Easter Monday: A Story of Recovery

Easter Sunday is about celebrating the resurrection of our savior. It’s about setting aside the entire day to gather with friends and family. It’s about eating once-a-year dishes. And it’s just about the best holiday ever.

For years, Easter Sunday has brought together a large group of friends and their families who once attended the same church. For reasons I can neither explain nor understand, we are now scattered among different congregations, even different denominations. Despite the fact that we aren’t all together on Easter morning, we’re together on Easter afternoon. And we’re still tight. Because that’s how cool God is.

For this group, Easter is the kind of holiday devoid of gift-giving, big-time decorating and high pressure. It’s about just being. And eating. And sitting.

Men relegate themselves to one area, women plant themselves in another, and the estimated 20 children go . . . we’re not sure. But we know they’re here somewhere. We see them when they need us — or when we need them. When one kid passed by the room on her way out the front door, another mom asked that kid to go find one of her kids. When that kid presented herself, she asked her, “Hey, would you go get me a Coke?” And I don’t mean from the store. I mean from 10 steps away.

But before you judge, don’t.

This isn’t about slothfulness or laziness. This is Easter. We turn things down a notch. Or 100 notches.

A kid will appear with a bloody knee, a scraped elbow, or, as it happened yesterday, a broken nose. The remedies are swift, yet somewhat sincere. I bandaged one child who isn’t even mine. Her mother never left her chair.

In the case of the bloody nose, which was presented to us midway through an entertaining story, the patient’s mom administered three Naproxen and said, “Here, drink some milk.” And in all of 40 seconds. We’re that good.

We plant ourselves in chairs and don’t move. For seven hours. Except to refill a plate or go to the bathroom. Besides, it’s hard to move when you’re bloated.

Throughout the afternoon, someone may wander off to the kitchen with an empty plate, only to return with a second slab of cake and a shrug of the shoulders. “The green beans were all gone.”

So Easter Monday, as I call it, is full of damage control, getting off my rear end and scheduling a little home visit from Jillian Michaels. My Jillian Michaels DVD collection includes the following:

Jillian Michaels is pointing and saying, "I want YOU to vomit. And I'll show you how. With complicated, gravity-defying moves and no water breaks, you'll be vomiting in no time."

And this:

Jillian Michaels promises that if you can make it through Levels 1 and 2 without ending up in a body bag, Level 3 of the 30-Day Shred may just do you in.

And as of Saturday night, I added this $10 addition to the collection:

The production notes include this excerpt: "I know what you ate for Easter."

I spent Easter Monday morning in this 40-minute workout that is apparently a salute to her kickboxing roots and her misunderstanding of gravity. She also seems to dismiss the importance of water breaks and the fragility of bladders of women who have birthed four children. But know that Jillian Michaels’ total disregard of the most basic physiological hurdles didn’t slow me down. Even after two rounds of upright scissor kicks, the worst thing that happened was that I burped out loud.

Recognizing that I may have accomplished something great (not lying down to rest during the mountain climbing circuit or stopping the DVD to eat a Pop Tart), I did a little internet research. It’s a little-known fact that this particular DVD was initially titled “Jillian Michaels: The Abu Ghraib Edition,” but that name didn’t do well in focus groups, so the subtitle “Jillian Michaels: Gitmo Gets Its Groove Back” was added. It’s in fine print on the back. Go look for yourself.

And if you did any amount of damage yesterday, may your Easter Monday be one of recovery.