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Charlie Hatton
Brookline, MA

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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!

It’s the (L)Easter I Can Do

(This week’s Secondhand SCIENCE delves into the world of DNA polymerase, a very important biological enzyme that’s almost exactly like a microscopic aging movie star/bodybuilder/politician.

Either that, or Frito Jackson. Just go see. It all makes sense over there, probably.)

In other Sunday news, Easter happened.

I don’t pay a lot of attention to Easter, generally. I don’t celebrate the holiday. I can take or leave milk chocolate. I’m allergic to bunnies. And unless they’re crammed behind sheetrock as insulation, I have zero uses for marshmallow Peeps.

(“Hey, let’s make a candy with no flavor and the consistency of snowman turds! And then people will eat them on the one day a year everyone’s high on Paas fumes. Yeah!”)

Peepsus Christ, who may have been dyed for your sins.

Peepsus Christ, who may have been dyed for your sins.

My wife has other Easterly ideas.

I’m not sure how “into” Easter she is, per se. For her, I think it’s more a question of traditions. I forget this, because the day doesn’t really blip my radar. For most of our years together, this has been a problem. For me.

Not that she makes it a problem. Far from it — and that’s the problem. Every Easter morning, for a decade or more, she’d trot out a modest little basket filled with chocolates and toy eggs and plastic straw and tell me “Happy Easter!” in a sweet, loving tone.

My response, each and every year, was heartfelt, sincere and consistently brief:

Uh… wha?

I rarely registered the approach of Easter, past the odd pastel-tinted seasonal Hershey’s commercial. I never grew attached to Easter traditions. It doesn’t come with a day off work, so far as I can remember. I just don’t do Easter. So I forget about it, every year. Until my smiling wife offers me that basket full of candy and love and caution-risk-of-inhalation “straw”. And then I remember:

I don’t do Easter. But she does.

So then I spend the rest of the year making up an Easter basket’s worth of thoughtfulness.

(Plus making up for all the other shit I forget about, screw up, accidentally break, sleep through, snark at, secretly on-purpose break or show up ten minutes late for.

My accounting system is amazing. I’m like the J.P. effing Morgan of husbandly reparations over here.)

Things have gotten a little simpler in the last couple of years. I think she’s figured out that I’m never going to remember to give her chocolate on Easter. Valentine’s Day, yes. Birthday, Christmas, anniversary, International Chocolate Appreciation Week — possibly. But not Easter. Peepsus Christ on a cross, not Easter.

So she’s changed her strategy. She still observes an Easter tradition every year, but now she’s trying out new ones. This time, she cooked an Easter ham.

This, I can get behind. I’m not down a whole basket, there’s no “straw” to choke on, and all I have to do is show up for dinner.

(Ten minutes late. Of course. Write it in the book.)

Of course, there were just the two of us to deal with this ham, so we had it for lunch on Sunday. And dinner on Sunday. And alllllll day Monday. And so on. There’s still a pile of ham left. It didn’t seem like that huge of a ham. I never realized just how much… ham comes on a ham. It’s a lot.

So much, in fact, that I’m starting to notice a bit of an issue. I came home from work today — and the condo smelled like ham. Not everywhere; just a couple of rooms. I can smell it in the living room, where we last ate ham. I can smell it in the kitchen, where mounds of ham remain in the fridge, taunting us with its piggly squeals. And I can smell it in our bedroom, where…

Where I really don’t want to think about why I can smell ham in the bedroom.

The point is, Easter is hard. Especially when it creeps up on you, and you have to navigate all the traditions. Even one tradition at a time, it appears, is too much for me. If it’s not forty pounds of chocolate or an uncomfortably-crucified marshmallow, then it’s the lingering waft of Easter, two days later. And counting. And hamming.

Is there a way I can get out of this next year? Ideally, I’d like to just sleep from St. Patrick’s Day right through until Cinco de Mayo. How much Paas does a guy have to snort to make that happen?

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