Saturday, April 7, 2012
Well the DJBSS has been sent out onto the streets, each with an assigned patrol route in which to root out and hopefully prevent some of the dastardly depredations of the confectionery criminals known as RABBITS. (We've also warned most of the local pubs that our oft-inebriated security service is once again on the loose, allowing them time to stock up on potables and hire extra bouncers.) And while I'm sure that the lads will do themselves proud (at the bar, if not at their assignment), it does tend to leave things a bit quiet around at the Just Blowing Smoke offices. Yeah, that's what it is alright, quiet .......... too quiet.
After all, this is normally a time of year when little else can be heard than the pitter-patter of little feet (or the thundering tramp of them, depending on age and disposition of the crumb crunchers involved); and that too is missing. With all of my children grown (please note that I did not say 'grown up'), and with the fact that they and their children are at best hundreds of miles away, this is not an unexpected condition at this time of year. It does however, leave rather a void in this holiday weekend.
They'll be no last minute scrambling to find containers that had been put away 11 months ago and not thought of since, running out for more eggs to replace the broken or over-cooked ones, no extra dye kits required to replace the spilled ones, and no Solomon-like conflict resolutions to be made in insuring that each child receives exactly the same number of delicacies in exactly the same ratio. (Though never employed by a government bureaucracy, this particular form of 'wealth redistribution' was in fact my specialty, as it sometimes required sugary inequities to be disposed of through ingestion, rather than allow a lack of 'fairness' in the results to stand.)
Oh there may yet be a last minute trip to invoke a bit of capitalism and pick up some tasty treats of the chocolatier's art, but only because this is one of the few times of the year that such trips can be made without a clerk looking at piles of my purchases and at my waistline before sadly shaking her head at me and taking my money. (After all, Man does not live by bread alone ...)
Perhaps what I'm feeling is something like that of a phantom pain in a severed limb (something with which I'm familiar from a long-lost finger tip). A longing for something that is no longer there. In spite of the fact that I wear my Curmudgeon credentials proudly, I find that after years of grousing over the often expensive and usually messy labors involved with keeping up with the rather bizarre traditions of the secular Easter holiday, after grumbling over waking up early on a Sunday morning so that hidden containers of tasty treats could be discovered (often only after a few hints), and after agonizing over whether all of the eggs hidden were found (and not left to rot in some wayward spot, only to be discovered weeks later after they had begun to truly stink up the place); I find that there aspects to these rituals that I now miss.
I'm sure that some of this is some from of a simple nostalgia for the days of my own and my children's youth, or perhaps more likely they're cheap, self-serving fantasies where I can finally be the parent I always wanted to be. On the other hand, it's far more likely that they are the dark and twisted desires of one who, like a serial killer, longs for a return to revisit the delicacy depredations that I committed upon my offspring (sorry, sometimes I watch too many "Criminal Minds" reruns).
In truth, I find these days that there is little satisfaction in eating the ears off of a chocolate bunny without listening while the pitiful cries of the offended rug rats are voiced nearby. There is little savor in the consuming a handful of jelly bean if their ones not pilfered from someone else's possession (usually unknowingly). There's something strangely sad in discovering that you actually don't much care for the taste of 'peeps' unless they've become somewhat stale from having been aged on nests of plastic grass for over a week. (OMG - I'm a RABBIT!)
Whatever the history or reasoning for it however, there just seems to be something missing from the holiday experience this year, and something disquieting about an absence that I appear unable to put my finger on. And while I'm far from having my normal aplomb shaken, I'm occasionally concerned about my current state of mind. (Which is strange, since it's normally only other people who feel the need to be concerned about my mental state.) It's not that I fear something as serious as a complete mental meltdown (though the prospect of one does seem rather refreshing when I think about it), it's that I think that if I'm not better able to get these feelings of Easter nostalgia under control, I may well become an Easter "basket case".