Over twenty years ago, Linda Baker was a single, working woman in her mid-thirties in California. For years, her employer had listened to Linda give her opinions to clients on their prospective wedding cakes. Linda had always loved cake, and any occasion for one. One day, the boss asked her, “why don’t you just marry yourself and get one?”
She replied half-jokingly, “If I’m not married by the time I reach forty, I might just do that!”
As she inched closer and closer to the end of the decade, she broke up with a guy and decided to go forth with a solo-marriage proposal. Some in Linda’s circle were adamantly opposed, even personally outraged. Despite the confusion and the questions, she corralled eight bridesmaids, an ordained Rabbi friend to officiate the ceremony, and a florist friend who put together the bouquets in a rented bar in Santa Monica.
“It was a wonderful celebration and I felt truly loved by all my family and friends that attended and when I finally cut into that wedding cake (buttercream, a favorite) and took the first bite I realized an inner joy that was beyond words,” Linda recalls.
The big December day was documented, shortly before her 40th birthday. Remember this was before the internet — but the story still went viral. An old boyfriend almost choked on his breakfast upon reading the news.
Curious about sologamy after seeing Carrie Bradshaw register for Manolos on “Sex and the City” and what not, I decided to look up Linda’s information, contacted her and met her in person on a recent trip out to Los Angeles. Needless to say, we dished over cupcakes (which has become my unhealthy obsession). I shared how I wore my wedding dress anyways after a broken engagement and told her about my beautiful pinteresting board for a dream ceremony.
Twenty years later, Linda tells me she has no regrets about the whole ordeal. Sure, she’s still single but hasn’t given up on meeting the other one.
“I am happy in the sense that I am able to wake up every morning and realize that there are so many opportunities in my world,” she says. “I love that I can take on ‘what’s next’ for myself.”
She plans on launching her memoir Cake Girl by this Christmas, chock-full of childhood stories surrounding sweet treats and the recipes to go along with them. Again, she’s doing it her own way – self-publishing through Amazon with some help from the people in her life. Today, she remains inspired by the strangers who have followed her footsteps down the aisle.
“I was surprised when I heard of the first one, who decided to go on with her wedding after her groom left her at the altar. Soon afterwards, I read similar stories worldwide and that was awesome to me… hearing that others too were not waiting for someone else to make that happen. The weddings for one seemed to take on a wave of self-love for others, but for me at that time, it was all about getting a wedding cake. I did find it curious when people wanted to know why I couldn’t wait for a man, or if I was a man-hater. I felt that I was misunderstood and it made me ask myself as well as others: What’s wrong with loving yourself?'”
And that, ladies and (gentlemen), is why you can marry yourself, have your wedding cake and eat it, too.