A quick search of my archives tells me that I have apparently never blogged my favorite Easter memory. I don't see how it's possible, but here goes:
I must have been about eight. Therefore, my memories are a bit vague on this, and so I might slip up on a few details. And then there is another postmodern element that I will be adding toward the end that muddies the water a bit further, but that's getting ahead of myself. But in the interests of telling a better story, I'll scrub all uncertainty from the following tale:
It was Easter, 1979, and I was eight. The Easter tradition in our family was, of course, to go to church, but not until the late service. My older brother and I were not allowed to eat any candy before church, but our Easter baskets had already been hidden by the time we woke up. Therefore, we spent our Easter mornings hunting them down while our parents gradually brought themselves to full consciousness.
I'm sure you've noticed that the Easter Bunny was nowhere present in that explanation. Well, if you remember my Santa story, you'll probably have guessed that I didn't buy any of that crap about giant freaking rabbits hiding candy for little kids. Have I mentioned that there are rabbits living under Christie and I's deck? She's named them Peter and Harriet, but I call them both Hassenpfeffer. Nope, no Easter Bunny for me.
On this particular Easter, my brother and I scoured the house, basement to attic. Literally. I even shone a flashlight up and down the laundry chute, thinking my dad might have suspended them in it. No luck.
Finally, Mark and I appeared before my father, who sat unshaven and enrobed at the head of the kitchen table, to admit defeat. For the first time in our lives, we needed a clue.
My father's steely gaze moved over us both, and he took a sip of coffee, as if pondering how best to steer us in the right direct. "Have either of you," he asked, "ever read the Edgar Allen Poe story, The Purloined Letter?"
"Oh!" my brother yelled, and took off.
"What?" I yelled and tried to keep up.
"Hidden in plain sight!"
We found them in the dining room, which I had personally searched at least twice. I clearly remembered lifting the table cloth to look under the table. The bread baskets that my mother used during every formal meal sat in the middle of the dining room table, which my brother and I had set the day before in preparation for today's Easter dinner.
Both baskets were brimming over with candy.
Addendum: It is 1992, and I have brought a girlfriend home from college. The talk turns to family traditions, and I tell the tale of the Year My Father Hid the Easter Baskets in Plain Sight. It is, I have always believed, a wonderful story, the moral of which is that my parents are awesome. At some point in the telling, my mother begins to laugh.
"What?" I ask.
"I remember that Easter," she says. "I woke up when I heard you kids running through the house, and said, 'Oh, shit, Keith, I forgot to hide the Easter baskets last night!' 'Don't worry about it,' he said. 'I've got an idea.' And he waited until after you'd searched the dining room for the third time, and snuck them in there while you guys were in the living room."
Addendum Part Two: It is 1995, and I have brought a fiance home from college. I tell the story of the Easter My Father Conned His Poor Innocent Sons Into Thinking He Was a Genius, the moral of which is that my parents are hilarious.
My mother looks at me with an innocent, aggrieved look, and says, "What are you talking about? That never happened."