Wednesday, August 31, 2011

What Do You Mean By "Mauve"?

My kids are old enough to have their own taste in music. Luckily, I worked on them enough when they were younger that they seem to like music that I can tolerate, if not like a lot myself.

But there's one thing I do that shows my age. I tend to do the "when I was a kid..." routine when I talk about music.

I know that I'm doing it, and I know that it shows that I. Am. Old.

But isn't it a parent's job to criticize their kids' taste in music? And there's a catch in this that makes me not so totally dorky. I usually argue with them about whether their version of rock is really rock, punk is really punk, etc. (Because everyone knows that today's music is total crap compared to the excellent music that we listened to in the good old days.)

Since youtube exists, I usually emerge victorious. All I have to do when arguing semantics is to do a quick search. One of my son's friends was trying to be cool by saying that some poser emo group was "so punk." I showed him what I'm thinking of when I say "punk" by pulling up a Bad Brains video and a video of a live Dead Kennedy's concert circa 1977.  I think it scared them.

So what does this have to do with "Mauve," you might be asking yourself. I just want to illustrate the fact that if one person is using a certain term, it might not mean the same thing to someone else.

If a bride tell you that she wants mauve roses on her cake, you'd better get a color swatch from her even if you know exactly what mauve is.

Her version might be more purple than what you're thinking. Or it might be more of a pink color. If you just assume that you know what she's talking about you might end up with a clashy cake. And a bride who yells at you for ruining her color scheme.

There are a lot of decoration terms that can mean different things to different people. If someone says they want scrolls they might be talking about swags. If they say they want dots they might be talking about fondant pearls.

Make sure that you clarify the details with people so that you're on the same page. Because God forbid you should deliver a glam rock cake to a punk rock party. That would just be wrong.

 Kara Buntin owns A Cake To Remember LLC in Richmond VA, and cake supplies online at and


ycknits in MN said...

My husband is English and doesn't know one color from another. I always joke that he has five favorite colors and three of them are mauve! How right you are about getting really specific about colors.... mauve many different colors to different people :)

Eva said...

I had a lovely older couple (in their 80s) getting married a few years back, and was told they wanted "Ming Blue" for their decoration. It turned out to be a bright peacock blue, NOT a dark blue associated with, you know, MING antique china. I found out in time, thank goodness. Since then, I always ask for the swatch...

Jenniffer said...

Great post Kara, as this is an easy thing to get snagged on. I had a client e-mail me a picture one time of colors to match and they matched the printout PERFECTLY. But she was angry when she arrived and it didn't mach the actual item EXACTLY. So you have to even beware of printed materials too (unless the client brings/mails them to you)!

Kara said...

That's true...I've told brides that the color of printouts can vary, especially since I tend to not replace the printer ink until I absolutely have to! :) Even the colors on computer screens can be different. A hard copy is always the safest. I send people to Home Depot to get paint cards if they don't have a fabric swatch.

Jamie said...

Good one! Yes, very easy to get "lost in translation", for sure.

Jo Ann said...