The year after my divorce, I specifically asked my mother to have me and my kids over on my birthday. I just didn't want to have to plan, cook, and clean up my own birthday dinner with just my two sons. The month previous, my sister's birthday had (for some reason) been a big deal--nearly everyone in the family was there at Mom's, swimming in the apartment complex's pool, barbecuing in the back yard, and generally celebrating together. I didn't need that--for one thing they'd all just been, for another my sister is a family favorite and I am rather the opposite of that. I only asked my mother to cook dinner for me and my two sons, and have a birthday cake, on this first birthday after my divorce.
She repeatedly assured me that she'd invited the whole family just like for my sister's birthday, and that I'd be wowed by the cake. She'd call me up randomly to tell me what a great cake it would be, that she'd had this cake from the bakery before and it was wonderful.
After work on my birthday, I picked up my kids and drove out to my mom's for the birthday dinner. There were balloons! It was kind of neat. But hey, where was everybody? The entire family had independently decided (for different reasons) to fail to come to my birthday party. Well, I kinda figured they'd all bail, but at least my mother got me a birthday cake, right? That's really all I asked for and all I wanted.
After a delicious barbecued dinner Mom triumphantly brought out...a chocolate cheesecake. I smiled. She and my kids sang me happy birthday. She cut me a piece of cheesecake and urged it on me. I ate about half of it, praised it, and we all moved on.
About 15 minutes later she noticed I never finished my slice. "Didn't you like the cake?" she asked. "Cheesecake's your favorite, right?" she said.
"No, Mom, I don't like cheesecake. I have never liked cheesecake. Cheesecake is *your* favorite." I replied. I was disappointed but tried not to show it.
She got mad at me. Told me I did too like cheesecake, that I had always loved cheesecake. That I was only saying it to make her look bad. I kept trying to move on, I thanked her for the party, I told her it was very good cheesecake. I didn't argue with her, what was the point? I was never going to convince her that I've never liked cheesecake.
So not only did my entire family (brother, sister, aunts, uncles, cousins) bail on my birthday party after showing up just a month earlier for my sister's (and they all live within 15 miles of us, it's not like it was a huge trip) but my own mother hadn't paid enough attention in the 35 years she'd known me to notice that I don't like cheesecake, and served it to me for my birthday.
I have an aversion to being offered cheesecake, to even being at the same table with cheesecake, to this day.