Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Clarification: Cupcake

I don't want to create the impression that the Cupcakes are the youngest members of the department. This is not an age-related issue. Cupcakehood is the weak, whiney opposite of, say, Sweet Potato Queenhood. The youngest member of our team is not a year older than my son, luminously lovely, adorable figure and wardrobe, but she is bright and professional and a team player and excited about learning everything she can. She is not, and will never be, a Cupcake.

This is NOT about age, it's a mental attitude. Cupcakes flip out at turning 30, or 40, or any milestone age, because they've been riding their youth and perky bottoms for 10 or 20 years and fear having to be judged on their brains (ahem, often with good reason). Cupcakes learn to do one or two things competently and cling to them with all of their might, and get through their careers by smiling and hair-tossing and ass-shaking to get their way, and by scaring the crap out of men by tantrums and tears and girly meltdowns when they don't get their way. The women of the 50s and 60s knocked down barriers for all of us, and these chicks came aboard too.

They are a small minority in the working world, thank GOD, but they do exist.

And it's not age-related at the north end either. One can still be a Cupcake at 45. It's so damn sad when one is still a Cupcake at 45, but they are out there.

Just had to clarify that, lest I sound like a bitter old broad waiting for a smack from the Menopause Fairy.

8 comments:

Geogrrl said...

Ooh, yeah. I worked with a cupcake for a few years--she was hired for a supervisor's position over me because I was "too young". Nothing to do with competence.

She was not an attractive woman when I knew her, but I gather from old photos she had been once. And she exhibited every behaviour you describe. Tears, tantrums, loud scenes when she didn't get her way.

She was the one who staged the loud, wailing breakdown when she heard her father (who had been ill for some time) had died.

Oh, and taking credit for everything she could while doing as little as possible.

Ah, memories.

dragon knitter said...

i've been fortunate to have never worked with a cupcake.

i've worked witha few sweet potato queens though! hey, tammy!

Paper Tiger said...

So, wait... You have Cupcakes AND Buffies?

Anonymous said...

Wow, I've met a few cupcakes...and always wondered where they came from. Thank god I didn't have to work with them much. I have a vewwwy low tolerance for nonsense and no ability to cover my "You must be off your meds" look.
- Auntie M

Geogrrl said...

Oh, and the "baby talk" she used, especially around men. She thought it was cute, and it might have been when she was younger. On a woman in her 30s and 40s it was silly and pathetic. She had no idea most of the guys in the office laughed at her behind her back. I still recall one saying, "If you don't behave yourself, I'll send [cupcake] over to cry at you."

Ginnie said...

Ah, yes, cupcakes we have known and not loved. The ones I have known are always "on" when men are aound, and they always dress like they are in a 1950's movie- straight skirt, stillettos, big hair. They play everyone against everyone in a somewhat coy, innocent manner, and then when they get caught in something, the waterworks start.

MC said...

ahh yes cupcakes....when you put them together without a lot of boys to flirt with they pull off their stillettos and try to slowly kill each other. Now, that is the type of office I am desperately leaving. sigh...

Catherine said...

The Big Developer Which Must Not Be Named had a priceless Cupcake, Senior Division - over 40, nice figure, nice face but with visible miles on it, but OMG, the wardrobe! We had a running joke that if anyone important came in from out of town for a meeting she broke out the same black cocktail dress and Fuck Me Pumps. She cheerfully admitted to having her clothes altered to make them skin-tight. In an office where everybody dressed down and putting on a skirt drew comment she stood out like a Vegas Showgirl mincing around on her 3 inch heels, and that's how she wanted it. She was a true team player in every other way, as you can imagine! We called her The Poodle.