Cupcake for ConversationWhen the going gets tough, the tough get cupcakes.

There is a cupcake renaissance here in Los Angeles. Sprinkles downtown. Cupcake Wars on TV. Perfect Circle in my little town of Old Towne Orange. There is something wonderful, approachable, handleable about a cupcake. And the evidence of eating one is so easily disposed of. Cake is more of a commitment, and leaves a more obvious trail.

So, here is my daughter with Dane Cook, outside Rock N Roll Cupcakes in LA. He was trying to pay with a hundred dollar bill or the AmEx Black Card, neither of which they take there, so my daughter picked up his tab and got a conversation and a photo with him.

How is it guys who eat cupcakes look like that? That doesn’t work so well for me.

Anyway. So, why bring this up?

So, sometimes a cupcake can lead to a conversation, an opportunity, a new outlook. It can change frustration with the system and its limits into gratitude for the friendliness of a complete stranger. The story above sounds vaguely reminiscent of the recent cash and credit crunch-they won’t take my cash or my credit and I can’t get my cupcake. Don’t they know who I am? Someone had to intervene.

In my recent dialogues with business leaders, both inside and out of the commercial interior design industry, and from the sources I use to stay current on financial trends, I pick up a widespread ennui over the path of recovery. You hear words like ‘fatigue’ and ‘double dip’. Did we hit a speedbump or drive into a ditch? Chris Ciovacco quoted John C. Williams, Director of Research for the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco in his blog Seeking Alpha:

We economists keep a list of words we use to describe economic growth. It’s very carefully calibrated from “torrid” at one end to “freefall” at the other. The silver lining is that we’re still better than “meager” and “anemic.” And, thankfully, we are still several notches above “double dip recession”. So we are recovering, but slowly, and a lot of the time it still doesn’t feel like it.

So, get a cupcake. Get one for someone else. Make a new connection.

After all, it IS good for the economy.

And the evidence is so easily disposed of.

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