You Can Have Your Cake & Eat It, Too

If you grow up with the name Jadi, it will be mispronounced. Jodi. Judy. Janie. Right when a community had it figured out, we would move. One after the other, a parade of grade school and high school teachers and college professors stumbled reading roll call.  

When the second Star Wars film came out, everyone at the firm where I worked treated me to (insert uproarious laughter here) “Hey! It’s The Return of the Jadi!”

Perhaps it was inevitable that I married a German named Uwe.

Uwe is a common name in Germanic countries, but just about impossible to pronounce correctly for anyone else. “Ova?” my mother suggested. “Ewe-y,” grinned Dad; I know he did it on purpose.

We had a quiet wedding in Germany and a party Stateside a few months later. A restaurant catered the reception and a local bakery made the wedding cake(s).  

I’ve written elsewhere about the awesomeness of German bakeries [1]. For our party, rather than do a tiered and tired yum-where’d-you-get-this-cake-that-tastes-like-sugar-covered-cardboard, I wanted to honor the country I was marrying along with meinen Mann. I went to the best bakery in town and made a proposal:

I ordered six sheet cakes, all different. Yellow cake. Coconut cake. Carrot cake. Chocolate cake. Spice cake. And, yes, one white cake. Turns out I’m a sucker for tradition after all. The bakery manager dutifully wrote everything down.

“And,” I continued with the order, “I want you to write our names on all of the cakes. Wrong. Except for one of them. Here’s a list of names for each cake,” I said, and handed him a page of phonetics.

When we went to pick up those cakes before the party, the bakery let us know how much fun they’d had filling the order!  

Twenty-three years later I recall those cakes with a smile – and wonder where the time went.  

JayDee and Oyvay 4Ever!

Hochzeit1 Hochzeit2

NOTES: [1]  Go to My Mother-In-Law’s Cookies for more about the tradition of yummy German cakes. [2] New Morning Bakery in Corvallis, Oregon still prepares their own baked goods and meals.

16 thoughts on “You Can Have Your Cake & Eat It, Too”

  1. dear hadi,
    what is your phone #… i want to do a travel consult with you…. call or email …re your story … why did’t you use the spanish/moorish spelling of your name. that heritage is quite evident in your photo….. and hi to oy vay lou aka karma cho phel

  2. That was very clever with the cakes. I’m so glad finally to hear the correct pronunciation though as I’ve always thought in my head of you a Jardee and Oovee. So sorry.
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx

  3. My sister Judy went through grade school with her teachers all “correcting” her name to Judith, which was wrong. It’s Judy on her birth certificate. I’m sure she’d relate to your name troubles, Jadi. I love the cakes! Your wedding celebration sounds perfect.

  4. That’s lovely. Yes, I experience that with Uwe too: we know a few of them, here. Jadi is a cool name. I don’t understand why it’s so hard, but can empathize with you when that film came out. That would be annoying. I’m just a Bill. And my wife, Dawn — well the French can’t say it and I don’t think the Germans can much either. And when she went to voice lessons at an acting school and introduced herself, and said “I’m Dawn,” her teacher said “No you’re not, but we’ll get to that later.”

  5. What a great sense of humor you have. Most brides are….ummm….neurotic! My parents are first generation Germans and my mother was the best baker ever. American desserts are far too sweet for me. Germans can nail that perfect combination.

    1. I hope you got your mom’s recipes! Doing the menu for the wedding party was easy. I’m never neurotic when it comes to food! And I knew months ahead of time that I wanted those cakes….

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