Who eats this stuff??

Every year, millions of eggs all over the world are hard-boiled and dipped in dye, just so that they can be hidden under bushes and trees or in closets and under chairs for eager little children to gather up on Easter morning.

Have you ever wondered what happens to all of those found and then forgotten eggs? Did you eat them? On purpose?

We weren’t a particularly religious family (although we did go to church), so the day has mostly secular memories for me. Just like the song, there was an “orchid for {my} mommy and an Easter bonnet, too”, along with shiny new patent-leather shoes, a pretty dress in a pastel color and trimmed with bits of lace and ribbon for me. There were big baskets full of fake green grass, strands of which would be found with the odd jelly bean between chair cushions months later, as well as hollow chocolate bunnies and football-shaped eggs wrapped in colored tinfoil, and of course, marshmallow peeps, all of which were usually accompanied by a soft and furry stuffed animal.

Then there were all of those real colored eggs.

My brother and I were never big egg eaters in general. We could occasionally be coaxed into eating the odd scrambled, but that was about it. So it was with a great deal of trepidation, nay suspicion, that we sat down to breakfast that Saturday after Easter the year my mother decided that she wasn’t going to waste all of those eggs this time.

I vividly remember glaring at my brother across the table while plates of white-sauce covered, sliced hard-boiled eggs atop soggy pieces of bread grew cold and gelatinous in front of us, my mother refusing to let us get up until we ate them. This standoff went on for hours until finally she’d had enough and picked up the phone to call our father.

While the mere threat of his intervention would ordinarily have been enough to spur us into action, the mess on our plates was judged too vile for either of us to give in to. After listening to our frazzled mother complain about her ungrateful children, my dad, for reasons I’ve never been able to figure out, did something completely out of left field. He didn’t yell or threaten. He spoke to my brother and then me in a calm and rational manner … and bribed us.

He told us that whoever ate the most of his or her “breakfast” (it was now past noon), would get a “surprise” when he got home. After hanging up the phone, my brother and I were both sure that the surprise was made of leather and held up his pants. Good enough reason for me to try to force that stuff down.

I shoved as much into my mouth as I possibly could and mumbled around it that I was “going out to play” where I promptly spit out the mouthful. I have no idea how long my brother continued to sit there. I didn’t wait around to find out. I think he faked a headache.

In any case, when my father came home, he bore an actual present!

Silly Sand, nostalgia, vintage toy, 1960s

See that? That’s a Silly Sand kit and that was my prize.

The Great Creamed Easter Eggs on Toast Incident, as it came to be known, undoubtedly hides the roots of an eating disorder, but the story is now part of family-lore. “Creamed Eggs on Toast” is a catch-all for the worst thing you can think of and the mention of Silly Sand still earns me a dirty look from my brother.

I haven’t eaten a hard boiled egg since then. Oddly enough, after that year we only ever seemed to hunt for those plastic eggs that come apart in the middle. I’m sure there’s a correlation.

Do you have any happy family stories that would seem like nightmares to someone looking in from the outside? Are there words that you share with other family members like the password to a secret society, the mere mention of which conjures up a memory or an anecdote? What’s your favorite holiday story?

Happy Easter to you and yours!

Peep, cupcake, jelly bean, Easter

WANA Commons photo by Miss Scarlett 21