When I was a kid, one of my favorite Easter candies was the Cadbury Cream Egg. Long after I'd learned about the bunny's true nature, my mother still enjoyed watching me tear my hair out in search of finding candy-laden baskets every Easter morning. Her abilities to hide baskets should be studied, because I could spend an hour searching, knowing exactly how many baskets I was looking for, and still want to fall to my knees in tears. The tiny one in the teapot, the one hidden inside a winter's coat in her closet during a Californian spring heat wave . . . I still have nightmares sometimes that I won't ever find them all, and the ghosts of the uneaten, stale candy will come after me.
Not really, but what continues to haunt me is the memory of the year I gave up chocolate for Lent. I must have been 11 (Ana's current age) at the time, and my mother knew Cadbury cream eggs were my favorite. Having been excessively good at not consuming the forbidden chocolate, knowing a greater reward awaited me on a far off Sunday, I awoke to be told seven baskets were hiding somewhere within the confines of our three story, split-level house.
When I had found them all (ok, I found five, and had to be told where the last two were hidden), it became readily apparent the majority of my haul consisted of the coveted, gone-all-too-soon Cadbury Cream Egg. Dozens of them. There was other chocolate, and likely one which required the biting off of ears, but I only recall now the hollow-shelled chocolate eggs filled with a creamy, gooey, overly saccharine center.
At first, being true to my age, I devoured several until I began to notice how much my teeth ached, and the "cream" began to taste of corn syrupy death. The last one I had chosen on the first round lay open and oozing into its shredded wrapper on my nightstand, because I couldn't bring myself to finish it. For hours after, my tongue felt sappy and rancid. Thus the cycle began.
I would eat one, and be ok, then another, and start to feel I'd had a bit much. Then the third ended up broken open, its slimy center left to harden into a sticky white and yellow clay. This went on and on, because I felt guilty for not wanting to eat more. So I ate more, and wanted them less, until my bedroom had little stashes of half-eaten Cadbury eggs desperate for someone to finish them off, but they'd become something other than candy. They were reminders of a great shame, of the downside to hedonism and gluttony.
There were two entire baskets that were never even touched. One day, I finally found the courage to collect and toss all of the eggs frozen in their death throes, agonized by their gaping wounds, never to be snuffed out by an awaiting mouth. I threw them all away, including the ones in the baskets. I didn't want to look at them anymore, didn't want to think about them. I drank a lot of water, and curled away from where a single sugary glop had been left by the first one my bedside table. It would take another summoning of courage to scrub it off, and I couldn't find it in my then. Another day, I told myself, and lay stunned.
I haven't eat another Cadbury egg since. Seeing them in grocery and drug stores inspires a touch of nostalgia, until the memory of their flavor brings back that Easter, and I give a little shudder. It was the last Easter I looked for baskets. It was the last Easter I wanted to.
Now, of course, we spend Easter weekends at Norwescon. No longer Episcopalian, we celebrate Ostara/Eostre on the equinox like good little pagans, and I give Ana a small bag or basket of gourmet chocolates. She tried a Cadbury egg once, much to my dismay, but thankfully, found it as unappealing as I do now.
This Easter Sunday, if you're at Norwescon with us, look for Pinkie Pie with my pink basket, and I'll give you a little treat. I promise, it won't be a Cadbury Cream Egg.