It’s that special time of year again. Children everywhere will wake up to find glorious treasure left behind by a magical Easter bunny. Baskets filled with plastic grass will be used to transport toys and candy that are hidden around homes all across the country. Or in the case of my conservative childhood, baskets filled with Easter books and fruit. For a kid, Easter is the second best holiday of the year, second only to Christmas. But by the time you reach your twenties, Easter has lost some of the original appeal. Gone are the days of searching for your Easter basket and decorating eggs. Adult Easter means leaving behind the peeps and chocolate, and spending one day of your weekend gritting your teeth and working harder than you have for the past 3 years of your career.
For many of us, church has become a twice yearly occasion. Once I got to college, I abandoned my Lutheran upbringing, and heedfully converted to the Church of Chreaster. This sacred institution requires attendance only on Jesus’s birthday, and subsequent send-off party. If you’re as lucky as me, you’ll get to attend Good Friday service and be guiltily reminded that Christ died so that you could spend each weekend sitting on your ass. You’ll probably have to wear your best suit this weekend, so it’s time to finally take it to the dry cleaner to get rid of that weird tequila stain that’s been there since last wedding season. Just be happy if your skin doesn’t start burning when you first walk into church service.
Unfortunately, getting through the service is only a small victory. The real challenge is surviving the annual family get together that afternoon.
Life as an adult presented itself with a number of new and scary variables. Family gatherings are my rock. There are two things I can count on at every family gathering.
1. My uncle is going to down a fifth of vodka and tumble around like a buttered cat.
2. My grandma will make a comment about my horrible body.
I’ve managed to stick to my New Year’s resolution and lose 20 pounds since January, so grandma can blow it out her ass. Maybe this year she can point out that my cousin just got engaged, and I’m still single. While I’m sure grandma’s tearing it up in the retirement home with all that lipstick on her teeth, I take relationship advice from a woman who hasn’t had sex since the Reagan administration with a grain of salt.
The best you can do is slowly drink yourself into oblivion. You’re not young enough to get away with blacking out and sleeping through the trip home anymore. However, given your perpetual seat at the separate kids’ table, you’re fine to pace fast throughout the afternoon without anyone noticing. One cousin managed to earn her spot at the adults table by locking down a husband and getting a law degree; just another reason to remain a bachelor. The rest of us groundlings are happy to break bread at our little table away from the ears of our disapproving relatives.
With any luck, you’ll make it through this Sunday without much trouble. The good news is you’re in the clear until Thanksgiving. Short of moving to Alaska, you’re stuck doing this every year. Just be happy it’s not during football season..
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