If you've been reading for any amount of time, you know I used to work for the church. I was a youth director for 9-10 years. Drinking aside, the church has a powerful way of killing any sort of faith you have. How I managed to stay that long, I will never know. But Easter dies hard in my memory. I despised Easter. It's this happy, healthy, "Jesus saves" holiday all wrapped up in bunnies and eggs; chocolate and ham, right? But to a church worker who has already survived Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Vigil services, Easter is kind of the last straw.
Every youth group does the Easter Breakfast. No other church group would deign to do the work for so little money, but the church demands Easter Breakfast. Try telling the church council your youth group is taking a break this year and watch the shouting and inventory taking start, right? No one in their right mind would do it, besides the deranged youth director who is desperately trying to figure out how everyone can go to camp this summer. Never mind that the kids' parents just assume they don't have to pay a thing to send their children to church camp, but whatever. I've previously blogged about my pure hatred for Egg Bake, but I'm going to write about it again, because a good resentment is one that just keeps giving, right
Want the recipe for Egg Bake? A dozen eggs, 2 cups of shredded cheese, 12 slices of bread torn into pieces, 2 cups of milk and 1-2 cups of cooked, diced ham (depending on your relationship with the local packing plant.) Place the bread in the bottom of a greased pan, layer the ham and cheese, whisk the eggs with the milk, pour over it and chill overnight. Cook at 350 degrees until it no longer jiggles. Feel free to add frozen cubed hashbrowns, mushrooms, green peppers or onion if you're interested in freaking out the picky little kids that come to Easter Breakfast who then have to wait until you produce one that's vegetable free. I could make it in my sleep. And often did. 2 a.m. in the church kitchen, trying to make the yes, Goddamn ovens heat evenly.
I hated Easter. Because after 5 worship services I never attended, the sweaty derangement of standing in front of hot ovens for 6 hours and managing not one or two, but at least three teenage boyfriend/girlfriend meltdowns - usually involving someone who waited until the early morning of Easter Sunday to tell me they were pregnant and couldn't take the guilt anymore (Happy Easter, mom and dad!) I wanted nothing to do with this holiday. Then add in my family, who were patiently waiting for me to drive 3 hours after church to eat dinner with them, I was a wreck.
So color me jaded or whatever you want to call it, but I hate Easter. I had plans today. Plans to enjoy the day. Make it feel like a holiday without the church, but my plans cancelled on me early this morning and I don't know if I was angry or sad (I still confuse the two, you're a regular reader, right?) but I felt let down by my friends. I felt alone and lonely in a way I hadn't felt in a long time. But it was sunny and I spent the day in the backyard. I got the first sunburn of the season and well? If I got sun on Easter, then I think I should say I'm blessed.