I should start by saying that I do enjoy Easter. I mean, I’d rather have it be Easter than not Easter (unless “not Easter” means Christmas, or Halloween, or my birthday, or the day that the next Hunger Games movie comes out—November 22nd!) Basically, Easter is great. Mostly because mini eggs. I know that last sentence may be shocking to some of you. Sometimes I think people have the impression that I survive solely on salad greens, gluten free muffins, and kombucha. Not so. My roommates will tell you that I also consume an ungodly amount of instant miso soup. And also mini eggs. Cadbury mini eggs are basically the perfect food (if you ignore the fact that they have basically no nutritional value). If Cadbury Creme Eggs (which are DISGUSTING, BTW) are laid by clucking rabbits, mini eggs must be laid by ethereal little bunnies with fairy wings, singing beautiful arias and/or reciting mystical poetry. And this bounty that these sweet angel bunnies giveth unto us, they giveth only once a year, for, you know, like, a couple of months. No other seasonal treat can compare. Not even those gingerbread ice cream sandwiches they sell sometimes at Christmas. Aside from the mini eggs, Easter has other good points too—it’s an excuse to buy a fabulous new spring dress, BRUNCH, and a lot of people get the day off and get to spend time with their loved ones too. Really, I am pro-Easter. That said, Easter can be/usually is hella awkward. Everything about this day, and the days leading up to it (except maybe the mini eggs) just sort of lends itself to inelegance and embarrassment—a (mostly) endearing sort of inelegance and embarrassment to be sure, but inelegance and embarrassment none the less.
Here, in list form (!!!) are a few of the most prominent examples of snafus, faux pas, and WTFs related to the day of bonnets, bunnies, and brunch:
1. What the hell do you say to the Easter Bunny?
So this one is obviously more awkward for little kids, since the preschool-elementary school age set tend to make up the majority of the Easter Bunny lines at the department stores and malls, but we were all kids once, right? And DO YOU REMEMBER HOW AWKWARD THIS WAS?? Remember? After, like , a half hour of waiting, and whining, and begging for an Orange Julius, which you can’t have because then you and your adult would have to get out of line, and the Easter Bunny doesn’t have a Disney World-esque Fast Pass, you finally, FINALLY get your turn to sit and talk with the giant fluffy bunny, and then it hits you, “OH MY GOD? WHAT DO I SAY TO HIM/HER????” With Santa it’s obvious. Everybody knows the drill: “Yes, I’ve been a good little kid, now here’s all the shit I want you to bring me…” But there is not such established bunny-human dialogue. NONE. (At least none that I know of…) I was always just like, “Oh….hey….um…nice bow tie…” Easter bunny banter is worse than trying to think of something to say to that guy you met on OKcupid. Are you allowed to ask the bunny for a specific type of candy? Your favorite color of Easter grass? Petition him to lobby in favor of your preferred brunch location? WHAT??? WHY DID NO ONE TELL ME THESE THINGS??? It was always the same. After a few minutes of hemming and hawing, and bow-tie admiring, someone takes a picture, the bunny hands you a coloring book or bunny shaped Pez dispenser, and then you have to stand around while your adult decides which photos to buy and how many, and you STILL just want an Orange Julius (or a cookie or fancy chocolate if your local bunny happened to be inside Macy’s or Nordstrom or something instead of the center of the mall).
2. Sometimes (most times) it’s cold on Easter Sunday
Easter dresses don’t care where you live. Easter dresses are strappy and flimsy and FREEZING FUCKING COLD. Easter dresses just ASSUME that we all live in SoCal or something. I mean, WHAT is a girl to do? Wear a parka over her sundress? I think not. No. We tough it out. And maybe wear a cardigan, you know, if it matches.
3. The last half of Easter basically sucks because we all have to go to school/work the next day
Easter is, was, and ever shall be, the last day of spring break. WHY? This doesn’t actually affect me currently, since I’m actually working all day ON Easter this year, and have the following day mostly off (hooray!) But when I was a kid, it was the WORST. The first part of the day was awesome, what with the egg hunts, and visiting Grandma, and wearing pretty dresses, but then, it’d be, like 9pm, and my mom would say “you better get to bed now, you have school in the morning!” and I’d still be stuffing my little cheeks with peanut butter cups and trying to figure out why the hell Dr. Zaius wasn’t in this Charlton Heston movie my dad was watching.
4. The Passion of the Christ is not a Children’s movie
Remember, I’m from “The Bible Belt of the Midwest.” Yeah. And a lot of people have this thing, where they’re totally NOT cool with their kids hearing Beetlejuice say “fuck,” or seeing Kate Winslet’s boobs for two seconds, but they are totally cool with exposing small children to the concept of crucifixion via a violent and anti-semetic Mel Gibson Move. SERIOUSLY, ADULTS, STOP IT. THIS IS SO NOT AN OKAY MOVIE FOR KIDS. I actually saw “The Passion of the Christ” in college. On a date. People were eating popcorn. I spent most of the movie staring at my hands and trying to think about puppies. Again, NOT A MOVIE FOR CHILDREN. Or adults, really. Please show children “The Berenstain Bears’ Easter Surprise” instead (really, there are good songs! And a joke about fermented carrot juice!), or if you really want something religious, I’m sure there’s a Veggie Tales Easter video out there. That probably doesn’t depict the brutal torture of a human being for 127 minutes. ONCE MORE: MEL GIBSON MADE THIS. IT IS RATED R FOR VIOLENCE. NOT FOR KIDS.
5. Dyed eggs are actually really fucking gross
Remember dying eggs pretty pastel colors for Easter?! And remember drawing/writing on them with a white crayon first, then watching your words/pictures magically appear when you dipped the eggs in the egg-dye? (I used to draw a lot of peace signs on them. And one time, when I was nine, I wrote the word, “clothes,” on one of mine, explaining to my mother that I wanted the egg to represent something that was important to me. I obviously haven’t changed a bit!)…but then remember how you were stuck with a bunch of pastel eggs for a really long time? And remember how disgusting those pale blue egg salad sandwiches, and fuchsia fried eggs were? I move that we replace egg dying with pedicures. We still get to paint things pretty colors, AND a pedicure is the PERFECT follow up to the traditional Maundy Thursday foot washing!
I don’t eat ham. I’ve never really eaten ham (except for a few sandwiches my Freshman year of college—some kids rebel with drugs, I rebelled with pork products), but people are forever offering you ham on Easter. I’m like, “No thank you, I don’t eat meat.” And they’re like, “NOT EVEN ON EASTER?” Like, legitimately offended that I won’t consume a pig for Jesus. Because obviously, the best way to celebrate the life and teachings of a Jewish mystic is by eating pork.
7. We can’t ALL wear pastels
They wash me out.
9. Hat etiquette
The last time I wore hats on a regular basis, I was still concerned about my teacher making me remove them in class (thus, TOTALLY ruining my carefully put together outfits). Also, back then, my mom called the hats I wore “Blossom hats,” so it was, you know, like, 1993. The thing is, I would sort of like to make hats a regular part of my wardrobe again, and I figure that Easter—a day that is known to inspire the wearing of fabulous hats, is a great time to start. BUT I HAVE SO MANY QUESTIONS!!! Such as, CAN I wear a hat inside? Or are hats like sunglasses, where you have to take them off? Can you wear the same hat two days in a row? I think I’m going to re-watch the last season of Mad Men, and take detailed notes on all things hat-related.
9. Lack of a universal Easter candy vocabulary might accidentally lead your friends to believe that you are a horrible, horrible person
So like, two years ago, I was having a post-Easter Dinner conversation with two friends. We all grew up in different countries, and we were comparing childhood Easter traditions. One friend asked me if I used to get chicks for Easter when I was a kid. I mean, we ALWAYS got Peeps in our Easter baskets, so I excitedly replied with “Oh, yeah! My sister and I would always explode them in the microwave!” And my friend was like, “OH MY GOD. THAT IS HORRIBLE. WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT.” I thought he was asking about marshmallow peeps, but it turns out he was talking about actual baby chickens. After I explained that I was not, in fact a monster, we had a good laugh about it.
And now, here is Bing Crosby singing, and Marjorie Reynold’s wearing a very interesting hat: