I never had this problem as a middle school teacher. You see, 8th graders don't give teachers cupcakes for their birthdays. They give their friends cupcakes. 3rd graders, however, are an entirely different story. They hunt their teachers down to give them a birthday cupcake.
At first, I'd take those cupcakes to be polite. A kid hands you a not so great looking cupcake, looking very earnest and hopeful that you'll eat it right there and then. I'm a sucker for those hopeful looks. Slowly but surely, I began craving the sugar rush of those cupcakes.
Today, I overheard two of my students passing out cupcakes to teachers in different classrooms. I realized I was fervently hoping that they would remember to stop by my office, but I was too embarrassed to go out in the hall to ask for a cupcake. I actually got actively excited when one kid said, "Don't forget Tr. Julie!"
In that moment, I hit my cupcake addiction rock bottom.
The cupcake, like all the rest, wasn't so great. I devoured it anyways.