, that doesn’t make it any less true.

Winner: Me, because this argument made me want cake so I got some ding-dongs at the gas station and they were delicious.  Except now I want more but I don’t have any more because I ate them all and-OH MY GOD I TOTALLY UNDERSTAND THAT PHRASE NOW. They should really change it to “You can’t enjoy the same piece of cake twice. That’s the tragedy of not enough cake.” That shit is a basic truth and it’s much more quotable.

167 thoughts on “Moral: Don’t fucking tell me I can’t have cake

Read comments below or add one.

  1. This works out really well. I just got an Oscar the Grouch cake pan. You give me the word and I’ll bring an Oscar cake to Politics & Prose next week.

  2. “Victor: You’ve confused heroin with cocaine again.”

    The again is really what sells this. It’s the small details that make your never-ending-in-fisticuffs-disagreements with him so wonderful.

  3. I have a feeling we’ll be seeing a new t-shirt from you soon. All in favor of Jenny’s new saying say Aye! Aye!

  4. MMmmm…cake. Ding dongs!
    I so want to make it to Politics and Prose next week….can y’all throw a little encouragement this way? 🙂

    (Come! Always an excellent group of strangelings. ~ Jenny)

  5. now I am wanting cake and I don’t have any. So need a new phrase: you can’t have cake that you can’t eat too.

  6. Come visit – I have a stash of DingDongs in my desk drawer. But you should probably visit soon, because they will be gone before too long…

  7. I think the phrase got misheard somewhere along the line. Based on my experience with cake and my girlfriend, the phrase should actually be “You can’t have your cake, I ate it”. For someone who doesn’t eat, she sure eats a lot of my food.

  8. I’m going to spend the rest of my day thinking about poo caked condoms filled with cake. Or drugs. More specifically, how do you make sure you really get all the poo off the condom? Seriously. You don’t need a staph infection to ruin your cake… or your drugs.

  9. Twinkies would work better in a condom than Ding-Dongs, never mind that “Ding-Dong” rhymes with “Schlong”.

  10. “You can’t enjoy the same piece of cake twice. That’s the tragedy of not enough cake.” Truer words were never spoken. Someone needs to write that down somewhere important for future generations.

  11. And k, Ding-Dongs are the ones that look like hockey pucks. I believe you’re thinking of Ho-Hos.
    They’re the chocolate-covered cake that looks like … ?

  12. Definitely a new tee shirt lol. except I was just on the Cheesecake Factory page, and now I want cheesecake AND cake. dang.

  13. I was just offered cake and turned it down. Does that mean I can have it and not eat it? Or am I just the person who turns down cake?

  14. I just want to point out that the ding-dongs you bought basically come in their own condoms, so if you left them in the wrappers when eating them…then again, those are the chocolate ones right? Nevermind. Even worse idea.

  15. Yeah! And who wants to just HAVE cake? Like, you want to own a cake but never eat it? That’s not wherein cake’s value lies. It should be “You can’t have your pig and eat it too.” That makes way more sense, and is the main conflict of ‘Charlotte’s Web’.

  16. IF I ever get married again and WHEN we get in to a fight- MAY I please give the sorry soul your phone number? I will just sit back and watch you twist it my way until I am right , while eating Ding Dong’s. You can be my alter me, like in fight club. PLEASE?

  17. Oh, my gosh! That makes sense. And technically you can’t wear your shirt and have it too because eventual your shirt will wear out. But the phrase that bothers me is ‘which came first, the chicken or the egg?’ Obviously it was the egg. Dinosaurs were laying eggs before chickens ever existed. Why is this even a thing? Why can’t people think?

  18. Feeling very conflicted. This post makes me want cake, but then I think of sifting through poo to get a condom filled with cake and I stop wanting cake. But then I think about cake and want it again. Vicious circle. However, the simple answer is I have no cake, so I can neither have cake nor eat it. Story of my life in so many ways.

  19. The only time that saying ever made sense to me was the time I heard it said, “you can’t eat your cake and still have it to look at.” Which, while it makes sense, is not very pithy. And i will now drive myself crazy for the rest of the day trying to remember where I heard it like that…

  20. If you have a WHOLE cake, and you eat one piece, you still have cake and you’ve eaten it, too. Such a stupid saying.

  21. So long as he didn’t end up wearing a cake mask. Ding dongs are the devil’s food. I will not applaud this craving moo pies are so much better.

  22. When I was a child, my mother would use that phrase, which made no sense to me because having cake was eating it. No one asked you if you would like a piece of cake, then once you said “yes” wrapped it up for you, because you were expecting to eat it.

    “Second to none” was another phrase. If you were second to none, or nothing, that is almost worthless – so how could it be the best???

  23. I may be tired because the thing that most disturbed me was that Victor knew what you smuggle in condoms in your intestines. Maybe i’m just not into drugs. Or drugs are not in me. Or condoms.
    Or cake. Damn, why didn’t I buy cake, I wanted cake but I thought “nooo not today” and now you made me want it again but it’s the middle of the night, wow, THANKS VICTOR.

  24. If you subscribe to the Many Worlds Theory of quantum mechanics, there must exist parallel dimensions in which the cake is either eaten or not. Thus the cake exists in a state of superposition, not unlike Schrödinger’s cat which is both alive and dead at the same time, and the cake can be “had” and be “eaten” at the same time as long as you don’t look to hard at what you’re putting in your mouth. Or at least that’s what I tell people until they stop asking me where all the cake went. Also, don’t eat radioactive cats by mistake. That can’t be good for you.
    P.S. I may be a bit loopy from all the carbs.

  25. If you had only thought to buy the economy size box of condoms at the same time you purchased the ding dongs, then you could have eaten twice. Even more than twice, depending on how many condoms you bought. I mean jesus, Jenny, you’re not even following your own rules here in which you won your argument with Victor. Better edit this somehow so he doesn’t get wind of your screw up. You’re welcome. 😉

  26. I’ve never really understood this saying. It’s stupid. Yes, I’m aware if I eat all the cake I can’t still have it but I’m not at all sure why the hell anyone would want cake they could only look at. Who wants cake they can’t eat? See? It’s.just.stupid.

  27. I thought they changed the name of Ding-Dongs to King Dons because it was less suggestive. Not that it worked, because everyone still calls them Ding-Dongs.

  28. Please don’t put chocolate cake into the condoms you plan to swallow…the chance of confusion is entirely too high to take that sort of risk.

  29. Seriously…I solve this problem quite easily. Buy the BIG fucking cake. That way you eat a piece and still have a piece. Problem solved!!!

  30. I briefly started craving cake until I remembered that my body has decided it hates all foods that taste good. So I will console myself with the knowledge that if you did try to eat cake stuffed into a condom, it would taste like condom, not cake – which makes the whole enterprise totally not worth it. (Unless you have pica and really crave the taste of latex.)

  31. Dammit, now I want to put cake in a condom and swallow it, just so I can have it and eat it too. You are the best worst influence on me. Thanks, I needed this blog.

  32. Purchase large cake. Cut cake in half. Eat half of cake. Congratulations!
    ps. Advise your Beloved that he cannot have any of the other half since he can’t have your cake and eat it too.
    pps. He might spontaneously burst into flames at this point. You have been warned.

  33. In the event that I ever would have considered having heroin… or condom wrapped cake… the thoughts have effectively been removed from my mind. Maybe that should be a tactic used at Narcotics Anonymous … or Weight Watcher’s…

  34. Ok will plan to see you at the DC Reading. If anyone else win be ther please leave a post. This will be tough for me 😀thanks

  35. I can’t bear to sort through the comments to see if my argument has already been presented (which absolutely brings to mind a junkie sifting through piles of shit looking for condoms) (Jesus. That statement was in no way a reflection of my opinion of the other people who read this blog) But anyway, I always hated that saying for the very reason you brought up- it makes no fucking sense. So I looked it up and found that it was originally this: You can’t eat your cake and have it, too… which made much more sense to me. Because you CAN have your cake and eat it, too, what else are you supposed to do with a cake? But you can’t eat it and have it, too…except in the scenario that you created. So…yeah. Took the wind right out of my sails. Oh yeah! And Carl’s Jr. has an ice cream sandwich MADE OUT OF DING DONGS right now. You’re welcome. 🙂

  36. I love how an idea flows out of you like water and becomes this hilarious thought that keeps on going…

  37. is it possible that Victor told you this because he poisoned the cake and just doesn’t know how to break it to you? after all, he has a history of poisoning all the food in the house to get even with you (or at least telling you that via post-it note in order to try to one up you).

    wow. victor’s long game is fucking awesome!

  38. The very best thing is to have your cake, eat it, and have more cake. I’ve always thought Ding Dongs sounded dirty, so I go with Swiss Cake Rolls because they make me feel like a world traveler.

  39. My favorite part of this is that you two are still having these deliciously ridiculous arguments after being together so long. Relationship goals.

  40. What is the point in having cake if you can’t eat it. It will just get mouldy. Then you won’t even want the cake anymore, you’ll want a different cake, then that one is going to sit and get mouldy since you’re not eating that one either.

  41. Gulp by Mary Roach has a chapter that’s very instructive re: the heroin-condom thing. I have a bad habit of reading anything I find interesting or funny out loud, and that one got me sent away (from the table– not up the river or anywhere else).
    He would absolutely lose this argument in eating disorder treatment, where any theory about what qualifies as “having” food enters a parallel dimension.

  42. I swear to God this is true, but my husband always says the Russian version of that is, “You want to eat fish and sit on a dick too.” I may not be 100% correct on the translation. It makes about as much sense as the cake saying but it’s a gazillion times funnier.

  43. I love your arguments with your husband. Got your latest book today (I say latest because I fully expect you’ll handily finish more than a few in your life, one of which could totally be filled with nothing but arguments with Victor) and I’m already half through. Addictive reading. Not as addictive as heroin must be to make people snort it after it’s been through their butt, but still pretty addictive. Shit. Now all I can think of are terrible drug jokes and I can’t get them out of my… wait, I’ll just go back to reading the book.

    Love you Jenny!

  44. Omg lmao too funny. I love cake,I mean I really love cake. I would rather have cake than dinner. Now I am sure the next cake I eat I may burst out laughing thinking if condoms,coke and heroin oh yes and poop. Love yu.

  45. The original expression was more along the lines of: “You cannot eat your cake and have it, too.” Meaning that once you eat it, it’s gone. I always wondered why the heck that got switched around that way. The Wikipedia article on the phrase is really interesting, but it doesn’t really say. The expression went through some weird evolutions.

  46. Confusing heroin with cocaine is really so fortunate because it proves to Victor that you do neither. And after that conversation, he might wonder just a teensy bit:).

  47. This cake is whirls as quickly as your words, Ms. Lawson. Wouldn’t try to put it in a condom though….

  48. I saw the “f” word in my inbox and was so, “How dare they! Who would dare talk like that in my inbox!!!” and then I saw it was from the Bloggess, and I was like, “Oh, well, in that case…yeah, um never mind…let me go read what she has to say about cake. I like cake. Chocolate cake. I think there’s some leftover from this weekend’s birthday party. Shhh….don’t tell my teenage daughter that I’m going to eat it. All of it…..” PS…it’s really hard to be a food-binger when you have a teen-age daughter who can count the donuts in the box and there’s no one else you can blame the missing ones on. Just saying…you’ve got a daughter, a Victor, and a bunch of animals. Why settle for ding-dongs …. you need a sheet cake that will serve 18-24!!!! Then you can eat your cake all you want, baby!!!

  49. OMG I am so glad that I’m not the only one who read this and went “so THAT’S what the saying means.”

  50. I think my head hurts now…I need to go eat some Oreos or something to make it feel better.

    Oh, and Jenny–since you keep mentioning red velvet cake, how would you like some vegan red velvet cupcakes when you come to Boston? (The cake is vegan anyway, but I can use vegan margarine and cream cheese for the frosting, since you’re so lactose intolerant…unless real butter and cream cheese are OK, in which case, let me know so you can get the real thing–not The Real Thing, do I look like Don Draper?–although the not-real vegan version is still pretty good, too. OK, now I’m getting dizzy as well as headachy…)

  51. I wish we could be friends. I suffer from depression and I just moved to Texas with my husband. He works all day and I don’t have a car or any friends or family here so I’m alone most of the day. I wish we were friends so we can watch cat videos and goat videos together. Just thought that would be cool to hang out for a day. Shit. Give me something to do. Lol. Blaaaah. Love your books hope there is a 3rd one in the mix .
    Peace.

  52. +1 for t-shirt: “That’s the tragedy of not enough cake!” – probably with picture of Juanita Weasel. Also, Schroedinger’s Cake is an excellent band name. Anyone with mad baking skillz coming to The Tattered Cover reading? I’m picturing a cake that looks like a cardboard box…with a cat in it. I will bring a cake too: Schroedinger’s cat’s litterbox…

  53. “You can’t enjoy the same piece of cake twice. That’s the tragedy of not enough cake.”

    You could enjoy another slice, though. Or buy more.

  54. Why will men never learn they are not equipped to win these types of arguments. My husband also still tries throwing all sorts of so called logic and reasoning at me, that make NO sense, even though he’s lost many previous arguments in a similar vein. He says walking away shaking your head isn’t “losing” but it clearly is.

  55. So when I saw pound cake I just had to add – there are like a dozen eggs in pound cake. Seriously I made it once. That’s a lot of eggs. Anyway – love this post – love you – Congrats on the last stop on the first part of your tour. Get some rest!! 🙂

  56. Here’s the problem: you can have your cake and eat it too. TAKE A PICTURE OF IT. Then you will always have your cake even after you’ve eaten it.
    Unless you eat the picture. Oh, you could get one of those frosting pictures they put on cakes now and have a picture of your cake on a cake. But pictures are easy to reproduce and you would keep the original so even after eating your cake you’d still have it.

  57. Well, here in Atlanta, you can have your cake and eat it, too, because we’ll just bring more! 😀 Ask and ye shall receive, Jenny!

  58. Hmmm…just called Politics and Prose and was told to “get there early because it will be a big event”. 🙂 We love you in D.C.! May just Uber straight from work. Need y’all’s prayers, chants, whatever that I will be having a good day, mentally and physically. Can’t wait!

  59. I’m with you. That saying is still ridiculously wrong on so many levels. Who cares if you can’t have cake if you’re not going to eat it. I don’t want cake just so I can LOOK at it. I JUST WANT TO EAT IT. So basically nobody WANTS to have cake and eat it, too, they just think they do because everyone has heard that stupid line a million times. We should just tell disappointed people YOU CAN’T EAT CAKE. And then at least it makes sense but is actually pretty mean. LET’S JUST ALL HAVE SOME CAKE! RIGHT NOW! Problem solved, my work here is done:).

  60. It is amazing how quickly I can dismiss the images of condoms and poo, but for the rest of the day…. Oh let’s be honest, the rest of this week, I’m just going to want cake. And sorry, cellophane wrapped little snack cakes won’t do. I’m all about the two layer confections with yummy buttercream. The tragedy of not enough cake. Sigh.

  61. And now I’m exhausted…keeping up with your arguments takes some energy!

    I also want cake. But I don’t have none…so I can’t eat it, too.

  62. If I can try and find my way out of this depressive fuckery which is blinding me with darkness……than I’ll have my piece of cake. Fuck, I’ll probably eat the whole cake.

  63. Of course, you know, you now have to make a t-shirt that says “That’s the tragedy of not enough cake”!

  64. 1) I’ve also always questioned why eating the cake doesn’t equal having it. 2) this is my favorite sentence today—Victor: You’ve confused heroin with cocaine again.

  65. Sitting in a bakery today in Goldendale, WA today and heard a discussion of my favorite author and blogger followed by the words “she’s so pretty!” Just thought you’d like to know your name was mentioned prominently, and I grinned and said your blog is hilarious, but not for the easily offended. Have a great day, have the cake.

  66. Also if you ate the cake…you technically HAD it…BOOM…so there motherfucker, who made this stupid saying, I HAD THE CAKE AND I ATE IT>>>WHAT?!

  67. I’ll bring you any kind of cake you want so you can have it and eat it too, just please, please be at the Huntsville book signing Saturday. I’m squishing down incipient anxiety spasms because your blog originally said you would be there at 11am, and now the Lit Fest program says 5pm. I’m driving 3 hours to get there, so timing is kind of important. I should plan to get there before 11 just to check, and then if you’re really not there until 5, I could drive around and see if I can still find the cemetery where my grandparents and grand aunts, uncles and whozits are buried. Meanwhile I’m going to make a Rory tee shirt with some fabric paint, glitter and Rory printed out on heat transfer material. Where’s Rory? Under the iron! Bwahahaha. (just kidding, I would never do that to the real Rory.)

  68. Does your condom theory apply to lobster theromador or would one of their pointy little appendages get in the way, possibly tearing a hole in my small intestine? I realize that most people will be unable to answer this question–and I am not at all sure that I want to hear from anyone who can–but I was hoping that, perhaps, some quadruple-digit I.Q.’d person could share their theory on how well a de-gutted and re-gutted crustacean would navigate the inner workings of my bowels as I would greatly enjoy eating and purging and re-eating this dish. I think. Awaiting your advice.

  69. Thank you for being the only person, other than myself, to pass out in the gyno office in stirrups. Your story is a beautifully haunting description of the severe anxiety that many of us share. I hoped to see you at the 10/23 Dayton signing but alas, it is not in my stars this tour. Thank you for speaking-for making me laugh and cry- in books 1 and 2. Awaiting book 3 because your story isn’t complete and many of us need to hear more from you.

  70. I’m so glad I had ice cream for dinner before I read this.

    But I still want a T-shirt that has, “You can eat your cake and have your cake and eat it and have it and just keep going until you run out of condoms,” written on it.

  71. I would totally wear your new saying if it were printed on a t-shirt. Well, I’d buy the shirt and then wear it.. not like stalk someone, break into their house after they left for work, and then rummage through their closet – which is NOT where they’d keep the shirt, but something shiny would likely distract me and then I’d forget why I was there. And if they had pets, I’d leave hours later after playing with them and then realize halfway back home that I forgot the shirt. So it’s probably better to just print it on a card and I’ll buy that. Saves us all a lot of trouble.

  72. This message isn’t about your post…rather it is a plea for help. My son suffers from depression and anxiety. His girlfriend also suffered greatly. His girlfriend lost the fight today…depression won. Depression lied so well. She believe depression over the rest of us…and she took her own life not 6 short hours ago. I fear that my son will try to follow. I am so scared…I don’t know how to help him. I don’t know how to keep him safe.

    (Sending you love and light. Suicide can be almost contagious so it’s good that you’re there to watch your son and be with him but I’d recommend having him see his shrink as soon as possible to have a professional give you and him a good assessment of where his mind is and if he might need supervision during this time. I’m so, so sorry. Losing someone that way can make you feel so helpless and angry. I wish I could do more to help but a professional will give you tools to help and tell you what to watch for, and how to keep your son as safe as you are able to. Please tell him that we are thinking of you and him and everyone else suffering. Depression lies so damn cunningly. ~ Jenny)

  73. I’m having a flashback to one of my most favorite lines you ever wrote (something about how Disney should put glitter in their burgers, so three days after you get home you get a magical surprise). In that situation you get to eat your cake (burger) and have it later.

  74. Dear Tracy, if your son is in a state of crisis and is talking about or planning on taking his life he may benefit from admitting himself or being admitted by you to the hospital for a few days. Many hospitals have a psychiatric ward (I swear it is not nearly as scary or horrible as it sounds). I have been there and done that for myself four times in my early and mid twenties. I’m almost 40 now. Leaving your environment and participating in all the therapy has a way making a person realize that they don’t actually want to harm themselves. Basically, you get to rest and have personal and group therapy while being watched. Often afterwards they enroll you in an all day intensive therapy program for about two weeks. You may even try a crisis hotline first or his doctor first if he has one. Good luck to you. ((Hugs))

  75. Just ensure you buy or bake another cake before you finish the first one. Problem solved, and no condoms required. Unless you are baking a condom cake, but you really shouldn’t. Please. No more cake and condoms in the same sentence…starting now. Now. Really, now.

  76. CAKE. CAKE. CAKE. (you had me at cake) So, failing to plan is planning to fail. First get a lot of cake, like a LOT. Then who cares. And don’t snort heroin, probably.

  77. Oh, Victor… You can totally snort heroin! Although I highly discourage any and all heroin use, it is sometimes done that way. 😛

  78. “You’ve confused heroin with cocaine again.” Actually, snorting heroin is in fact a thing people do! It’s usually how people start on it, moving to injection when inhalation fails to create a big enough buzz.

  79. So I just started reading “Let’s Pretend this didn’t happen”… No, listening to the audiobook bc it’s not easy to get away with reading a book at my work and still look like I’m working…. And I can officially say, you are my new hero. Then I check out your blog and the first article I see is this one about the cake.

    My favorite saying is still: Have my cake, Eat it too, and f*ck the cook. 😁 Enjoy!! Can’t wait to read your latest book!!!

  80. Unless you buy a whole cake, then you can have your cake and enjoy it 6-8 times, depending on how you slice it. So the saying should be: “You can have your cake and eat it too, times eight” and the other person totally cannot say “You CAN’T have your cake and eat it too, times infinity” because this isn’t grade school and that’s not how it works anymore people.

    Also, if this rambly comment doesn’t make sense in my defense I’ve been awake for 24 hours.

  81. I’ve always thought that saying was backwards, because you can have your cake and eat it (because you still have it eating it is a viable option) but you can’t eat your cake and have it too because… well because you’ve already eaten it. Basically everyone should just buy more cake from now until forever xo

  82. I need some help here….I know this has nothing to do with your most recent blog here Jenny, but I need more books that are like yours…..honest, funny, and can help me with my mental fuckery™. I’ve read both your books and truly loved them…..but my mind is like those fkn teacups….you know, like the ones at Disney…..spinning & spinning with uncontrollable thoughts. Your books slowed them fuckers down. Any advice from anyone would be great!! I’m working, slowly, on finding a shrink….things are getting worse & im sinking further. My mental fuckery™ Is being a bitch and it needs to stop! Any suggestions would be great ❤️

  83. Sometimes you just have the figgen’ cake without a philosophy debate.
    Eat the cake. When the plate is empty, assume that it is Schrödinger’s cake.

  84. This is my first time visiting your blog and this post made me LOL at my phone… with tears streaming down my face and my kids backing slowly away from Mommy. Thanks for the great humor and wit (not synonymous in my book which I haven’t written yet!)

  85. Because really….the second time you taste the same piece of cake is usually after too much wine. Or a migraine. Or the flu. And it doesn’t taste anywhere NEAR as good.

  86. omg I’ve had this same argument subtract the cake condoms. I’m so glad to know that I’m not the only one. Cause seriously how the hell are you supposed to eat cake if you don’t have any. Just the thought of no cake makes me sad.

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