TOO MANY BAKERS IN THE KITCHEN
On the first episode of the newest dating show, one dozen women, half of whom are preschool teachers, gather in a large house on the beach to vie for the attention of one D-list celebrity baker. It’s called “A Baker’s Dozen” even though that means there should be a thirteenth preschool teacher but there isn’t.
The women wear cocktail dresses and imported perfumes and they are broken up into pairs and told to make a cake that represents their personalities and love languages and also what they’ll bring to the relationship. One pair accidentally swaps sugar for salt. Another pair accidentally falls in love when their hands touch as one passes the other an egg, smooth and fragile in their fingers. One woman admits the greatest dating show offense of all: she’s there for fame instead of steadfast love and affection and a D-list celebrity wedding.
By the end of the episode, every dress is coated in flour. Every neck nape smells so sweet.
By the end of the episode, the dozen women decide together, more through shared glances than discussion, to vote the baker off the show. They hand each other roses made of confectioner sugar while he leaves, looking out the back window of a limousine, unable to answer the interview questions a producer awkwardly asks him as they head straight to the airport.
The women share the best of the cakes they made, sitting crisscross applesauce on the beach, the moon round over their sequin dresses. The two who fell in love take turns leaning their heads against the other’s shoulder. One from Chicago strums an acoustic guitar. One from some small town in Kansas nobody has heard of splashes in the ocean for the very first time. They all agree she looks beautiful in her happiness. They all agree coming on this show was the best decision they’ve made in years.
The episode fades out into credits while their happy, singing voices blend together and their laughter is thick as frosting in the backs of their throats, so thick they wonder if they’ll choke on it.
Katy Haas (they/them) is a queer non-binary poet, collage artist, and Furby enthusiast from mid-Michigan. Their work can be found in Reckon Review, HAD, Stanchion, and elsewhere. Their chapbook "the algorithm knows i never stopped loving you" (Bullshit Lit) is rumored to be about their white noise machine. Watch them shitpost on Twitter (@katyydidnt) & Insta (@mouthshroom).