They didn’t want my Pops

My sister and I have always been suckers for hidden pathos. I’ve never properly investigated just what makes a moment heartbreaking, but I think it mostly has to do with someone going to a lot of trouble and it just not working out for them. The unacknowledged care is what is so heart wrenching.

The elderly fellow sitting alone on a park bench holding a little sack of seeds he’s brought from home but the ducks are off scoffing some kid’s Wonder White.

The market stall owner who has lovingly handmade every single item in her shop but has sold almost nothing at the end of a busy day.

Candlelit tables and apron-smocked waiters in an empty restaurant at dinner time.

Every time the tears well up a little. All that effort and no one seems to notice or care.

I had my own mini-moment today. I was asked to make some things for the school fete cake stall and instead of just making a carrot cake / caramel slice / lamos combo, I had to go to that extra bit of trouble, didn’t I? I spent ages making chocolate dipped cake pops with little sticks and ribbons. And chocolate wholegrain biscotti lovingly wrapped up with string like a gift.

Well, when I left only one of each had been sold. It was so stressful watching them sit there while boring old glad-wrapped fruit loafs got snapped up smartly. Nobody seemed to want my little creations. I know it’s probably because they were all thinking ‘what the hell is a cake pop?*’, but still.


I wish I’d just made the cupcakes.

* Not you too? You can find out what a cake pop is here. I think I am an early Aussie adopter of this Bakarella phenomenon and they’re just not taking off here in the way I expected…

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  1. says

    I can so relate – this week I baked – at my daughter’s insistence – some beautiful old fashioned gingerbread cake for the universe’s biggest morning tea or whatever it is called and when I delivered it the tables were groaning with the weight of pink cupcakes and Harry Potter cakes. My own daughter didn’t even buy one of mine!

    I am sure your cake pop thingys were lovely.

  2. says

    Well, I think they look lovely.
    Maybe you should do what I do and not help (we also had a fete on the weekend). I decided to spend lots of money instead! I did feel a little bit guilty but someone has to do the buying:)

  3. says

    So, cake pops for dinner tonight, then? Sorry, silly joke. I had to make a joke – Because I know just what you mean in this post. My heart hurts when I witness things like this. Your little example of the elderly gentleman on the park bench got to me. It’s feeling their disappointment, putting yourself in their shoes. So putting myself in your shoes, I would have bought some of your cake pops, I just know I would have! Plus, they sound delicious…

    Gill xo

  4. says

    Such a shame! Hmph, bogans, what would they know?! I would have snaffled up all your cake pops. And chocolate biscotti??!yum! yep, definitely bogans.

    I’ve been that market stall holder…on several occasions :( very depressing.

  5. says

    I have no idea why people always go for old favourites – and fruit cake? Come on!
    As if cake pops aren’t so much more delicious, such lovely little mouthfuls of yum…
    More for sneaky midnight snacks then?

  6. says

    oh i hate seeing empty restaurants… and full market stands and things with zero votes in a poll. Cake pops wow… where have i been! I would have bought your things for the lovely packaging. They look very pretty! x a

  7. says

    Wow they should have flown out the door!They look fab.
    But I can relate. I went to trouble of making morrocan almond spice cookies for the last fete. I labelled them Gluten free. I was
    WO-manning the stall and witnessed a person pick my cookies up to buy and then read the GF label and said “oh No!” and put them back.I wanted to cry out “they’re the best on the table.”I left before the end of the day and they were still there.

  8. says

    Oh I will have them! They look beautiful xxx Now i must go & get a kleenex because that made my pregnant self both cry & hungry xxxx

  9. says

    I know it’s dis-heartening when you go to soo much trouble…chin up at least you know you did your best and made a Congtribution..

  10. says

    SOME PEOPLE are just a wasted effort!

    Probably scared of something different or ‘a-little-bit-fancy’.

    I feel your sadness. You just wanted them to enjoy something you loved and put so much effort into and they missed the point.They probably always will.

  11. says

    Just reading all those moments of heartbreak just broke my heart..let alone witnessing them. I would have bought lots of cake-pops too..I just love to try new things and especially new things with ribbons and cellophane in the most delightful colours. I would have bought the gingerbread too that Jane made and the low GI morrocan almond spice biscuits from Trudi..they all sound delicious!
    I hear a little voice inside saying to me..this week, remember to notice people and appreciate whatever they are putting their effort into..without criticism. It is my neglect too that causes heart breaking moments for people around me.

  12. says

    How do you do that? Have a full on week at the office spilling over, a trip to the doctor and then time to make sweet delightful treats/ NO wonder you do feel a bit forsaken.

    They do look very yummy.

    Lovely works from Carol too.


  13. says

    Well you are far ahead of your time. If you went back next year with them I bet they would all go ‘like that’.

    Its like bunting. When it first come out in the bloggie/craft world, I got one for my sons room and everyone wondered what on earth it was. Now of course everyone knows and wants one themselves.

    They look lovely and yes we would have bought some too!

  14. says

    Today actually marks my inaugral school-fete-supply-fundraising-cake thing… and I have fears for my raspberry and coconut cupcakes with buttercream piping, could be a bit too advanced for the countryfolk here!
    If there are popcakes (which I sadly doubt), I will be sure to buy the whole lot! xxx

  15. says

    That’s the second saddest thing I’ve read today! This is why I don’t bake. That and the fact that I don’t have school age children :) I would have gobbled them up though. They look brilliant.

  16. says

    oh honey! this is too true! I remember my first market, anticipating that FIRST sale!! i was so damn nervous i couldn’t eat or drink a thing. i didn’t sell much that day, so was a little bummed! if i was at your stall you’d have me buying up the whole lot – they look awesome!

  17. says

    No way! I would have bought one or two. Or three. Well done you for showing your kids that you care enough to put that bit of extra effort in.

  18. says

    I really identified with this entry. My imagination always has me in tears at the sight of an elderly lady looking longingly at a shop window or a lonely old man shuffling along the street. As for fruit cake, blech! The cake pops look divine. x

  19. says

    Ahhh Bron, havig only just recovered from being the cake stall lady at our school sports day 10 days ago, I can relate.

    One of my lovely school Mum friends did cello wrapped bundles of ginger kisses. I hid them at the end of the day as none had sold and I know she would be sad.

    The pink iced stuff with marshmallows and sprinkles ALWAYS goes first.

    Such is life.


  20. says

    They obviously didn’t know what they were missing out on! Ignorant snobs. I would have brought some. I think they look fantastic!
    I get this though, i really do. There are those of us who quietly go that extra mile, we knuckle down and do the hard work pouring our heart and soul into it, for some dickweed to come along jump around in the spotlight and take the credit, or get credit for less right in front of us. It’s hard on the heart.

  21. says

    I totally understand how you feel!
    I think they look great and i’m sure they taste even better.. they don’t know what there missing! x

  22. says

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who gets teary eyed at such ‘silly’ things.

    It feels like such a huge personal insult and you feel like you can’t do anything to please anyone, when really it’s just every person who came past looked at the options and decided they’d rather have the regular cake this time. Another day and you would have sold out completely and all those boring old gladwrapped cakes would be left looking sad at the end of the day

  23. says

    I have been having these disappointing moments lately. Just every day life stuff, though, like the fact that I’m the only one to cook and clean and then get told I don’t really ‘live’ here.
    I am a cakepop lover. I’ve not actually made or eaten one as yet but I got a lovely cook book of them for Christmas and actually plan to make my first batch this week.
    I love that you tried and made them so gorgeous. I would have bought some xo

  24. says

    I’m a total sucker for sad, and the scenarios you described are exactly the ones that make me weep. Even reading upsets me!!
    I (know about and) love your cake pops and the biscotti sound great, you are just ahead of your time obviously 😉

  25. says

    Oh, I am always looking out for the underdog apparently (my reputation since school days). But those cake pops sure are gorgeous! If I’d been there I would have lover to purchase them. They sure were made with love, plus I’m always on the lookout for the next new thing or just something different! Perhaps people didn’t think they were getting their money’s worth? I love em anyway! Xx

  26. says

    I would kill for one of your divine little ribbon-wrapped parcels of love right now – they’d go nicely with a cuppa!!
    Talk about heartbreak – when I was in year 12, I had to bring a dish to a school supper. My grandmother spent a day making coq au vin because she wanted me to bring something special. No one – not one person – touched it. So I ate most of it, feeling guilt at her love and care being neglected. And then I was sick, with a tum so full it hurt. Sigh.
    Can I have some of your poppy cakes now please????

  27. says

    Dearest Maxabella, I think your cake pops sound yummy and I would have bought one. There is just no accounting for taste these days!
    I don’t blame you for feeling a little miffed, I would be too!
    I must admit, I get a little upset if I take a nice plate of baked goods to a kid’s party and the goodies don’t leave the plate for the duration of the party. OR worse still, there are a dozen of my lovely cupcakes laying all over the place, with a bite taken out of each. The ULTIMATE slap in the face.
    I hope someone gets to enjoy your handywork xo

  28. says

    I can relate to this feeling. Your cake pops look so pretty I can’t imagine what they were thinking not buying them xo

  29. says

    Fantastic post! I’ve read the word pathos for years and never quite knew what it meant (must have missed that lecture…)/ Each of your scenarios ( the old guy with the seeds) made feel very teary. Your cake pops are like wee works of art. My mother used to bake for things and I used to end up bringing it mostly home, whereas the store-bought mellowpuffs would always go first. Some things never change…

  30. says

    I have always wanted to taste a cake pop. I have seen Bakerella’s blog. They do look so pretty. I would have jumped at the chance at least buying one home with me.

    Keep doing what you are doing. It is the people that matter the most to you that will notice all that you do.

  31. says

    I am gobsmacked your offerings didn’t sell – they look fabulous. Even if I didn’t know what they were, I would have been won over by the presentation and I assure you that they would have sold out very quickly if they had been on sale here in Scotland.
    I’m sorry. :-(

  32. says

    Oh, sorry for you :-( Cake pops are the most brilliant invention, they don’t know what they’re missing! I made some super decadent chocolate caramel squares for my daughter’s preschool Christmas party. The whole time I was there (parents were invited too) nobody ate a single one. She reported that 3 kids ate one each later. I think they were maybe a bit too foreign. The tin came home empty though, so maybe the teachers ate them at breaktime – or maybe they threw them away so I wouldn’t know that nobody ate them.

  33. says

    No way! They look so cute I would have at least asked what they were (because I don’t know what a cakepop is) and then would have bought one.

    I hate empty restaurants- they do make me want to cry, especially when they are lovingly set up and look cared for. I feel like I should go in and eat even if I’m not hungry and have no money.

  34. says

    Oh! That is so sad! I had almost the reverse experience last week. I remembered the night before about the school’s biggest morning tea, rushed frantically to make a ‘quick’ chocolate cake (recipe untried), not used to oven in new house, so result was burnt cake. Chopped off worst bits, smothered in chocolate icing, then topped with hundreds and thousands. Not my finest cooking effort (I love baking usually!), BUT because it was covered in rainbow coloured sugar, the kids attacked it like seagulls attack a lone chip on a beach. Gone within seconds. Usually I make such a big effort, and yet THIS was the one that was appreciated. Why do we bother?!

  35. says

    I think they are taking off …maybe in a small way … and in a more talk than action cake pop love kind of way. I’m Sorry yours didn’t sell. :(

  36. says

    I so relate. I made the most gorgeous gingerbread people and animals at our first pre-school (prior to prep) school fete. I was up until 1 am that morning … all natural ingredients – packets and packets remained unsold. Sigh.

  37. says

    I’m hearing your pain. I make my kids a plate of goodies whenever they have to take a plate. Even if it is a chocoalte something with sprinkles, the supermarket treats or the packets of chips get inhaled first and those home made goodies are the “oh, if we have to. If that is all that is left” What the?

    But I will continue to do so. I am not going to let my kids think that bought goods are the only things out there.

  38. says

    ahhhh thats tragic! sorry can i laugh!
    well i started my own bloghop and did a big post to push it…called forget me not friday. ist friday was yesterday and nobody showed up! boo hoo, see im billy no mates! so i know the stress and shame of the tragic!
    by the way what the hell are cake pops!? you crack me up! xxxxx


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