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by Abigail Van Buren

Man's Annual Birthday Wish Is for No More Chocolate Cake

DEAR ABBY: It's traditional in my family to celebrate birthdays with other family members. This may seem trivial, but I have an issue with the cake. Ever since I was a child, my mom has made a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting for my birthday. The problem is, I don't like chocolate!

I have told this to Mom since I was a kid, but my comments seem to have been forgotten by the time the next birthday rolls around. Now that I'm older, I'm wondering if it's better to be gracious about it and just let it go. I never eat any of it and haven't in more than a decade, but nobody seems to notice.

I find it somewhat annoying to be served a birthday cake I don't even like. I try to put in perspective that it's a gift and I should be gracious for receiving it -- but it gets old. Any suggestions? -- VANILLA FELLA, COLUMBIA, MO.

DEAR VANILLA FELLA: You appear to be the odd man out in a family of chocoholics. Next year, tell your mother not to "bother" baking because YOU'RE bringing the cake.