Easter, westside Los Angeles-style, isn’t for the casual “fly-by-your-fuzzy-bunny-tail” planner. Hardcore Holiday-ers need only apply.
By 5 pm last night, CVS was sold out of pastel M&Ms, the grocery stores (two of them!) had only local BROWN eggs left and no one (not two pharmacies, not two over-priced coffee shops and not one gas station) could spare $2 worth of quarters, dimes or nickels. And although inflation is real, I’m not in the business of stuffing plastic eggs with ATM $20s (I made that mistake when my daughter lost her first tooth and all the fairy had her wallet was a $20 bill).
You see, for the first time in my long & industrious career as CEO of Family-Traditions, Memory-Making & Holiday-Preparedness, I dropped the ball. I forgot to plan for Easter. And on the westside of Los Angeles, that’s akin to being locked in the bathroom stall while the lifejackets are handed out on the top-deck of the Titanic.
Somewhere between our Spring Break vacation, the endless To Do lists for Totefish (my start-up), some grandparent health concerns and my general responsibilities of running a household & supporting the career of a busy husband, the third holiday of the season arrived without notice. Sure, Easter is always around my Birthday so you’d think I’d remember it. But a woman gets tired, you know? Keeping up with the barage of post-Christmas holidays and their specific card-making, cookie-decorating, small-trinket-buying, special Brunch reservation-making, and taking-time-to-reflect-on-the-real-meaning-of-the-day is enough to make a woman pour herself a glass of wine and eat the heads off a whole double-box of green peeps. Vinter’s note: A crisp Sauvignon Blanc works best.
A GREEN EASTER
I didn’t dye eggs this year. I bought the dye kit (I found a discarded box in the Children’s Cold Remedies & Tylenol aisle) but I couldn’t find the eggs. Oh, these picture, you ask? They’re Easter, circa 2011. I’m going to reuse them in our 2012 Family Photo Album, for sure. The eggs always turn out the same and nobody eats them anyway. How hard can it be to convince the kids that they dyed them this year? They think Spring Break has lasted “for, like a month.” Time perspective isn’t their strong suit.
As for the annual crack-of-dawn egg hunt? Luckily, I set the Easter Rules early in the game. Our Easter Bunny long ago requested that we set out a grocery bag full of empty plastic eggs (the same ones from last year) on the back porch so he can easily fill them with coins and candy and hide them around the garden. The kids’ baskets sit outside the their bedroom door and the Easter Bunny quietly hops into the house and fills them with books & markers & leftover toys that didn’t fit in the Christmas stockings.
MISSION ACCOMPLISHED (with a little bit of stealing)
I scoured the candy closet and found an unopened pack of jelly beans from last year & a handful of mini Halloween snickers with a bit of “give” in their hardened shells. Candy: check! I searched under both my and my husband’s car seats and found a fair amount of change (although not so much between the cushions of the sofa) and “bought” $10 worth of change from the kids’ piggy-banks (I’ll return it in morning, I swear). Coins: check! I ransacked the “Gift Closet” and pieced together two collections of “regifted” and Christmas surplus presents. Tchotckies: check!
Not bad for a lady who forgot to show up at the Bunny Office on time, eh?
Yes, I know what you’re thinking. And you’re right. There’s alot of “I” in this Easter tale. My husband, while supportive of the efforts, is truly subordinate in these events. Maybe it’s a westside LA thing. Last night, the stores were filled with women — not men — politely grabbing the last remants of Easter gear. My husband did help me hide the 106 eggs in the backyard although dumping the eggs in a small pile on the grass ”because it’s fun when the kids can scoop them up quickly” isn’t my idea top-tier execution. I spent twenty minutes or so hiding his unhidden eggs so that the hunt would take long enough for me to pour myself a cup of coffee and remember that I should be video-taping the whole event. Yes, I am that crazy. And I have no idea why.
I finished the job and went to sleep. I just wanted the holiday to be over.
DAWN OF A NEW DAY
The kids woke at 5:50 am and tore into their baskets.
“Look Mom! A Star Wars Book!”
“A Whoopie Cushion!”
“Hey, the Easter Bunny left the same chocolates as Santa!”
We made them wait until the sky was light before heading out to the hunt. I gave the orders, horizontally, from my bed. At 7:15, my husband could hold them off no longer. They had finished their negotiations on the split (50/50 since there was only two of them and neither of them wanted to the loser) and wanted to apply the principle. As I slipped on my robe, I mumbled bitterly about the state of holidays and our capitalist culture. Easter couldn’t last much longer. And then, I’d be home-free until Halloween.
My kids ran around gathering up eggs, giggling and encouraging each other on.
“There are eggs on top of the swing set!”
“They’re up in the tree!”
“How high can that Bunny jump?!”
An hour later, my son was sitting hunched over the kitchen table coloring with his new crayon set.
“Whadda ya doing?” I asked.
He waited a moment, then sat back, putting his hands behind his head.
“I’m making the Easter Bunny a card. I bet no one thanks him. But I love him. He’s really nice. And he makes kids happy.”
Makes the whole damn thing worth it, doesn’t it?
Happy Easter Everyone!