April 14, 2012: Describe a holiday ritual in the second person. CWE 198

You shop for days beforehand. You buy flowers, lots of them. Tulips. Yellow and purple ones. Yellow tulips are your favorite. They have been for years. You love them because they’re in bloom for such a short time. Purple because they look pretty beside the yellow ones. Pink roses. Baby roses. The bunch is wide and full and deep, like a backyard rose bush shrunk and wrapped in cellophane. Daffodils. Stems bound with a rubberband. Blooms closed. The brown petals around the blooms rustle. You buy mason jars. Many of them. You bring them home in two big bags, each jar wrapped in soft gray butcher paper. The paper still carries bumps of pulp that didn’t break down all the way. You love this. You buy spools of ribbon. You cut the flowers down and pile them along the kitchen counter. You fill the jars with water and wrap the lips of the jars with ribbons. You tie bows. You rearrange the flowers. You do this for a very long time. The jars of flowers do not look anything like the picture you had in your head. Nothing. You are disappointed.

You print out recipes at work. You type up detailed grocery lists. You carry your list and recipes in your purse. They make you important. You are hosting Easter brunch for your family. You will think of everything  It will be the best Easter ever. You test your recipes. You are responsible. You make everything at least once before Easter. You drag the trash to the dumpsters the evening before, after the sun has set. You are not allowed to do this. It’s against the rules. Your heart races. But you will have a lot of trash tomorrow. You are having company, and there will be a lot of trash so you need the trash cans. No one sees you. You are relieved. You see a homeless man. You think he lives in his car. He is planting flowers. He does not have a house, so he is not planting flowers in his yard. He is planting flowers beside a common sidewalk. No one will ever see these flowers. You are sad.

You hang Easter eggs from the tree in your front yard. They hang from fishing line. They look lovely, unlike the flowers. You buy candy dishes. You fill them and place them strategically around the house. Your small house. Your house is too small. Where will everyone sit? People will be uncomfortable. They won’t want to stay long. They will eat and leave. You borrow card tables and set them up in the yard. You put flowers on the table. You fret that it will not be warm enough. People will be cold. They will have to sit on the floor inside or sit in the cold outside. People will not be happy. Their smiles will be forced. They will be uncomfortable in your home. They will notice the holes in the carpet. The stains. They will see how shabby your furniture is. They won’t judge you. It’s worse than that. They will feel sorry for you. You don’t have anything to offer and your attempts will just make your life more pathetic. A vase of flowers does not disguise holes in the carpet. Huge holes. You feel so stupid. You are so stupid. You are a small and silly person.

Easter will come. Half of the people you expected will come. You will have so many leftovers that it’s embarrassing. You will wrap up and put away the leftovers as soon as people eat because it is so embarrassing that there are dishes that have not been touched. They are completely untouched. You will feel stupid. You will be so relieved when people leave. Nothing went as expected. Another shitty Easter.

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