Easter lunch was always the same: leg of lamb a la Julia Child, meaning marinated for 24 hours in a heavenly rosemary-garlic-soy-mustard sauce, then grilled until pink and served with mint sauce, plus fresh asparagus with hollandaise and a family recipe called French salad, which isn't French and doesn't contain anything like lettuce or celery. Dessert varied, but I remember making a strawberry tart one year. You get the idea. And afterward, on Monday night, I'd make a curry with the leftover lamb.
After I got divorced, I continued to make Easter lunch for whomever was here, including the ex, but because we're not religious this tradition sort of petered out. This year I decided I wasn't going to do it. I called the ex to tell him I was punting, a little concerned that he'd be disappointed, but I needn't have worried.
"Oh, yeah, uh, I meant to tell you...I'm driving to Memphis with F" he said, F being one of his lady friends.
I chuckled. So much for worrying about him being disappointed! I was looking forward to a weekend of puttering around in my flower beds and finding various other ways to avoid doing my taxes, but on Friday night a friend called and invited me to brunch. I don't know what possessed me, but I accepted, and as soon as I'd done so, I bitterly regretted it.
Let me back up. I really hate everything about brunch, beginning with the word itself. Brunch? Give me a break. If you skip lunch and eat an early dinner, you don't call it "linner". And Easter Sunday brunch...I don't know how it is in the north anymore, because it's been so long since I've lived there, but in Dallas, Easter brunch is a big business for restaurants. Families come in after church; the parents drink endless mimosas and wander back and forth to the buffet tables while the kids run around, unsupervised, to their heart's desire. It's my idea of restaurant hell. I thought, well, maybe we could just go to the Nasher for lunch. That would avoid most of the families just out of church. But the invitation wasn't to the Nasher for lunch; it was to LaMadeleine in Lewisville for brunch. Which meant driving to Lewisville. At 11:00 AM. Ugh. I know there are women who would jump at the chance to meet a guy for brunch, especially on Easter, but I'm not one of them.
At 9:30 I did myself (and my friend) a huge favor: I called and cancelled. I didn't insult him by telling him I hate brunch; I just said I have too much to do, which is true. After I got off the phone, I put on some old clothes and made myself a cappuccino. Then I pulled on a pair of gardening gloves and began potting plants, and I found myself smiling because I realized, insofar as I'm concerned, this is the perfect way to spend a Sunday, Easter or not.