Monday, April 09, 2007

Easter - Not, It Turns Out, All About the Basket

Betty made me a lovely little Easter basket! Just enough candy that I will feel sick if I eat it all in one go, which is pretty much perfect.

I was 24 when I realized that Easter was about Jesus. Honestly. Nobody had ever explicitly told me so before. At least not that I recall.

In our house, Easter was fun! Easter was dyeing eggs and the Easter Bunny and huge baskets of candy and eating so much chocolate you would almost throw up. I don't even remember if we had Easter dinner growing up. But Jesus? Not so much.

I think Jusus was, to me, like the rest of the gods and goddesses in the countries we lived in. Jesus, Ganesh, Vishnu, Parvati. . .Important. Holy. It probably sounds terrible to lump them together, but nobody singled him out for me.

I mean, I knew about Jesus. Because we always said grace - in English at home and in Norwegian at my Gramma Lillian's house. And Jesus was in that grace prayer. How did I gloss over him for Easter? Dunno.

And for the two years in high school that our parents dragged us to mass so that we'd have some religion and not grow up and join the Moonies, that whole Jesus-Easter connection somehow escaped me. Probably because I was so bitter about being up that early. I was saying the words along with the rest of the congregation but not actually thinking about their meaning.

Easter the year I was 24, I went to the beach with a boyfriend. The one I now refer to as the gay boyfriend. But at that point, our relationship was brand new. At that point, he was still sticking to his Catholic upbringing (mostly), I think, living life as a heterosexual, planning to get married, have a wife, kids, etc etc. I had months of insecurity and tumult ahead of me. And almost a year and a half before being told he was gay.

But this weekend, this was the beginning. He was really cute. And tall and athletic and oh so smart. We were living in Ecuador and his Spanish was fantastic but my accent was better than his, which impressed him. And I was always trying to impress him. It was nervous and new and fun.

We took off for a long weekend at the beach with no reservations and no plans. We found a charming place to stay, and I remember what an adventure it felt like. And there was all that giddy newness, when everything is fun and exciting.

He was raised rabidly Catholic (as was my dad, and he hates when I use this phrase as much as when I use profanity) and I had some worry that he'd want to go to mass or something, but there was no mention of it the night before, and I certainly wasn't going to suggest it.

I'd made him an Easter basket, because, of course, for me Easter was all about the candy, and kept it hidden till Easter morning. He woke up and I gave him the basket and said, "Happy Easter!"

And he said, "Yes! The day of the Risen Lord!"


"Day of the Risen Lord!"

"I heard you, but what are you talking about?"

"Jesus? The cave? On the third day? Ascended into Heaven? Any of this ring any bells?"

And it all came together. Right! Jesus! Easter! Day of the Risen Lord!

And Cadbury eggs!


  1. Easter also means clothing in pastel colors or white, in the closet or storage since Labor Day, can be worn again. Most of us don't follow this silly rule but as a kid, I always got new sandals or dress shoes for Easter, and they were always white. And lace, Easter means a lacy dress or socks or slip under my dress.

  2. "Jesus, Ganesh, Vishnu, Parvati. Important. Holy. It probably sounds terrible to lump them together"

    Why terrible? Ganesh is just as important to Hindus as Jesus is to Catholics.

    Enjoy that chocolate!!

  3. You are an awesome girlfriend. Candy = Serious points.

  4. HKW - Interesting to hear what Easter entailed for you! Thanks!

    G&D - You're right. And I managed not to eat all the chocolate last night.

    LMNt - Thanks! I probably still have the ability to be. Hard to remember anymore.

  5. Yes. Easter is all about hollow chocolate bunnies and the baby Jeebus.

  6. I have one lone Cadbury egg left. Sigh.

    I do think they are a divine creation!

  7. I ate myself sick too. Seriously, chocolate and gummy bears do not mix. So beware.

  8. HIN - Absolutely right.

    Dagny - Those are my favorite. I can eat an obscene number of them.

    Heather - Ick. I'm sure you're right. Neither do chocolate and jelly beans.

  9. Hmmm... I haven't had any chocolate in at least a week. I should hit the post-easter sale at a grocery store.

    G&D: I'd don't entirely agree that Ganesh is just as important to Hindus as Jesus is to Catholics. I say that as a Hindu, and as someone with close friendships with a fair number of Catholics.

    In my experience, your average Catholic takes Jesus far more seriously than the average Hindu takes Ganesh... or any single Hindu deity*. I'm not sure if its because of the proliferation of deities, or something else... but that's been my observation over the years.


    * I hesitate to use the word deity because of its close association with the concept of God but there really isn't another word that works in English. Properly speaking, none of these characters are Gods in the Judeo-Christian or Western sense of the word...

  10. cadbury eggs have gotten suspiciously smaller. very troubling!

  11. VVK - Thanks for clarifying! Interesting. And yes, we should all be buying post-Easter sale candy!

    TJ - I'll have to watch that at home - sound on my computer isn't working. That is troubling. I love Cadbury eggs!


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