The Easter stuff is out in the drug store. An aisle of pastel everything and generic religious iconography. I walk down that aisle, pulling my basket behind me. The little handbaskets now have wheels on them. It’s nifty and also makes me feel like a child pulling a red wagon (that happens to have in it toothpaste for sensitive teeth and packing tape–stuff no child would need). My eyes begin taking inventory of the Easter miscellany and then glaze over as I take stock of my own feelings. This holiday used to mean so much to me. Now it is strange the way marshmallows are strange–soft, amorphous, artificial. What do I even believe anymore? I spot a chocolate cross and feel a twinge of dismay. Why would anyone do that? That’s like a chocolate electric chair or a chocolate police officer. Hm. I believe in resurrection. This whole business about Jesus getting up out of a grave? I don’t know about all that. But I do believe that good can come from bad. And I believe that things that are dead (figuratively speaking) can be brought back to life if we believe in them in and dedicate ourselves to them. In these ways, I think I’m as Christian as one can be. They can keep all that other stuff about sin and hell and fornication. Ha.
Maybe I will send them a card. I don’t slow my walking enough to actually see the cards on the shelf. (In some sense, I’ve seen them all before.) I start mentally drafting the message I would write on the inside. Something about resurrecting our relationship. Something about a new season. I assume my parents still have the same mailing address.
I round the corner and see bottles of Snapple Lemon Tea in the cold drinks section. This may be the closest thing to Southern sweet tea that I’ll find around here. I want it. I open the large glass door and pull out a bottle. I delight in choosing for myself. Choosing my beverages, choosing my partner, choosing my path. And that is the heart of the matter. I chose for myself.
The idea of sending them a card stayed in the Easter aisle as I continued to weave through the store, collecting various things I didn’t know I wanted until I saw them. I made my way to the cashier. A box. Packing tape. Candy. Popcorn. Toothpaste. Gum. Snapple Lemon Tea.
No card. Not this year.