Easter’s over, and I’m relieved.
I’m referring to society’s secular celebration of a sacred Christian holiday that has its roots in pagan practices. But what most people think of as Easter Sunday is actually the First Sunday of a 50-day season that culminates in Pentecost.
So what I’m really complaining about is Lent, the 40-day period of fasting, alms-giving and repentance, and the Triduum, which includes Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday, plus Easter Sunday. My problem is not the religious aspect; it’s the gluttony of the season, featuring the prominent consumption of candy.
This tradition is a source of dread for parents of bunny believers and any adult engaged in a battle with the bathroom scales. It is celebrated the world over by children too young to worry about body fat; grocery stores, from corner to mega-warehouse variety; diet doctors pushing pills and cosmetic surgeons trading in tummy tucks; and dentists, with their armies of drills going “whee-whee-whee” all the way home.
When it comes to candy-peddling periods, the Easter stretch has the longest duration. Orange- and black-wrapped Halloween candy shambles onto the shelves in mid-September, to be replaced by hues of red, green, silver and gold, merrily jingling their way along for Christmas. Once Santa’s leftovers have been packed off to the dollar stores, the pinks and reds of Valentine’s Day arrive, followed by the soft pastels of Easter, coordinated to rest beside dyed eggs left by the sugar-hawking hare who hops along in April.
I’ve previously confessed to my neuroses involving candy shaped like animals. While I have no problem devouring a hamburger, I won’t eat animal crackers because I feel sorry for them. (I am aware I need counseling.) I have the same proclivities where chocolate Easter bunnies are concerned, though I like fried rabbit and rabbit stew. The Easter bunny has al-ways been sympathetic; when he dropped off chocolate rabbits for my sister and brother, he left me with a chocolate egg. The only emotional trauma I ever suffered was when my brother, who’s four years younger than I, got physically big enough to hold me down and force me to watch as he gnawed off the ears of his chocolate bunny, after having plucked off and audibly crunched its little candy eye.
My husband doesn’t eat much chocolate, except during the weeks before Halloween, Christmas, Valentine’s Day and Easter. He’s a niche marketer’s dream. When our son was little, my husband always dropped a few bags of candy into the shopping cart with the comment, “It’s for the kid.” It was important to justify the purchase. For Halloween, trick-or-treaters wouldn’t work as an excuse, because we live in the sticks and have never hosted trick-or-treaters – except one kid many years ago, and we’ve always suspected either he got lost, or his parents intended to case the place before quickly realizing we had nothing they, or anyone else, would want.
Our son is at college now, but my husband still buys candy for his basket, which sometimes doesn’t materialize because our son doesn’t come home Easter weekend. This year, he did come home, and I found an old basket to fill with what was left of the candy purchased a few weeks earlier. His booty also included a large Reese’s egg, and a box of blue Peeps. Even if Peeps did not resemble baby chicks, I would not eat them. I have gotten into several arguments over the years about Peeps, and whether they are fit for human consumption. I’d just as soon seek sustenance from my cat’s litterbox. My son will eat Peeps – and anything else except potato salad – but he also informed me Peeps can be functional. College kids these days engage in “Peep jousting,” wherein they take two Peeps, stick a toothpick in each of them and place them in a microwave facing each other. The Peep that swells up and overtakes his opponent first wins the match.
My husband isn’t a big Peeps fan, but he does like jellybeans, and this year, he espied jellybeans flavored like Starburst, Skittles, SweetTarts and other traditional candies. He bought several bags and poured them into a bowl, along with the obligatory candy bar miniatures. The bowl was placed in the living room, where any passerby would yield to temptation. Since the only passersby other than on Easter weekend were my husband and myself, we did a disproportionate amount of yielding. But we continued the daily workout regimen I pledged for Lent, within reach of the “devil’s dish.” During weight-lifting sessions, while one of us pumped iron on the bench, the other would munch jellybeans. And I don’t even like jellybeans.
The torment ended April 8, at my parents’ house. My contribution was a chocolate-peanut butter layer cake that broke up like the Titanic during the trip to Fort Gibson. We all ate ourselves to a miserable state of bloat, before retiring to the backyard to watch my 3-year-old niece hunt for eggs. I recalled when we were kids, we were always loathe to part with our Easter eggs. One August, my brother dropped an egg in my bedroom. As the stench arose, we screamed for our mom, who retched repeatedly as she picked up the malodorous orb with a paper towel. My sister assured me that once her daughter’s back was turned, she would seize the eggs and devil them. Better her than me. My husband likes deviled eggs, too, but they also create a stench, even if it’s not as bad as the August Easter egg.
Kim Poindexter is managing editor of the Tahlequah Daily Press.
Easter’s over, and I’m relieved.
Putin switches attention from Olympics to taking over Ukraine
Russia’s President Vladamir Putin, former head of the KGB before the Soviet Union splintered under the weight of the arms race, has taken up his old habits now that the international community has vacated Sochi and the Olympic torch has been extinguished.
It seems as though Putin wants the old Soviet Empire to rise again.
From Our Town
Yes, I realize the most important folks in the world are right here. As a staff, our goal is to make you proud of the newspaper we give you.
I do understand that Tahlequah “owns” the Daily Press. I am just its caretaker. That’s why I’d like to invite you to comment about your newspaper.
Train travel is great, if you know how to do it
Amtrak should put me on the payroll, because I’m one of the company’s best ambassadors.
For years, I’ve been extolling the virtues of trains. My husband’s an even bigger fan than I am. Train travel is less expensive and more comfortable than flying, and the food is better. Come to think of it, you don’t even get food anymore on most airlines, unless you fly overseas. Unless you count half a handful of peanut and a thimble of ginger ale as “food.”
We like to “take the train” a couple of times a year, if possible. Sometimes we manage to combine business with pleasure. Either way, it’s the most relaxing means of transportation available.
The piece of furniture that held a little girl's heart
Does anyone out there know what a “chifforobe” is? I do, but I had to look up the word to spell it here, and it took me forever to get close enough for Google to do the rest.
According to Wikipedia, a chifforobe is a piece of furniture that combines a wardrobe with a chest of drawers. Some folks might call it an “armoire.” I think the word is a bit archaic, especially since my grandmother used it. That’s also why, when I first started looking for the correct spelling, I thought it might be related to “chivaree.” Anyone who’s ever seen “Oklahoma!” knows what that is.
Useless resolutions and lane hogs at the pool
Jan. 19, 2014
In Italian families, you have to learn to make noise
You’ve heard the stereotypes about Italian families. Most of them are true.
It doesn’t matter whether the family member who “came over on the boat” has been in the grave since 1900, nor is dilution through intermarriage with other ethnic types a concern. Just as the blue-eyed blonde holding a CDIB card proudly proclaiming 1/4092nds degree of Indian blood is a Cherokee citizen, an Italian is an Italian.
How to tell if Santa’s been in your home
Dec. 22, 2013
- Sticks and stones, velvet suits, and 'helper' Santas
The blatantly false ring of the old ‘coverup’ allegation
The caller did not identify herself, but I recognized her voice. She’d called and left a message before, with the same claim.
Nuts may be good for you, but are they worth their weight in gold?
“Nuts are good for you,” my husband reminded me as he scooped handfuls of walnuts, and then pecans, into plastic bags at Reasor’s last week. On our way to the car, I scanned the receipt, to find out what had cost us an arm and a leg. It was those nuts – fully a quarter of the entire bill, about $25.
The arrival of the nut crop is one good reason for dreading this time of year. I know nuts are all in vogue these days as being among the “good fats,” along with avocados and coconut oil. And the farmers and retailers know it, too. They understand that behind every wife trying to manage a household budget is a husband repeating the mantra of “they’re good for you,” which somehow justifies the higher grocery bill.
- More Columns Headlines
- Putin switches attention from Olympics to taking over Ukraine